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The Modern Era. Bush, Clinton, and the 90s. President George H.W. Bush:. Connecticut Family Director of the CIA VP to Reagan Elected President in 1988. Pres. George H.W. Bush pledged to continue Reagan’s policies with his famous promise, “Read my lips. No new taxes.”.

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The Modern Era

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the modern era

The Modern Era

Bush, Clinton, and the 90s


President George H.W. Bush:

  • Connecticut Family
  • Director of the CIA
  • VP to Reagan
  • Elected President in 1988.
  • Pres. George H.W. Bush pledged to continue Reagan’s policies with his famous promise, “Read my lips. No new taxes.”

However, by 1990, the economy was in a recession, forcing Bush to raise taxes.

  • -End of Cold War  less defense jobs
  • -Companies downsized to become more efficient
  • -Huge debt due to heavy borrowing during the 1980s and deficit due to Reagan’s economic policies
  • Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992
new world order
“New World Order”
  • Phrase coined by Bush to describe the unpredictable world post-Cold War.
  • 1990s sees the U.S. becoming the “police force” of the world.
  • Foreign policy crisis: Tiananmen Square
    • 1989: Pro-democracy protests, led by students, were crushed by the Chinese military.
    • Soldiers with tanks and guns killed or wounded thousands.
    • Hundreds were arrested, and some were sentenced to death.
    • U.S. placed economic sanctions on China for a few years in response.
  • Manuel Noriega of Panama was aiding drug traffickers and had stopped cooperating with the U.S.
  • U.S. invaded Panama to arrest Noriega and help Panamanians hold new elections.
  • Noriega stood trial for drug charges in a Florida Federal Court and was convicted and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment.
persian gulf war
Persian Gulf War
  • When Saddam Hussein sent Iraqi military to invade Kuwait, the U.S. feared that Iraq’s ultimate goal was to capture Saudi Arabia for its oil.
  • The U.S. and a coalition of other U.N. forces imposed economic sanctions on Iraq to try and persuade Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.
  • When Iraq refused, the coalition launched Operation Desert Storm (Persian Gulf War).
  • Air attack lasted for 6 weeks; ground attack lasted 100 hours.
  • Iraq was pushed out of Kuwait and Bush declared victory.
bill clinton
Bill Clinton
  • Arkansas Gov.
  • Working class, single parent household
  • Charismatic
  • Opposed Vietnam War
  • “New Democrat”
  • Fiscally conservative (cut middle class taxes and gov. spending)
  • Socially moderate
clinton s domestic policy
Clinton’s Domestic Policy
  • The Economy
    • Under Reagan and Bush, the budget deficit quadrupled and debt increased.
    • To balance the budget and bring down the deficit, Clinton raised taxes on higher earners, which was very unpopular.
    • He also cut government spending and increased tax credits for low income families.
  • Tried to reform health care system to benefit the poor and uninsured.
    • Appointed task force headed by First Lady Hillary Clinton to develop a plan to provide health benefits for all Americans.
    • Failed. Pharmaceutical industry, doctors, Republicans opposed it.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

    • Success!
    • Employers required to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave for birth/adoption or sick family member
  • “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
    • Clinton’s compromise with Congress.
    • Prohibited discrimination or harassment of homosexual service members, but prohibited these service members from revealing their sexual orientation.
    • Repealed in 2011.
  • Gun control
    • Signed Brady Bill: waiting period on handguns, background checks
  • NAFTA (1993)
    • Free trade agreement between U.S., Canada, and Mexico
clinton and congress
Clinton and Congress
  • Trouble in 1994-Clinton’s popularity was down, allowing Republicans to take control of Congress.
    • “Contract with America”-Republican’s plan to lower taxes, reform welfare, and balance the budget
  • After a battle over the budget, Clinton and the Republicans negotiated an agreement to balance the budget.
  • By 1996, the economy was booming, allowing Clinton to win reelection.
  • By 1997, the budget was balanced, and the following year, the government had a surplus.
scandal and tragedy
Scandal and Tragedy
  • 1993: first World Trade Center bombing
  • 1995: Oklahoma City Bombing-domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh
  • 1998: U.S. embassies bombed in Kenya and Tanzania
  • Monica Lewinsky scandal (1998)
    • Perjury & obstruction of justice
    • Impeachment!
      • House: Articles of Impeachment
      • Senate: No
clinton s foreign policy
Clinton’s Foreign Policy
  • The Balkans
    • After Yugoslavia split in 1991, civil war broke out.
    • To end the fighting and reported ethnic cleansing, U.S./NATO forced used military force to encourage negotiations.
  • Middle East
    • Attacks on Iraqi military targets.
    • Clinton tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
society and culture of the 1990s
Society and Culture of the 1990s
  • The “electronic age”
  • Internet was born in 1992, revolutionizing numerous areas of American life.
  • Cell phones became much more common by the end of the decade.
  • Fashion ranged from grunge to prep to hip hop.
  • Globalization-free trade and technology allows the spread of American goods and culture to other parts of the world.
the 2000 elections
The 2000 Elections
  • Most bitterly contested election in 100 years
  • Gore/Lieberman
  • Bush/Cheney
  • Roughly ½ of eligible voters went to polls
Close election in Florida
  • Bush had a slight lead in the popular vote
    • State law required a machine recount in such a close election, which still put Bush ahead
  • Gore wanted hand recount in 4 Democratic counties
    • Ballot irregularities, inaccurate registration, incomplete lists, old voting machines, butterfly ballots, hanging chads
  • Hand recounts wouldn’t be done by deadline, though, so Gore went to court, and Florida Supreme Court approved deadline extension for recount.
  • Bush appealed to U.S. Supreme Court
    • Court ruled that hand recounts as they were being conducted violated equal protection clause, and there wasn’t enough time left to conduct a constitutional hand recount.
  • Gore won national popular vote.
  • Bush won electoral college vote.