The American Promise, Ch 31 Outline

The American Promise Value Edition, Combined Version (Volumes I & II): A History of the United States

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I. Domestic Stalemate and Global Upheaval: The Presidency of George H. W. Bush A. Gridlock in Government 1. When Ronald Reagan achieved a commanding lead in the 1980 primaries, George H. W. Bush put his own presidential ambitions on hold, adjusted his more moderate policy positions to fit Reagan’s conservative agenda, and accepted second place on the Republican ticket, serving as Reagan’s Vice President. 2. Bush won the presidential election in 1988, defeating Democratic candidate, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, but the Democrats gained seats in the House and Senate. 3. Although Bush saw himself as guardian and beneficiary of the Reagan legacy, he promised “a kinder, gentler nation” and was more inclined than Reagan to approve government activity in the private sphere, as evidenced by his signing of the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1991. 4. Yet Bush needed to satisfy party conservatives and promised “no new taxes,” opposing most proposals requiring additional federal funds. 5. Continuing a trend established during the Reagan administration, states tried to compensate for this paralysis, by becoming more innovative than Washington in spending and cutting funds. 6. But a huge federal deficit inherited from the Reagan administration impelled the president and Congress to break their deadlock as Bush agreed to modest tax increases for high-income Americans and higher levies on gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, and luxury items. 7. Bush also continued Reagan’s efforts to create a more conservative Supreme Court; he set off a national controversy by nominating Clarence Thomas, a conservative black appeals judge, who had opposed affirmative action as head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Reagan. 8. The Senate Judiciary Committee investigated charges brought by Anita Hill, a law professor and former EEOC employee, who had accused Thomas of sexual harassment. 9. The Senate voted narrowly to confirm Thomas, solidifying the Court’s shift to the right. B. Going to War in Central America and the Persian Gulf 1. President Bush won greater support for his actions abroad, twice sending American troops into battle. 2. Labeled “Operation Just Cause,” U.S. forces invaded and overcame Manuel Noriega’s troops in Panama, an action that was censured both by the United Nations and the Organization of American States. 3. Bush’s second military engagement represented both continuity and a decided break with the past; when Iraqi forces invaded the oil-rich country of Kuwait, Bush, with the consent of Saudi Arabia, ordered a massive mobilization of land, air, and naval forces, assembling more than thirty nations in an international coalition to stand up to Iraq. 4.
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The American Promise, Ch 31 Outline - I. Domestic Stalemate...

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