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Conservative Agenda to the Clinton Era, 1975-2000
Overview, Key Understandings & Questions

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Historical events can shape political institutions
  • Legislative policy changes are often a result of events that led to demands for change
  • A nation's economic policy is tied closely to its foreign policy
  • Popular sentiments often change from left to right and can be represented on a pendulum
  • Conflicts resolution is not always intentional, conflicts can resolve naturally and over time
  • A nation's foreign policy actions have legacies that impact future foreign policy
  • A democratic nation's social and cultural norms and practices are likely to change

Key Questions

Redefining the Presidency

  • What was the War Powers Act? Why did Congress authorize this action? Was the Act justified?
  • Why did Congress pass the War Powers Resolution?
  • Why did Congress pass the Federal Election Campaign Act? What other measures has Congress taken to reform campaign finance? How successful do you think Congress has been in reforming campaign finance?
  • What was the Freedom of Information Act of 1966? Why was it important to the Watergate investigation?
  • Summarize the factors and events that led to a new political skepticism among the American people. Do you feel that public trust in politicians is better or worse today compared to the Watergate era?

Focus on the Environment

  • What were some of the main events that led to an increase in concern for the environment?
  • What actions did environmental activists take to have their concerns heard?
  • How did the government respond to the environmental concerns of this time period?
  • In what ways has the federal government responded to new environmental threats since the 1960s, and do you think it has been enough? Why or why not?

Oil and Foreign Policy

  • What were the reasons behind the formation of OPEC? Do you think their reasons for increasing prices and decreasing supplies during the 1970s were justified?
  • What do you think of the American response to the energy crisis of the 1970s? How do you think Americans would react to having to wait in hours-long lines to buy gasoline?
  • Why do you think the United States took such a hard line toward Iran in 1979? Do you think there was any way that this could have improved the already severe energy crisis?

The New Conservatives

  • President Ronald Reagan's economic policy, also known as Reaganomics, was based on supply-side economic policy. What is the intention behind supply-side economic policy? What were some of the effects of Reagan's supply-side economic policy?
  • What cuts did Reagan make to social welfare and entitlement programs? Do you think those cuts were justified? Why or why not?
  • What was the Strategic Defense Initiative? How did the Strategic Defense Initiative impact the Cold War?
  • What was the Iran Contra Scandal? How did the Iran Contra Scandal impact Reagan's administration?

The End of the Cold War

  • What was President Ronald Reagan's foreign policy towards the Soviet Union?
  • What changes did Mikhail Gorbachev institute in the Soviet Union in the early 1980s?
  • Which factor do you think was the most responsible for ending the Cold War, Gorbachev's policy changes within the USSR or Reagan's foreign policy? Explain.
  • What happened in 1989 that led to the end of the USSR?

The War in the Gulf

  • What were Saddam Hussein's goals as Iraq's leader? What actions did he take to achieve his goals? How successful was Hussein in achieving his goals?
  • What action did Hussein take towards Kuwait? How did the international community respond to these actions?
  • What were Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Sabre?
  • Some people argue that Hussein should have been taken out during the Iraq War. Do you agree or disagree with President Bush's decision to not increase U.S. involvement in the conflict by taking out Hussein?
  • How did the Gulf War affect soldiers?

The Clinton Years

  • What were President Bill Clinton's early economic policy plans? How successful was the economy under Clinton? Do you think his success was a result of his policies?
  • What was Clinton's healthcare plan? What challenges did he encounter to his plans?
  • What was Newt Gingrich's Contract with America? How successful was he in creating public support for his plan and opposition to Clinton's policies?
  • Describe the events in the Balkans in the mid 1990s. How did Clinton and the international community respond to these events?
  • How did Clinton's policies and political leanings change upon his reelection?

Impeaching the President

  • What was the Whitewater real estate investment deal? How did this event lead to the investigation of President Bill Clinton and eventual impeachment charges?
  • How did the American people respond to Clinton's impeachment? Why do you think they responded the way they did?
  • What were the results of Clinton's impeachment trial? Do you think Congress made the appropriate decision? Why or why not?

America on the Move

  • What changes did America's economy and work force face during the late-20th century?
  • How have the cities of the United States changed since the 20th century?
  • What are the effects of the global economy on the U.S. economy and work force? What are the risks and benefits of participation in a global economy?
  • How have the changes to a global economy impacted American workers? Do you think it is easier or more difficult to obtain a job in today's economy?
  • What is the sun belt? Why was there an increase in the sun belt's population?

MLA Citation

"Conservative Agenda to the Clinton Era, 1975-2000." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2143619. Accessed 20 Feb. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2143619

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