President John F. Kennedy introduced the Alliance for Progress upon assuming the presidency. He suggested that the program would be a dramatic break with the past, and if successful, would permanently transform Latin American economies, societies, and politics. The effort, which Kennedy said would be massive, reflected the young president’s long-held notions about the importance of poorer parts of the world as the key battleground in the Cold War. However, the idea for the Alliance for Progress, and the particular form it took, had deeper foundations. Much of the logic for the program came from scholars who believed in a concept known as modernization theory. This theory suggested that properly administered aid could create the growth that Kennedy promised. The program also built upon changes in President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration in the late 1950s. The idea that aid programs to Latin American governments needed to be more aggressive had become accepted logic in Washington by 1960. Finally, while it was not the only reason, fear about Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution was a consistent anxiety that motivated U.S. policymakers to pay greater attention to Latin America.