Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century
Growth of Sunbelt and urban areas – mild climate, low tax rates, high rates of econ growth, +Christians and repubs.
Women and the workforce – especially white collar jobs.
Decline of the "traditional family unit" – fewer children living w/ 2 parents, +divorce, +single parents.
Black Americans and poverty - +crime/violence, few in colleges, many illiterate.
The new immigrants
Changes in America's ethnic mix – more foreigners than ever before.
Origins of immigrants – Hispanics, af, asian, latino, am Indian.
Immigrants and American society – US allowed more than other countries, maj of immigrants not from euro. Mex = largest minority.
The computer revolution
An overview of the computer revolution – a programmable machine to replace mental tasks.
Microchip ’71 and "personal computer" ’75 development – Ed Roberts = personal computer, not particularly useful yet, but sparked interest in Bill Gates.
Computers and globalization – email allowed for instantaneous communication
Effects – globalization of econ, increasing productivity in workplace
More ideological and partisan – young conservative activists largely from Sunbelt areas = new maj force in nat’l affairs.
Attacks on liberalism – they hated social liberalism, the disappearance of basic forms of decency/ propriety, and affirmative action programs.
The Religious Right
The Religious Right Christian Coalition –
Christian Coalition – organized by Pat Robertson to replace Jerry Falwell’s Moral Maj as the main org of the resurgent religious right.
Political effect – they used repub party to promote school prayer, trad fam values, anti-abortion/gay rights, downsize/delimit gov. very prominent in ‘90s.
Decline in Bush's popularity
Foreign affairs – aftermath of desert storm, Saddam Hussein still in charge of Iraq, end of USSR, realization that containment = fail.
Economic recession – many unemployed.
Broke "No new taxes" pledge – increased fed revenue, but lost Bush pub support.
Pat Buchanan's challenge – claimed to be a crusader for mid am rev that would halt illegal immigration and liberal permissiveness.
Bush’s real prob – not being able to jump-start the econ.
Clinton's economic program
Deficit-reduction package barely passed - ↑taxes for large corporations, +human capital/pub works programs like transp, utilities, edu, skills, health, welfare, ect.
Approval of NAFTA – made am the largest free-trade area in the world.
Clinton's plan – universal med insurance would reduce the overall costs of health care.
Vested interests opposed – from pharmaceutical and insurance industries.
Result – Dems dropped fight for universal medical coverage
Democrats resented Clinton's "waffling"
dems felt betrayed when Clinton joined conservatives in trying to bring back affirmative-action plans to help racial discrim patterns in hiring and awarding of gov contracts.
Republicans' "Contract with America"
Rise of Newton Leroy Gingrich – had helped w/ Christian coalition. He claimed liberalism/dem party was dead/dying. Need repub dominance to dismantle “welfare state.”
10pt contract – anti-big gov w/ less reg and env conservation, term limits for congressmen, line-item veto for pres, welfare reform, and a balanced budget amendment.
"Gingrich revolution" fizzled out – he was too ambitious/aggressive.
Legislative breakthrough –
Legislative breakthrough – ↑minimum wage, broading pub access to welfare-reform.
Welfare reform – ended fed govs open-ended guarantee of aid to poor.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of ’96 – turned over maj fed welfare programs to states and gave states grants to fund them. Time limit on welfare benefits.
The "new economy"
centered on high-flying computer, software, telecommunications, and internet firms.
Factors behind the economic boom – the peace dividend, end of cold war enabled US gov to reduce defense spending. Clinton admin cut taxes and reduced overall fed spending. Growth in worker productivity, new tech/production processes allowed for greater efficiency.
Adarand Constructors v. Pena ’95
shift in stance on minorities and affirmative action
Hopwood v. Texas
can’t use race to achieve a diverse student body in colleges.
Clinton may have been involved in an investment fraud in AK.
The Lewinsky affair
– he had an affair with white house intern Monica Lewinsky.
Clinton's good and bad qualities
he was political astute, charismatic, well-informed, but was self-indulgent.
most successful departure in foreign policy for the Clinton admin. Haiti had a dem election.
The Middle East
– an agreement provided for restoration of Palestinian self-rule in Gaza strip and Jericho in exchange for land for peace provided in UN Security Council resolutions.
Bosnia – split into Muslim-Croat federation and Bosnian-Serb republic.
Kosovo – Yugoslav pres Milosevic decided to reassert Serbian control over ground considered sacred byy Christian Serbs. NATO helped work out peace agreements.
US econ dependent on others, time-space compression, foreign trade = central to am prosperity and politics. Result: global concerns exercise overwhelming influence on domestic and foreign policies.
. George W. Bush's presidency
Economic conditions and policies – 2001 recession, followed by tax cuts.
No Child Left Behind – set new learning standards ensuring all students ere proficient at reading and math.
Exploiting the environment – he allowed more logging in nat’l forests, opened up more fed land, took back restrictions on econ devl imposed by env regs.
September 11, 2001
The hijackings – a commercial airliner was hijacked by Islamic terrorists.
Death toll – 266 on the planes, 2,600 in world trade center.
American and global reaction - +nat’lism
al Qaeda and the Taliban – well-financed worldwide network of Islamic extremists led by Osama bin laden. Taliban opposed alliance.
War on terrorism
Bush's new sense of purpose – forged a coalition to strike at terrorism worldwide.
Attack on Afghanistan – demanded Afghanistan Taliban gov surrender the terrorists or risk mil attack.
Terrorism at home
Office of Homeland Security – to address the threat and help restore pub confidence.
Airport security – Transportation security admin to screen airline passengers.
Patriot Act – gave gov agencies the right to eavesdrop on private conversations b/w prisoners and their lawyers. Allowed suspected terrorists to be tried in secret mil courts.
Second Gulf War (Iraq War)
Rationale for attack on Saddam Hussein – Preemptive military action defend US against threat posed by Iraq’s supposed possession of bio chem weapons.
Operation Iraqi Freedom – involved massive bombing campaign & fast-moving invasion of Iraq’s bases in Kuwait.
Military results – captured Baghdad, Hussein’s regime collapsed.
Challenges of Iraq reconstruction – religious feuds and ethnic tensions still existed.
Renewed insurgency – still many suicide bombers and terrorist attacks.
No weapons of mass destruction – that was the whole reason they had invaded Iraq.
Other problems – Increasing human and financial costs of occupation
The Surge in Iraq
Iraq Study Group – recommended that US step up the training of Iraqi troops and withdraw all US combat forces from Iraq by spring ’08.
Bush instead increases troop levels – most dems opposed and called for an exit strategy.
The surge's partial success – it had succeeded, but was expensive, many lives lost, and it generated widespread criticism.