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Politics and Major Events of the 1990s

Politics and Major Events of the 1990s

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Politics and Major Events of the 1990s

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  1. Politics and Major Events of the 1990s

  2. Rise of Conservative Media • In 1987, the Reagan Administration, in an effort to deregulate the communications industry, vetoed the reauthorization of the Fairness Doctrine. • Since 1949, the Fairness Doctrine was used by the FCC to prevent the emergence of partisan press. • Without the requirement for equal coverage for controversial subjects, AM stations created partisan programming. • In 1988 Rush Limbaugh began his conservative talk show, which is currently airs on more than 600 stations.

  3. Rise of Conservative Media • The end of the Fairness Doctrine coincided with general dissatisfaction with the mainstream media. • Many believed it was elitist and did not reflect their politics or values. • Outlets such as FOX News, headed by former Republican communication consultant Roger Ailes, capitalized on this void. • New stations offered plainspoken reporting and populist appeals to the middle class. Roger Ailes

  4. The Exxon Valdez • The Exxon Valdez spill in March 1989 was the largest ecological disaster in American history. • The supertanker spilled 11 million gallons of oil that covered 470 miles of Alaska coast. • Billions have been spent on the cleanup, but the damage in many places is irreparable.

  5. The Exxon Valdez This image of an oil-covered duck illustrates the impact of the disaster on wildlife. Over 50,000 birds, fish, and animals died. This image shows lingering damage on a beach in 2003, 14 years after the spill.

  6. Iraq Invades Kuwait • Iraq was nearly bankrupt after a war with Iran. • Saddam Hussein saw his oil rich neighbor as the solution to his economic problems. • In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. • Kuwait had virtually no military. • Hussein then annexed Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia.. • Iraqi control of Saudi Arabia would allow Hussein to corner the world oil market. • President George H.W. Bush announced that the invasion “would not stand.”

  7. The Gulf War • In November 1990, the U.N. authorized “all means necessary” to reverse the invasion. • The war began in January 1991. • After a month of intensive bombing, only a minimal ground assault was necessary to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait. • After the war, President Bush said that the U.S. would support the overthrow Hussein. • The Iraqi Shiites rose up but, when no American help materialized, they were crushed by Hussein.

  8. The Fall of the Soviet Union • In August 1991, hard-liners in the Soviet government attempted a coup against the liberal rule of Gorbachev. • Moscow Mayor Boris Yeltsin led a demonstration against the coup. • The leaders of the conspiracy ordered soldiers and tanks into Moscow to arrest Yeltsin, but many soldiers switched sides. • Gorbachev returned from house arrest overshadowed by Yeltsin. • They negotiated a power sharing agreement, with Yeltsin assuming the presidency. • In December 1991, with Yeltsin at the helm, the Soviet Union voted itself out of existence.

  9. Economic Troubles: Recession of 1991 • Despite Bush's foreign success, he was dogged by economic troubles at home. • By 1991, the American economy was in recession. • Personal spending fell dramatically and unemployment rose. • Bush was forced break his campaign pledge not to raise taxes. • By 1992, domestic problems had eroded Bush’s once unapproachable popularity. • He was vulnerable in the upcoming election.

  10. The Los Angeles Riots 1992 • In 1991 Rodney King, a black motorist, was severely beaten by LAPD officers following a traffic stop. • The incident was caught on tape. • The officers were prosecuted acquitted in 1992. • The verdict outraged the African American community. • Lawless elements erupted into violence. • For 3 South Central LA was wracked with rioting • National Guard was deployed to restore calm. • 55 people died, 2300 were injured, and 1100 buildings were burned at a cost of over a billion dollars.

  11. The Election of 1992 • The Election of 1992 was a 3-way race between George H.W. Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton, and independent H. Ross Perot. • Clinton’s candidacy was sunk while pursuing the Democratic nomination by a sex scandal. • In the general election the presence of Perot, an eccentric Texas billionaire, split conservative vote and allowed Clinton a relatively easy victory

  12. Waco • In February 1993, the FBI and ATF, acting on weapons violations and allegations of child abuse, raided the Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas to arrest leader David Koresh. • The heavily armed Davidians fought off the agents, killing 4 and wounding 20. • 51 day siege ensued. In April, agents again raided the compound. • Koresh ordered his followers to burn the compound and commit suicide. • Many believed that the initial raid was an infringement upon the religious liberty of the Branch Davidians.

  13. Health Care Reform, 1993-1994 • President Clinton’s major goal was reform of the healthcare system. • Hillary Rodham Clinton to headed the Task Force on National Healthcare Reform. • In September 1993, President Clinton presented the plan to guarantee coverage for all Americans to Congress. • While the plan was popular with the public, its opponents were able to bog the legislation down. • A year after proposal, Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell pronounced the bill dead.

  14. Republicans Take the House • In 1994 Republicans took the majority House of Representatives for the 1st time in 40 years. • Under Rep. Newt Gingrich, Republicans campaigned on the “Contract with America.” • The Contract nationalized the campaign, turning the election into a referendum on Democratic leadership. • Republicans gained 54 seats. • By the end of 1995 most of the Contract died in the Senate or were vetoed.

  15. The Oklahoma City Bombing • On 19 April 1995, the 2nd anniversary of the Waco raid, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. • McVeigh and Nichols were members of rightist fringe and white supremacy movements. • 168 were killed. • The bomb targeted ATF offices inside the building, but exploded near the facility’s day care, killing 19 children.

  16. The Election of 1996 • In the Election of 1996, President Clinton faced Republican Senator Robert Dole. • Dole survived a bruising primary campaign while Clinton was able to focus his attention on the general election. • Republican hopes were elevated by their control of the House and a minor Clinton fundraising scandal • Clinton won a relatively easy reelection.

  17. Impeachment • In August 1998, Clinton testified that he had not perjured himself in a sexual harassment case by denying a sexual relationship with former intern Monica Lewinsky. • Clinton admitted on TV to having an “improper relationship” with Lewinsky. • In December 1998, the House offered 4 articles of impeachment, 2 of which were accepted. • The impeachment trial began in January 1999. • Neither article garnered a majority. • On his last day in office, Clinton agreed to surrender his law license and pay a $25,000 fine.

  18. Citations Slide 2: Slide 3: Slide 4: Slide 5: Slide 6: Slide 7: Slide 8:, Slide 9: Slide 10: Slide 11: Slide 12: Slide 13: Slide 14: Slide 15: Slide 16: Slide 17: Slide 18: Slide 19: Slide 20: Slide 21: Slide 22: