Ch. 31 Outline.docx - Ch 31 Outline I Domestic Stalemate...

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Ch. 31 Outline 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 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. Several candidates competed for the Democratic nomination in 1988. Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis won the nomination. Although Dukakis did not win the presidency, Democrats gained seats in Congress. 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 Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act of 1990. 4. Yet Bush also 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. The huge federal deficit inherited from the Reagan administration impelled Bush to agree 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 court 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. The Cold War Ends 1. The forces of change that Gorbachev had encouraged in the Communist world swept through Eastern Europe in 1989, where popular uprisings demanded an end to state repression and inefficient economic bureaucracies. 2. East Germany opened its border with West Germany, and in November 1989, Germans began to demolish the Berlin Wall, the dominant symbol of the Cold War. 3. Soon, former iron curtain countries lined up to join NATO. Although U.S. military forces remained in Europe as part of NATO, Europe no longer depended on the United States for its security. Europe’s destiny now lay in European hands. 4. In December 1991, Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian Republic, announced that Russia and eleven other republics had formed a new entity, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and other former Soviet states also declared independence; with nothing left to govern, Gorbachev resigned.

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