Politics and Major Events of the 1990s

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Published on January 28, 2008

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Politics and Major Events of the 1990s:  Politics and Major Events of the 1990s Rise of Conservative Media :  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. Rise of Conservative Media:  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 The Election of 1988 :  The Election of 1988 The Election of 1988 pitted Vice President George H.W. Bush against Michael Dukakis. Bush’s campaign presented itself as the inheritor of the Reagan legacy. Dukakis held an early lead, but the Bush campaign claimed that he was weak on defense and crime. Dukakis tried to counter this image by riding in a tank. This backfired when his helmet made him appear cartoonish. The Election of 1988:  The Election of 1988 This cartoon addresses each candidate's unwillingness to address the country's economic problems. The Election of 1988:  The Election of 1988 On election night, Bush won decisively, meaning four more years of Republican rule. The Exxon Valdez:  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. The Exxon Valdez:  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. Fall of the Berlin Wall :  Fall of the Berlin Wall After WWII, Berlin was divided between the 4 occupying powers. The English, French, and American sections were combined to form West Berlin while the Soviet section became known as East Berlin. In 1961, the Soviets erected the Berlin Wall to separate their section from the remainder of the city. 246 people were killed by East German police while attempting to escape to the West. Fall of the Berlin Wall:  Fall of the Berlin Wall In May 1989, Communist Hungary opened its border to Austria. Thousands of East Germans used this route to escape. Closing off access would have strained East German resources. The government opened the Wall in November 1989. Residents of Berlin poured on to the streets in a spontaneous celebration. The communist regime in East Germany soon fell. In October 1990, East and West Germany reunited. Iraq Invades Kuwait:  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.” The Gulf War:  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. The Fall of the Soviet Union:  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. Economic Troubles: Recession of 1991:  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. The Los Angeles Riots 1992:  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. The Election of 1992:  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 Waco:  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. Health Care Reform, 1993-1994:  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. Republicans Take the House :  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. The Oklahoma City Bombing:  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. The Election of 1996:  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. Impeachment :  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. Slide24:  Citations Slide 2: http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/26/rush_limbaugh/story.jpg Slide 3: http://newsbusters.org/media/ailes_roger.jpg Slide 4: http://www.cripplecreekhistory.com/images/dukakis.jpg Slide 5: http://www.wku.edu/Library/onlinexh/sanders/cartoons/periscope/bush_dukakis_jackson.jpg Slide 6: http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/elections/maps/1988ec.gif Slide 7: http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/uu21le/uu21le0c.jpg Slide 8: http://whyfiles.org/168oil_spill/images/valdez_duck.jpg, http://www.csuchico.edu/pub/inside/archive/04_02_05/photos/2003_Beach.jpg Slide 9: http://www.pohl-projekt.de/G_M_D/G_MD008b.jpg Slide 10: http://www.remote.org/frederik/culture/berlin/7314-3252-4641-img0013-2.jpg Slide 11: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9711/04/iraq.us.history/iraq.kuwait.bahrain.saudi.jpg Slide 12: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/100best/images/storyD_main.jpg Slide 13: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/europe/2001/collapse_of_ussr/photofile/4.stm Slide 14: http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/USPics40/92540.jpg Slide 15: http://www.kang.org/images/wEdSungLee.jpg Slide 16: http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/elections/maps/1992ec.gif Slide 17: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/ciag/images/wacofire.jpg Slide 18: http://clinton1.nara.gov/White_House/Family/images/raw/bill-hillary-inside.gif Slide 19: http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/USPics40/gingrich.jpg Slide 20: http://www.jfsc.ndu.edu/images/hlspc/okalahoma.gif Slide 21: http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/elections/maps/1996ec.gif Slide 22: http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1790000/images/_1794824_bush_yeltsin.jpg

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