President George HW Bush’s reign coincided with the end of the Cold War and economic recession in the United States, a country located in North America listed on computerannals.
The 1988 elections
At the 1988 presidential election, Reagan’s Vice President George HW Bush from Texas posed as Republican candidate and Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis as the Democrat’s challenger. Bush clearly won by 53.3 percent (48.9 million votes), against Dukakis’ 45.7 (41.8 million). Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana became vice president.
Bush was a seasoned politician with a past congressional representative for Texas, UN ambassador, chairman of the Republican Party organization, envoy to China and head of the CIA. As Vice President of Reagan, he had also strengthened his position among Christian conservative Republicans who preferred Reagan when Bush sought to become presidential candidate in 1980.
In the election campaign, Bush emphasized a hard line in criminal and drug policy while promising to make the United States a “kinder, warmer society” and saw himself as “education president.”
Opposition candidate Dukakis failed to shake off many voters’ portrayal of him as an East Coast politician far to the left of the center of American politics, and he was rumored to be indulgent in violence and crime issues. This was due, among other things, to a series of Republican TV commercials that contributed to the 1988 election campaign being particularly remorseful as “dirty”.
New role in the world
With the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States under President Bush remained the world’s only superpower. The new role in the world community was made clear during the Gulf War in 1990-1991. Bush also ordered the invasion of Panama in December 1989, where the United States believed, among other things, that the country’s dictator, General Manuel Noriega, facilitated drug trafficking.
The US-USSR relationship was far from hassle-free despite better relations during Reagan’s last presidential term, but new east-west negotiations ensured a steady improvement in the cooperation climate between the two former rival superpowers. This was also due to the fact that a number of Eastern European peripheral states declared themselves independent, non-communist states in 1989–1990 without intervention by the Soviet Union. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 became a dramatic expression of the new age. Even when the Soviet Union in 1991 was transformed into a commonwealth of independent states with Russia as the dominant nation, the United States maintained a friendly relationship with the new states.
In 1991 , Bush and Gorbachev signed agreements that included, among other things, methods for verifying nuclear weapons tests and reducing the arsenals of chemical weapons. By then, the summits between the US and Soviet president had become so frictionless that they were no longer the center of world attention in the same way as before.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the United States responded by building up a larger defense force in Saudi Arabia. In this conflict, Bush and Gorbachev acted as allies. After the UN Security Council approved the use of force to force Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991, the US contingent of 300,000 nuclear constituted an international force in the area. The force won a fast and superior military victory over Iraq in the spring of 1991.
Recession times and riots
Economic growth in the United States began to decline in 1989, and for 1990-1991 it was a negative period. Unemployment rose rapidly in 1991 and did not decline until 1993. Many worried that the United States was losing ground in the globalized world economy, and Japan with its electronics and automotive industries appeared to many as the biggest threat.
The huge budget deficits in 1990 led to Bush and Congress entering into a settlement that meant significant tax increases. For Bush, this was particularly difficult to accept, since in the 1988 election campaign he had promised “no new taxes” and had since repeated that promise.
By the late 1980s, the rise of Wall Street was also over. A number of business executives were exposed to insider trading and other forms of financial crime.
The “war on drugs” that Bush had talked about in the election campaign illustrated big, unresolved problems in big cities in disrepair. The middle class had moved out of urban centers to suburbs for decades, so gang crime, rising poverty and social distress were to dominate parts of many American cities. In the northeast of the country, decades of industrial workplaces, since the 1970s, had been relocated south or west in the United States, or simply closed down, in large numbers. With the economic downturn, these problems became clearer.
Widespread riots occurred among minority groups, especially African-Americans, in Los Angeles and other major cities in the spring of 1992 after a group of white policemen filmed while beating up black American Rodney King was acquitted. The violence, which left 55 killed, 2,300 injured and $ 1 billion in material damage, was understood as a symptom of society’s inability to improve the economic and social conditions of African-Americans following the civil rights progress of the 1960s.