This section explores the presidential achievements from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to President Barack Obama. However, Kennedy isn't mentioned below, because his administration is discussed in the "Cold War" and "the Civil Rights Movement" sections. This section doesn't go into a lot of detail, but it covers the most important information.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
. Signed the G.I. Bill of Rights which gave veterans that were coming home from war certain benefits.
. Ordered the construction of Leviittowns which were buildings that were built for veterans and their families.
. Signed the Interstate Highway Act in 1956 which declared a highway to be built, and it needs to consist of multi-lane expressways. This helped the increase in the drivers.
. Passed the Eisenhower Doctrine in order to give aid to Middle Eastern countries to prevent them from falling to communism.
Lyndon B. Johnson
. Implemented the Great Society Program that aimed at decreasing poverty, ending discrimination, getting the environment clean, provide jobs, give all Americans health care, and expanded education. The Great Society Program created three programs. The Economic Opportunity Act which created anti-poverty programs, another was the Great Head Start which gave education to underprivileged kids who were in pre-k, and lastly the Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD).
. President during Vietnam War, and got U.S. involved in the war(see more of this in the Vietnam War section).
. Passed Civil Rights Act of 1964 which declared discrimination based on race is illegal.
. Passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 said that no one can be denied the right to vote based on skin color.
. Passed 24th Amendment which banned poll taxes.
. Improved the relationship between the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union using the policy of detente (easing of Cold War tensions).
. Became the first president to visit Moscow, Soviet Union to discuss signing the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks treaty (SALT) during the Cold War. The treaty was a way to limit the use of nuclear weapons, and it eased Cold War tensions.
. Visited communist China and met with leader Mao Zedong in order to talk about peace, but Mao Zedong turned his peace offer down.
. During the Vietnam War, Nixon started a policy called Vietnamization which called for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.
. Signed the War Powers Act in 1973 which limited the president's war-making powers. The act also said that the president must converse with Congress before sending American troops to a foreign country.
. Nixon ordered U.S. troops to be withdrawn out of the Vietnam which was a way to end the Vietnam War.
. Ended war draft.
. Passed the 26th Amendment which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.
. The Watergate Scandal- In 1972, President Nixon sent spies to record the Democratic National Committee(DNC) to see what the Democrats were talking about in Watergate. Once Congress found out that Nixon sent people to spy on the DNC, Congress voted to impeach the president. However, he resigned (left) from office on August 9, 1974 to avoid impeachment. President Richard Nixon became the only president to resign from office.
. Economy was suffering from inflation( increase in prices) when he took office.
. Pardoned Nixon (reason why he isn't well-liked).
Ford pardoned Nixon
. Signed a new treaty with the Soviet Union called SALT II or Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II which reduced the threat of using nuclear weapons.
. Invited Egypt's President Anwar Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menachem to Camp David in order to discuss peace (this is known as the Camp David Accords).
. Energy Crisis occurred, and gas prices increased, and the U.S.'s economy was failing.
. Iranian Hostage Crisis- Before the crisis began, the Shah (Iran's religious leader) came to America in order to seek medical attention. However, many Iranian students were upset because they wanted to end America's influence in Iran. As a result, the students turned to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to rule Iran. After the Shah was done with his treatment, he was afraid to go back to his country. After, Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Iran and held several Americans hostage. The hostages were let go just 444 days after being captured, and when President Ronald Reagan became the next leader.
The Camp David Accords
Iranian Hostage Crisis
. Came up with the policy called Reaganomics which cut taxes, and improved the economy.
. Made more progress in making peace with the Soviet Union when he went to Berlin, Germany, and he dared Mikhail Gorbachev to take the Berlin Wall down by saying "...Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall"!
. The Iran Contra Scandal- During the scandal, a civil war broke out in Nicaragua between the democratic Contras who was backed by America against the communist Sandinistas who was backed by the Soviets. The U.S. government secretly told nuclear weapons to the Contras in order to help them fight against the Sandinistas. The selling of arms however was prohibited by Congress, and as a result several of Reagan's staff were sent to jail.
Created a program called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or "Star Wars" which created weapons that could protect America in space from the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons. The purpose of doing this was to protect America from any nuclear attack, and the program made the Soviets appear to be weaker.
Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall
George H.W. Bush
. The Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989.
. He signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) in 1991 which eased the conflict between Russia, and the U.S.
. Also signed another treaty called the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which limited the use of nuclear weapons.
. Persian Gulf War Occurred.
The Persian Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War was the biggest conflict under the presidency of George H.W. Bush. It was the shortest war that America had ever participated in starting in 1990, and ending in 1991. During the war, the U.S. fought to remove Iraq's troops from Kuwait. On August 2, 1990, Iraq's president Saddam Hussein launched a surprise invasion of Kuwait, because he wanted to take over Kuwait's oil production. He also wanted to have more access to the Persian Gulf. As a result, Bush then sent troops to foreign grounds to remove Iraq's troops from Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf war began.
Causes of the Persian Gulf War
1. Kuwait got accused of stealing oil from Iraqi wells.
2. Iraq wanted to take over Kuwait's oil.
3. Iraq wanted access to the Persian Gulf, and its oil.
4. Iraq considered Kuwait to be a portion of their country.
5. On August 2, 1990, military forces from Iraq invaded Kuwait to take over their oil supply, and president Saddam Hussein was responsible for this attack. President George H.W. Bush reacted by deploying 500,000 American troops in Saudi Arabia, and its surrounding ocean.
The United States vs. Iraq
. Leader: Saddam Hussein
. Country located in the Middle East
The United States
. Leader: George H.W. Bush
. Country located in Western Hemisphere
The U.S. Responds and Results
After Iraq invaded Kuwait, the U.S. launched a campaign called "Operation Desert Storm". The campaign ended with Iraq surrendering 45 days later in 1991. The Gulf War came with many results: Hussein's government stayed in power, Iraq had to allow the U.N. to look and destroy Iraq's nuclear and other weapons that could cause destruction, and Iraq suffered under economic trouble.
. Improved the economy by lowering worker's wages, making goods cheaper to produce, etc.
. Started an agreement called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which lifted trade restrictions between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.
. Osama bin Laden's terrorist group Al-Qaeda came up with plans from their Afghanistan base to perform acts of violence against America. On February 26, 1993, Al-Qaeda who is backed by the Taliban planted a bomb outside the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. The terrorist's goal was to completely demolish the WTC, but this didn't happen. However, there is a common miss conception that all Muslims are bad, but this isn't true, and only Muslim extremists are evil. The World Trade Center's Twin Towers still remained standing until one faithful day in 2001.
. The Kosovo War- During this war, Serbian leaders weren't interested in making peace with America, and instead they launched an attack against Kosovo. This led to the U.S. and N.A.T.O. fighting against the Serbians by launching airstrikes.
. The Monica Lewinsky Affair- The president was caught and charged with having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Congress decided to hold an impeachment trial. However, the House of Representatives voted to impeach him while the Senate fell one vote short. As a result, President Bill Clinton didn't get impeached and, served the rest of his term as president.
Damage done due to the bomb in 1993
President Bill Clinton speaking about his affair with Lewinsky
The Election of 2000
The Election of 2000 was a very important election, because the winner had more electoral votes, and fewer popular votes. Democratic candidate Al Gore and his running mate Joe Lieberman ran against Republican candidate George W. Bush and his running mate Dick Cheney. On Election Day, Florida's votes had to be recounted because the popular vote was a close call. As a result, the Supreme Court ruled that Bush won the popular vote, and the electoral college in Florida. This made him the winner of the election even though he won the electoral college, and Gore won the popular vote.
George W. Bush
. President during September 11, 2001's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
. Created the Department of Homeland Security which protects U.S. citizens from future terrorist attacks. Airport security is now stricter since 9/11 to ensure that the American people don't get hurt by terrorists.
. War in Afghanistan- The U.S. went to war with Afghanistan because of the attacks, and Bush gave the order of finding Osama bin Laden dead or alive. He then called for a military campaign to start called Operation Enduring Freedom which was the start of deploying American troops into Afghanistan. The troops were to shoot any Al- Qaeda member.
. Signed the U.S. Patriot Act which protects America from terrorism, and increases security. (Later in 2011, President Barack Obama watched as the Navy Seals went into Pakistan, and killed Bin-Laden for good!)
. The War in Iraq (2003)- In 1998, Iraq and the United States still had many disagreements after the Gulf War, and UN (United Nations) personal were required to look and destroy any nuclear weapons that would be a threat to the Unites States. However, Iraq ended its membership in the UN and America launched a bombing campaign known as "Operation Desert Fox". The campaign's goal was to completely destroy the nuclear weapons in Iraq. Later in 1999, the UN ordered for weapon inspection to continue, but Iraq wouldn't let the U.N. do that. After 9/11, Bush declared a war on terrorism as well as Iraq. The War in Iraq was a war when the U.S. and Iraq were fighting in order to get all weapons out of Iraq, and to establish a democracy there. However, Hussein and the UN eventually agreed to keep the weapon inspections going. Bush found out that Iraq was hiding weapons even though they made an agreement with the UN. As a result, America gave Hussein a final warning to give up power, and leave Iraq. If not, then military action would be sent to Iraq. However, Hussein refused, and built an army up to prepare for war. The U.S. then began a campaign called "Operation Iraqi Freedom" which ended with Hussein leaving power. He was captured and tried in an Iraqi court. Hussein was then executed by the new Iraqi government, but U.S. troops remained there to control the violence and terrorism. During the next several years, America finished taking or withdrawing troops out in December of 2011 to go back to the U.S.
The Twin Towers in NYC
War in Afghanistan
War in Iraq
. Won the 2008 election against Republican John McCain.
. Created the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in order to improve healthcare.
. Helped end the Great Recession of 2008- Obama signed the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act in order to try to fix the economy by corporate tax cuts, increased domestic spending, and increased social welfare.
. Eliminated Osama bin Laden- On May 1, 2011 Navy SEALs went into bin Laden's complex in Pakistan, and killed him.
. Withdrew troops out of Iraq which ended the Iraq war.
. Increased U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
. The Iran Nuclear Deal- Obama and Iran signed a nuclear peace agreement treaty.
. Increased drone attacks on terrorists like ISIS.
. Won the election against Republican Mitt Romney in 2012
. Boston Marathon Bombings- Two terrorists who were brothers planned to kill thousands of people by planting bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
. Passed a law in 2015 declaring same-sex marriage legal across all 50 states.
The Situation Room during the time when Navy SEALs entered bin Laden's complex, and killed him.
Same-Sex Marriage Ruling