The Legacy of Joe and Rose Kennedy

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The Kennedys are perhaps the most famous American family in politics. Their political participation has shaped America since the early part of the 20th century, and as such, they have earned a mystique about them. They have been dubbed the American Royal family, for many Americans treat the Kennedys in a way that compares to the way the British treat their Queen.


No other political family in history has ever had this much public interest form around them, mainly because no other political family has ever been quite as interesting. The mystique all began with a wedding ceremony, when Joseph Kennedy married Rose Elizabeth Fitzpatrick on October 7, 1914, and through triumph and tragedy they shaped one of this countries most politically prominent families of the 20th century.
When Rose Fitzgerald married Joseph Kennedy he took his new bride away from her father's orbit, to a Protestant suburb, unheard of for the staunchly Catholic Rose Fitzgerald (Gibson 14). However, Rose's Catholicism would not diminish, and would later play a very large part in the family's growth and development. All of her children would be raised Catholic, and they would also marry Catholic. Her son John would also become the first Catholic President. Thus, her influence on the children can be viewed widely in light of the religion they would all adopt and maintain. Rose stayed in Brookline with her children, while Joseph went on to New York in order to make his fortune. In Brookline, where she was raising a family that continued to grow, Rose barely knew what her husband did for a living. He compartmentalized his life, and kept his wife and growing family away from the predatory world in which he was building his fortune. ...
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