Unit 15 notes (George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and The US in the Global Era)
George W. Bush Presidency 2001-2009
Presidential Election of 2000-The 2000 presidential election was the closest in U.S. history. Al Gore won the popular vote, but the winner of the electoral college depended on who won Florida.
-Bush had the majority of electoral votes but many Florida voters had failed to correctly punch their ballot. So Gore asked the Florida Supreme Court to recount the ballots.
Bush v Gore (2000)-- Bush wanted to halt the Florida recount and let the Supreme Court decide
-The US Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 decision, to halt the recount making George W. Bush President
September 11, 2001--Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists hijacked commercial airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A third plane crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania. Osama Bin Laden and his organization , Al-Qaeda carried out these acts of terror killing 3,000 people
--In response to the September 11th attack, President Bush declared a global war on terror. With its allies the United States invaded Afghanistan when the Taliban govt refused to hand over Osama Bin laden to the United States
--In response to September 11th, President Bush also created: Department of Homeland Security—cabinet level position designed to coordinate and secure the US against all terrorist threats. Transportation Security Agency (TSA)-federal agency that controls security at US airports by screening all passengers and luggage.
--USA Patriot Act—congressional act that gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies new power to conduct sweeping searches, surveillance, detain immigrants, and monitor bank accounts. National Security Agency is allowed to wiretap citizens without a warrant
--Some suspected terrorists were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where they were not given the full benefits of the Bill of Rights.
--Critics argued that some of these measures against suspected terrorists violated the US Constitution. “Warrantless” wiretaps were later ruled unconstitutional. Govt officials responded that they were necessary to combat terrorism and to save lives of thousands of innocent Americans.
War in Afghanistan--In October 2001, US invades Afghanistan. US forces, using ground and air assaults, quickly topple the Taliban, and institute a democratic government. Many Taliban members and Bin laden escape and begin an insurgency against US forces
Invasion of Iraq--In march of 2003, President Bush authorized the invasion of Iraq when he believed that dictator Saddam Hussein of Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), biological and chemical weapons. Bush felt that the UN inspector findings were inadequate and Hussein was planning hide or sell the weapons
Iraq War-- In March of 2003 coalition forces invade Iraq, and in April of 2003 Saddam Hussein is toppled from power. Hussein escapes, but is captured several months later, tried and executed in 2006. Although Hussein is defeated, a new war or insurgency begins with former supporters of Hussein, Shiite radicals and people who opposed US intervention
--American missteps like the Abu Gharib prison scandal, increase the support of the insurgency against the US and add to the unpopularity of the war at home. To battle the insurgency Bush ordered a troop surge of more than 20,000 troops to patrol local neighborhoods, protect the population, guard the borders and attack Al-Qeada. The troop surge greatly reduced violence in Iraq. In spite of the insurgency coalition forces set up a provisional govt, which drew up a constitution, and elected a new democratic govt in Iraq. The first Arab democracy in the middle east
Domestic Policy--George W Bush wanted to grow the US economy through a series of tax cuts and low interest rates. He also wanted to reform education using No Child Left Behind, this required states to test all students in english and math to receive federal funding
Hurricane Katrina--In 2005 one of the largest hurricanes in US History hits New Orleans, Louisiana. The storm and waves exceed the levee system and led to flooding of over 80% of New Orleans. Katrina is the largest disaster in US history, with over 80 billion in damages, over 20,000 people stranded in New Orleans and nearly 2,000 dead
2008 Financial Crisis--In 2008 America suffered its worse financial crisis since the Great Depression. The crisis began when many homeowners could not pay their mortgages after interest rates rose.
--Mortgage-backed securities then lost much of their value, threatening banks, investors and setting off a sharp economic decline. The Bush administration provided the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, (700 billion in emergency relief) to save failing banks and buy bad investments. US govt now became a partner to many private businesses, insurance corporations and banks
Barack Obama Presidency 2009-present
Presidential Election of 2008--In 2008 Barack Obama was the first African American to be elected President. He had a hard fought campaign in which he defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries and John McCain in the Presidential election.
-Obama Rose from obscurity to president on promise of great change in Washington. He wanted to end the war in Iraq, close Guantanamo Bay, reform health care, and provide immigrants a path to citizenship.
Domestic Policy--President Obama pushed Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, pumping more federal money (700 Billion) into the economy to bail out several companies and create jobs.
-Obama also gave financial relief to the leading automobile manufacturers to prevent them from going bankrupt. He gave money to states to deal with specific problems and passed laws regulating credit cards and banking practices.
-President Obama pushed health care reform through Congress, and Obamacare sought to expand healthcare to more Americans. He also appointed Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic to the US Supreme Court.
Foreign Policy --Iraq--In 2011 Obama withdrawals all forces from Iraq and turns control over to Iraqi forces ending the Iraq War. Afghanistan—Obama increased troop levels in Afghanistan to continue to develop and secure the country to this day.
-Pakistan—Obama encouraged Pakistan to take a more active role in hunting terrorists. In 2011, US forces apprehended and killed Osama Bin Laden, who had been found hiding in Pakistan. Iran—Obama has continued sanctions against Iran for continuing to try and develop nuclear weapons, while supporting terrorist group in the middle east.
“Arab Spring”--In spring 2011, local populations in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Libya launched revolutions and some even overthrew their dictators. President Obama stepped in to encourage local Arab leaders not to use force against the demonstrators.
-Israel—Obama has worked with Israel and Palestine to try and achieve a two-state solution. Europe—He has maintained close contact with the European Union to fight the economic crisis. China—worked to maintain trade relations and slow down the Chinese buying of American treasury debt
The United States in a Global Era
-The United states is an important part of a global economy and long term technological, economic and social developments are changing the American way of life
Technological Innovation--US world leader in technology: GPS, LED, transistor, integrated circuits, computers, internet. Used to spur workplace productivity, and manage human and natural resources
-US leader in productivity advances: assembly lines, robotics, just-in-time production, time study analysis. Leads to reduced manufacturing time and costs. Computers have revolutionized American production and workforce, US the leader in supercomputing and medicine. Computers are now smaller and faster leading to increase d production and providing millions of jobs, E-commerce (doing business on the internet), genetic engineering to cure disease from cancer to cystic fibrosis
-Scientific discoveries and technological innovations drive the American economy today. The free enterprise system, with its profit motive and system of copyrights and patents, helps drive innovation forward. Often, scientists and engineers make innovations to address specific needs. Salk—polio vaccine, US military—jet & civilian engines
Living in a Global Economy--American manufacturers traditionally sold American products to the American market. Our economy today is part of an integrated global economy. Multinational Corporations– set of companies who do business all over the world (McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobil, Starbucks). Multinational Corporations have led to increase of globalization and influence of govt policies. -corporation doesn’t like govt policies they can relocate
-The use of energy and protection of the environment are important aspects of this economy. Growing population and rising living standards raised demand for energy. Three Mile island Accident—raised fears about nuclear power accidents
-Role of OPEC—led to rising cost of energy in US, now many jobs and American economy dependent of energy conservation. BP oil spill in the gulf of Mexico—reaffirmed the dangers of fossil fuel use
Managing the Environment--US has become increasingly aware of environmental dangers, and the pollution of the air, water and land. Global warming, Acid Rain, Water Pollution and Erosion of the Ozone layer threaten the future survival of human king
-There is a growing belief in the US that the govt is responsible for protection of the Environment. Govt has the resources to prevent pollution, EPA and ESA. Private organizations like the Sierra Club play an increasing role in helping the environment by promoting public awareness
Spread and impact of Popular American Culture on the world--Music—American companies record the work of American rock, pop and country artists. They then use records, tapes, discs, and the internet to spread that music world wide
Visual Arts—using magazines, newspaper, television, advertising, and the internet visual arts once reserved for the wealthy are now seen by people across the globe
Films, TV and the Internet—the majority of films and television programs are still produced in the US--cable and satellite TV have allowed those programs to be viewed worldwide, these programs often depict US culture and the American way of life
-American media can now be seen influencing other cultures around the world. Today people in other countries embrace all aspects of American culture and shape their views of the US--American food, music, movies, English is the universal 2nd language of the world, US companies (Google, Facebook, Wikipedia
Changes in American Demography--Demography is the study of population. Since World War II, the size of the US population has more than doubled. The US is the third largest nation in terms of population trailing only China and India
-During this period, the center of the nation’s population has shifted away from the Northeast towards the Sunbelt. Much of the recent population growth in the US has been due to both legal (apply and receive permanent residence) and illegal (have not received official permission to reside) immigration.