Following are the main points of A Bridge to 21st century taken from US History Book by State Department.
Table of Contents
THE 1992 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
President George Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle easily won re-nomination by the Republican Party. On the Democratic side, Bill Clinton, governor of Arkansas, defeated a crowded field of candidates to win his party’s nomination. As his vice presidential nominee, he selected Senator Al Gore of Tennessee.
In 1992 Elections wealthy Texas entrepreneur H. Ross Perot, would be the most successful third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912.
The Bush re-election effort was built around a set of ideas traditionally used by incumbents: experience and trust. George Bush, 68, the last of a line of presidents who had served in World War II, faced a young challenger in Bill Clinton who, at age 46, had never served in the military and had participated in protests against the Vietnam War. In emphasizing his experience as president and commander-in-chief, Bush drew attention to Clinton’s inexperience at the national level.
On November 3, Clinton won election as the 42nd president of the United States, with 43 percent of the popular vote against 37 percent for Bush and 19 percent for Perot.
Clinton proposed a number of programs that earned him the label “New Democrat.”
LAUNCHING A NEW DOMESTIC POLICY
President Clinton was more successful on another matter with great repercussions for the domestic economy. The previous president, George Bush, had negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to establish fully open trade between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Key Democratic constituencies opposed the agreement.
Clinton administration not only submitted NAFTA to the Senate, it also backed the establishment of a greatly liberalized international trading system to be administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO). After a vigorous debate, Congress approved NAFTA in 1993. It would approve membership in the WTO a year later.
Clinton himself was already beleaguered with charges of past financial impropriety in an Arkansas real estate project and new claims of sexual impropriety.
In November 1994 congressional elections, the voters gave the Republicans control of both houses of Congress for the first time since the election of 1952.
THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IN THE 1990s
By the mid-1990s, the country had not simply recovered from the brief, but sharp, recession of the Bush presidency.
Probably the major force behind this new growth was the blossoming of the personal computer (PC).
The rise of the Internet, which grew out of a previously closed defense data network, provided access to information of all sorts, created new shopping opportunities, and established e-mail as a common mode of communication. The popularity of the mobile phone created a huge new industry that cross-fertilized with the PC.
Fledgling industries that fed demand for the new equipment became multi-billion-dollar companies almost overnight, creating an enormous new middle class of software technicians, managers, marketers, and publicists.
These developments began to take shape during Clinton’s first term. By the end of his second one they were fueling a surging economy. When he had been elected president, unemployment was at 7.4 percent. When he stood for re-election in 1996, it was at 5.4 percent. When voters went to the polls to choose his successor in November 2000, it was 3.9 percent.
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