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Notice: You are currently previewing Unit 15: Facing a New Millennium

Timeline
Unit Overview

As the United States entered the next millennium, they faced a number of challenges both at home and abroad. The Middle East became a center of turmoil and unrest. It was the home of terrorist groups that launched unthinkable attacks against the United States, and dictators under an increasing risk of being overthrown. The United States quickly adopted a central role in the Middle East in rooting out terrorists and spreading democracy. The costs in both wealth and life, however, would not remain popular for long.

At home the nation was presented with both opportunities and challenges. Questionable economic policies led to a recession that threatened the American economy and employment. As the economy slowed, unemployment rates rose, and concern over the national debt grew, the nation elected its first mixed-race, African American President, who filled the American people with hope.

9-11

In 2001, the Muslim terrorist group Al-Qaeda hijacked four American airliners. Two planes left Logan Airport in Boston and were flown directly into the two World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan, destroying both buildings and killing thousands of people. Another plane left Dulles Airport in northern Virginia and was slammed into the Pentagon, killing over two hundred people. A fourth plane left Newark’s Liberty Airport and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania when the passengers resisted the hijackers and forced the plane down. The terrorists intended to hit either the White House or the United States Capitol Building. The heroes of the Newark plane probably saved hundreds or even thousands of lives. A1-Qaeda intended to show the world that they could easily attack and destroy the centers of American economic, military, and political power. 

War in Afghanistan

In response to the 9-11attack, the United States turned its attention to Afghanistan, a nation home to Al-Qaeda training bases. President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban government turn Al-Qaeda members, including their leader, Osama bin Laden, over to American authorities. If they did not, the United States announced that they would immediately launch an invasion of the landlocked country. When the uncooperative Taliban rejected the American demands, American troops toppled the Taliban government. Within a few months they defeated the remnant Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces at Tora Bora. Although the Americans crippled Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and killed their number three man, Mohammed Atef, they were not able to kill or capture Osama bin Laden. The most wanted man in the world proved an elusive target. He slipped into neighboring Pakistan, where he lived in hiding for nearly ten years. In the meantime, American forces settled in for a long campaign to stabilize Afghanistan and capture Al-Qaeda leaders.

War in Iraq

In 2003, the United States extended its attention to Iraq and its dictator, Saddam Hussein. It had become apparent that Hussein had violated sixteen United Nations resolutions that had ended the Persian Gulf War. In addition, he would not provide United Nation inspectors unfettered access to various military sites. The American government also feared that Hussein still had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Years earlier, following his unsuccessful invasion of Kuwait, Hussein had used poisonous gas (WMDs) to kill thousands of his own Kurdish citizens at the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988. Officials believed that, if he had them, Hussein would use WMDs again. The American, along with British, French, Israeli, and Russian intelligence agencies all reported that Hussein did possess WMDs. Also, there were no records what had happened to the weapons in Saddam’s possession, according to United Nations inspectors. In addition, Saddam was paying $25,000 to the families of Palestinian terrorists who blew themselves up at Israeli gatherings, and he was rounding up, torturing, and killing fellow Iraqis who he suspected of dissent.

In the wake of the surprise attacks on 9-11, the Bush Administration did not want to risk Hussein giving weapons (especially WMDs) to terrorists who could target the United States or its allies. President Bush ordered Saddam to surrender or to go into exile. Confidently, the Iraq dictator refused. The United States then formed a coalition of thirty-nine other nations and launched an invasion of Iraq. Coalition forces quickly toppled the secular Ba’athist government. They were unable to find evidence of nuclear weapons, but they did find many small sites that contained evidence of chemical weapons. Unfortunately, they could not find where the reported Iraq stockpiles had gone, or if their existence had just been a fabrication of the Iraqis. 

Nation Building

After the Americans and the coalition had defeated the Ba’athists, the United States took on the responsibility of restoring and maintaining order in Iraq. The United States next entered into a nation-building phase of the occupation that left American and coalition forces vulnerable to sectarian and Moslem jihadist attacks. Without Hussein’s iron-fisted rule, the nation broke down into civil war between rival factions. The north was populated Kurdish Sunni Moslems. Sunni Moslem Arabs, who had dominated the Ba’athist regime, populated the center portion of Iraq. Arab Shia Moslems occupied the south. Both the Kurds and the Shia had suffered greatly under the brutal Ba’athist regime. Along with the internecine hostilities among the Iraqi factions, Al-Qaeda and Iranian backed-Shia insurgents often attacked innocent Iraqis to intimidate them. Even with Saddam Hussein’s capture and eventual execution, the war in Iraq proved long, difficult, and unpopular with a growing segment of Americans, especially the American media. Dissident groups in America believed that the Bush administration had lied about WMDs and often cried that the United States was in Iraq just to steal the oil. 

Ironically, the Iraqis never paid the United States for their liberation or for any of the rebuilding efforts. Also, the United States and the United Kingdom never took any Iraqi oil. The French and Russians, however, who both strongly objected to the American invasion and occupation, did have large interests in Iraqi oil, through the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food program, prior to the American invasion. The United Nations’ Oil-for-Food program, originally created as a means of providing humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people, was corrupted by Saddam Hussein to help prop up the Iraqi dictator. Prior to the war, he was able to steal an estimated $10 billion from the Oil-for-Food program. The stolen oil had greatly benefitted both the French and Russians.

Elections & the Surge

By 2005, braving terrorists’ threats and intimidation, the Iraqis were able to participate in their first free elections in over 50 years. In the United States, the war steadily lost popularity. At its low-point in 2007, the Bush Administration ordered a troop surge to take control hostile areas of Iraq, stabilize its government, and train the Iraqi troops, in preparation to turn control of Iraq to a duly elected Iraqi government

Many Iraqi tribesmen were hesitant to believe that the United States was committed to helping Iraq stabilize over the long term. Concerned Iraqis cited American forces withdrawing from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Somalia, leaving them to the designs of their enemies. Some wondered if an alliance with Al-Qaeda insurgents might be better for them down the road. To reassure the Iraqi people of American resolve to stay, American General David Petraeus sent troops to encourage tribes to support the United States in the surge.

The tribesmen trusted Petraeus and supported the coalition troops. The surge was considered a rousing success by most observers, and Al-Qaeda influence greatly waned, at least for the time being. In addition, by the time Bush left office in 2009, there had been no additional terrorist attacks on American soil since 9-11. Still, Bush was not without criticism. Afghanistan had not been completely subdued, and Osama bin Laden remained on the run.

Globalization

The early 21st century was also a time of economic change, as “Globalization” swept the world economy. Seeking to open trade between countries that had restricted imported products from competing with their domestic producers, globalization encouraged free trade. Foreign markets had easier access to American products, while cheaper foreign products flooded American stores. This lowered prices for consumers, and raised the standard of living for millions of people in the third world. While in dynamic free market systems certain jobs were lost or rendered obsolete through mechanization, the number of available high-skilled and better paying jobs increased. Contrary to the often heard narrative, the United States remained the largest manufacturing nation on Earth, with 14% more output than China in 2009. American businesses produced almost as much ($2,334 billion) as Japan, Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined ($2,762 billion). 

Some American companies began to relocate their factories to developing countries. Here, they could produce cheaper items where wages and benefits cost less and where safety and anti-pollution rules were less strict. In previously poor countries, including China and India, this created rapid prosperity and better working conditions for millions of people. Still, roughly 80% of American private investments went to the richer countries in Western Europe, along with Canada and Japan.  Less than 20% of investments went to the developing world. Ironically, after predictions of continued growth for emerging economies, by 2012 the economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) all slowed to below expectations.

Economic Growth and Decline

The United States economy had a strong performance in 2006. Data show that the Gross National Product (GNP) grew 3.4 percent despite higher interest rates, high oil prices, and the sharpest housing downturn in 15 years, as the housing bubble began to crack. The Commerce Department reported that economic growth was even better than the previous year, up from the 3.2 percent growth. The following year in 2007; though, fears of a recession began to take hold. The economy only grew by 2% and then by 1.1% the following year. In 2009 the GNP actually contracted by -2.6%, despite a stimulus package of $825 billion poured into the economy. The GNP rebounded a bit in 2010 and grew by 2.8%, but slipped to only 1.7% growth in 2011. In 2012, the GNP continued to show anemic growth, well under 2%, in what became the weakest economic recovery on record. The recession only lasted until September 2009, but high unemployment continued and weak economic growth became the new norm up until 2013. The unemployment rate went from 4.6% in January 2007 to 5.8% the following year, and then to over 9%, sometimes reaching over 10% for the next two years. Unemployment stabilized around 8% for 2012, though this was still extremely high if the economy was to improve. In addition, by 2012, the United States had accumulated a debt of over $16 trillion, along with an unfunded entitlement debt of well over $100 trillion to tackle. Weak economic growth, high unemployment, and massive debt were the economic challenges for the United States government to tackle after the 2012 elections.

2008 Bust

The stock market crashed in 2008 and nearly sent many investment banks into collapse. The source of the collapse was the bursting housing bubble. In 1999, pending legislation was written to permit banks to sell investment securities. The White House urged that banks given unsatisfactory ratings under the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) be prohibited from selling investment securities. The banks make a Faustian trade-off to be able to sell securities. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pressured the semi-governmental Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to increase purchases of mortgages of people with low income. Various community organizations, such as ACORN, picketed banks and bankers’ homes, and threatened to close the banks down.

In 2002 George W. Bush urged Congress to pass the American Dream Down Payment Act. In essence, this authorized the government to subsidize down payments. Bush urged legislation to have Federal Housing Authority to approve mortgages with $0 down payments, (down from 3%). In 2004 Federal Housing Commissioner John Weicher said, “The White House doesn’t think it’s fair that people who can afford monthly payments need down payments.” Lowering the mandatory down payment to $0 allowed people to buy homes without putting any “skin in the game,” making it very easy from them to walk away from mortgages if interest rates went up. Back in 2001, 57% of all mortgages were the traditional 30-year fixed mortgage. By 2006, only 33% of all mortgages were fixed. Most mortgages had adjustable rates, and when interest rates were adjusted up, mortgage payments went up. People who had not put much money into the house could more easily walk away from a loan.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are two “government-sponsored enterprises” ended up with a lot of these adjustable mortgages. Freddie and Fannie are responsible to stockholders, but they are quasi-governmental. They were created by the federal government, so institutions lend to them at a lower rate than they do to private institutions. They assume that the federal government will guarantee the loans. Freddie’s and Fannie’s profits are privatized. Their risks are socialized!

During the early 21st century, the government also encouraged subprime loans to those with credit scores less than 620, a loan-to-value higher than 90% and a debt-to-income ratio higher than 45%, along with stated income loans (no verification of employments. Between 2005 and 2007 Freddie and Fannie acquired $1 trillion of these subprime loans (40% of the value of all mortgages). The government called this the “underserved population.” Freddie and Fannie were not only acquiring risky loans, they were pushing for more. Government regulations also forced lenders to meet arbitrary quotas, eroding traditional mortgages and lending safeguards. The traditional market criteria demanded adequate income, a substantial down payment, and good credit histories. These criteria were brushed aside for “Affordable Housing” and bigger homeownership stats. The Bush administration wanted an “owner economy.”

When people began to warn of an impending crash, Barney Frank, the 2007 Chair of the House Committee on Finance said “I would like to get Fannie and Freddie more deeply involved into helping low-income housing and possibly moving into something that is more explicitly a subsidy.” Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Christopher Dodd, agreed. He urged caution in restricting Freddie’s and Fannie’s activities and “doing great damage to what has been one of the great engines of the economic success in the last 30 to 40 years.”

To add to the multitude of risky loans, accounting errors of $11 Billion had been discovered by Freddie and Fannie in 2007. Despite the large loss, advocates still defended Freddie and Fannie, and it seemed that politics ruled over economics and basic finance. Unfortunately, by the late 2000s, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in fear of inflation. Interest rates went from 1% in 2004 to 5.25% in 2006. Housing prices began to fall fast, especially in areas with the most risky loans. Speculators were caught owing too much on too many houses. Lenders began to foreclose in risky areas of strict housing restrictions. Foreclosures in San Francisco and San Mateo doubled. There was an eight hundred percent increase of deeds going to the lenders. Banks lost $40,000 on each home. Prices continued to fall in high risk areas: 46.8% in the Bay area, 27% in San Diego, 28% in Los Angeles, 31% in Miami, 32% in Las Vegas, 33% in Phoenix. Of the 25 geographic areas of steepest declines, sixteen were in California. 

The national decline, surprisingly, was only between 2% and 9%. There was only a 5% decline or less in more than 50 metro areas of the country, and Dallas, Texas experienced only 3% decline. In 20 metro areas, with little housing restrictions, the prices were still rising. In Houston and Dallas housing only took 13% of a family’s income. Buyers didn’t have to go out on a limb. In California, however, people had to spend half (50%) of their income on housing. Seven of the top ten most expensive housing areas were in California. Ironically, Houston and Dallas have family incomes above the national average. California, on the other hand, has family incomes below the national average. It was as if a lot of small housing bubbles bursting, not a national phenomenon that broke the banks.

Why the Crash

Freddie and Fannie, along with Wall Street bought mortgages at inflated prices. They then bundled the risky mortgages into securities and sold them, based on the inflated values of mortgages (the houses) across the country and overseas. Subprime mortgages were a new phenomenon. There was no history to draw from. Credit agencies had little experience with subprimes and gave them high rating of A+. Investment bankers shopped the securities for the best rate. As thousands foreclosed, the value of the securities crumbled. Investment banks quickly lost equity and their capital dried up. The banks could not get credit. Without credit, they began to creak, crack, and crumble.

Mark to Market

To exasperate the problem, in response to the earlier Enron bankruptcy, new government regulations called for an accounting practice that accounts for the value of an asset or liability based on the current market value of the asset or liability. It does not allow the asset a chance to recover or vary over time. Banks can go bust immediately. They had to list sound mortgages (90%) on the balance sheet as worthless during a panic. This caused them to show insolvency or near insolvency on the balance sheet. Creditors cut them off, and the banks lost liquidity. The stock prices crashed. Unfortunately, with 90% of solid mortgages paying on time, the giants still crumbled. Lehman Brothers went under. AIG, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns all needed a government bailout. Sadly, with historical cost accounting, instead of the new Mark to Market regulation, they would have ALL survived. There would not have been the major stock market crash of 2008.

Elections

Primarily due to war weariness and the unpopularity of both wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, Americans voted overwhelmingly to replace the Republicans in both houses of Congress in 2006. For the first time since 1994, the Democrats held the House and they elected Nancy Pelosi, to be Speaker of the House. She is both the first woman and first Italian-American Speaker in the nation’s history. After two years of gridlock, rising unemployment, and the stock market crash, the Democratic Houses and President Bush finally worked together to bailout the financial institutions. Other industries also got in line for Federal money. General Motors and Chrysler were on the verge of collapse, and they received $17.4 billion dollars in bailout money from the Bush Administration. Since the collapse occurred during the presidential election of 2008, Republican candidate, John McCain held little hope of defeating the Democratic ticket headed by Barack Obama. Obama was elected President in November and the Democrats held the Presidency and both Houses of Congress for the first time since 1994. President Obama’s election made history as he was the first mixed-race, African American to be elected President of the United States.

Obama Tackles the Crisis

After an enormous inauguration ceremony that had a large majority of Americans excited about the hope and change the new president had promised, President Obama had to get to work tackling the financial crisis. He signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law on February 17. The Act authorized the government to spend $831 billion to stem rising unemployment and the failing economy. The rationale for the ARRA stimulus bill was from Keynesian macroeconomic theory. Keynesians argue that during recessions the government should offset the decline in private spending with an increase in public spending. What became known as the Great Recession ended in September 2009, but the economy only grew at a snail’s pace. In addition, the stimulus was slow to alleviate unemployment. It was supposed to bring the unemployment rate under 8%. Instead, the rate remained above 10% until finally falling below 8% in October 2012.

Al-Qaeda Attacks Again

On June 1, 2009, Abdulhakim Muhammed, a convert to Islam from Memphis, Tennessee, shot two American soldiers outside a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas. One soldier died and the other was wounded. Muhammed claimed ties to Al-Qaeda, and called the shooting a jihadist attack “to fight those who wage war on Islam and Muslims.” This was the first successful jihadist terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001.

On November 5, 2009, United States Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, serving as a psychiatrist, went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood Army base in Killen, Texas. He killed 13 people and wounded 29 others. He was shot by MPs, taken into custody by Department of the Army Civilian Police officers, and is now paralyzed from the waist down. Hasan is an American of Palestinian heritage. He had sought religious advice from the American-born and Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader in the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. While shooting American soldiers, Hasan repeatedly yelled “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”). After the shooting, Awlaki proclaimed Hasan a hero for Islam. The Fort Hood massacre was the largest Al-Qaeda terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001. Awlaki was later killed by an American drone attack on his home while living in Yeman.

On the 11th anniversary of September 11, 2001 a heavily armed terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaeda launched an attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The attack began at night in a diplomatic compound for the consulate, which is considered American territory. It ended early the next day at another diplomatic compound near the post of United States intelligence. Several Americans were killed, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Stevens was the first American ambassador killed in over 30 years. Two other Americans and seven Libyans were also injured. Initially, the assault was reported by the Obama Administration as a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video that had insulted the Prophet Mohammad. Critics contended that the Administration did not call the incident a terrorist attack to prevent controversy from tainting the President’s 2012 reelection campaign. After the election, a House and a Senate investigation into whether the Administration or any government agency had misled the public followed.

Midterm Elections

In 2010 the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2007. Republicans were able to win 63 seats. This was the biggest victory by an out of power party since the Republican victories in the election of 1938, during the Franklin Roosevelt Presidency. It was also the Grand Old Party’s (GOP) largest majority in the House since 1946. Many attributed the victory to the mobilization of a grassroots movement known as the Tea Party, who championed small government and had fervently fought against President Obama’s healthcare legislation, “Obamacare.” 

The Democrats were able to keep their majority in the Senate, but the Republicans did pick up six seats. Many blamed the Tea Party for costing the GOP a majority in the Senate because Tea Party candidates had defeated stronger Republican candidates in the primaries. Weaker Republican candidates lost in races a stronger candidate could have likely won, such as Delaware and Nevada.

On the Warfront

With the Taliban defeated, President Obama ordered a troop surge in Afghanistan in 2009 to stabilize the nation. His goal was to pull troops from the country by 2014. In addition, he again made the capture of Osama bin Laden a high priority. On May 2, 2011 Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, also known as SEAL Team Six. Osama bin Laden had been hiding in a Pakistan military compound. Once the SEALs had killed him and retrieved the terrorist leader’s remains, they took the body to an aircraft carrier at sea. Osama bin Laden’s body was dumped in the Persian Gulf after a Moslem funeral service on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. 

President Obama also looked to end American operations in Iraq. He ordered all United States troops to withdraw from Iraqi territory no later than December 18, 2011. All American military forces had been mandated to withdraw from Iraqi territory by December 31, 2011 under the terms of a bilateral agreement between the United States and Iraq signed by President Bush in 2008. While President Obama honored the Bush agreement to withdraw American troops from Iraq, he failed to fulfill his predecessor’s promise to leave behind a noncombat contingent of troops. According to the arrangement with Bush, this contingent was to remain to train Iraqi forces and prevent Iranian infiltration. Vice President Joe Biden was unable to conclude the deal to keep advisers in Iraq, resulting in a complete U.S. withdrawal from Iraq – one that left the country vulnerable to renewed terrorism and to the maneuverings of the Iranian regime.

Muslim Revolts, Rebellions, and Usurpations

In June 2009, further unrest erupted in the Middle East, as Iranians took to the street to protest the reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many claimed that his landslide reelection had been rigged. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the unprecedented voter turnout a “divine assessment” and asked the nation to unite. He did finally order an investigation into the claims of voting fraud and irregularities made by the “Green” movement leaders. Iranian troops had arrested and even killed protesters as the regime cracked down on dissent. President Obama said that he was, “deeply troubled by the violence that I've been seeing on television. I think that the democratic process – free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent – all those are universal values and need to be respected.” Nevertheless, many in America and Iran had looked to the President for stronger overt public support and even covert financial and intelligence support and encouragement. 

Later, in the Arab world December 2010 marked the beginning of the Arab Spring, a series of uprisings that resulted in the removal of several rulers. In Tunisia, on December 18, protesters overthrew Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. They forced Ben Ali into exile in Saudi Arabia. The following month, King Abdullah II of Jordan and the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said Al Said; both dismissed their governments to placate protesters. Meanwhile, protesters in Yemen overthrew of Ali Abdullah Saleh after two years of protests; Saleh was granted immunity from prosecution in order to make the transfer of power somewhat peaceful. On February 11, 2011 the powerful Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, resigned from his presidency and transferred his power to the Egyptian military. Egypt was able to have democratic elections, but the majority elected Mohamed Morsi, a member of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. After helping to broker a ceasefire between the nation of Israel and Hamas (the Palestinian political party labeled a terrorist group by the American government) in 2012, Morsi announced changes in the Egyptian government that would give him near authoritarian power. Many of the same Egyptians who had marched and protested the Mubarak regime and demanded democratic reforms during the Arab Spring again took to the streets to protest. Other protests and revolts that took place in Bahrain, Syria, Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara had various levels of success.

During the Arab Spring protests, Civil War also erupted in Libya, as rebels challenged Colonel Muammar Gaddafi after forty years of authoritarian rule. During the conflict, European powers had decided to aid the rebels with air power. Even though the United States said that it would “lead from behind,” they ended up providing most of the airpower with their Air Force and Navy. Eventually, Libyan rebels were able to overthrow the Gaddafi regime. On October 20, 2011, rebels captured and killed Muammar Gaddafi.

The next Arab government that appeared to be in trouble was Syria’s. On June 8, 2012 the United Nations announced that the violence in Syria had made a civil war in the country “imminent and real.” By the end of 2012, Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad had killed over 30,000 rebels, but the rebels had taken over key portions of the country. Assad was a member of the minority Alawite Moslem community; his family had ruled Syria for over 40 years. Syrian Sunni rebels were being joined by many members of the fellow Sunni, Al- Qaeda terrorist organization, who had moved into Syria from Iraq. Syria was getting support from the Shia regime in Iran. The civil war continued in 2013.

Status Quo Ante Election

In November 2012, Barrack Obama won reelection as President of the United States, with a strong coalition of African American, Latino, Asian, and single women voters. Republican polls had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, and they were caught off guard by the high number of voters that had come out in the groups that heavily supported Obama. President Obama ran a masterful, calculated campaign, particularly in key swing states, and won a convincing victory despite the poor economy. The Senate remained in Democratic hands and the House retained its Republican majority. The balance of power remained status quo as prior to the election. Both the Democrats and the Republicans had to agree on a new budget and what to do with taxes and spending. The deficit had reached well over $16 trillion, and had increased nearly $6 trillion in only four short years. The Senate had not passed a budget for 3 years. Now they had to address many of the issues that both branches of the government had just “kicked down the road” for years.

  • one of the two houses or chambers of the United States Congress; members of the House of Representatives are elected by the citizens of each state; the number of representatives elected from each state in proportion to the population of the state.
  • a sudden and dramatic drop in the value of shares traded on a stock exchange that often occurs after some unexpected event creates panic among investors who then rush to sell their stock, driving prices down 
  • all of the activities involved in running any type of organization (such as a school or a company); the group of people responsible for running an organization
  • an international organization established in 1945 to promote world peace and solve global problems such as hunger and poverty
  • the development of increasingly integrated global economies, views, ideas and aspects of culture; worldwide integration
  • the total financial obligations of a nation; the total amount of money a nation owes
  • a place where investors buy and sell shares of stock, also known as a stock exchange
  • a law enacted by a governing body; process of lawmaking
  • the system which governs or exercises influence over a state or community
  • a person who favors a republic as the best form of government; a member of the Republican Party
  • a war between the northern United States (known as the Union) and southern slave states (known as the Confederate States of America) over the issue of slavery which was fought from 1861 - 1865
  • a temporary alliance of nations or people operating in their own self interest for joint action to achieve a common cause
  • a group of people delegated to perform a certain function such as investigating an issue or taking action for a specific cause
  • a unified body of individuals that share common interests
  • a government run by the majority where the people hold the power and have equal rights and privlidges
  • dealing with matters of money, capital, or credit
  • chief executive; the highest position of office in a Republican state
  • a period of temporary reduced economic activity of typically two consecutive quarters
  • to agree to stop fighting or hiding because it has become clear that you can not win or succeed
  • all of the land and waters that belong to or are controlled by a particular country; an area of land claimed by the United States, but not officially recognized as a state 
  • the use of violence or threats to frighten people as a way of forcing others to meet some political demand
  • two or more people, parties, or nations that agree to help one another achieve a common goal
  • a formal ritual or custom
  • the buying and selling of goods between cities or nations
  • a disagreement; opposition
  • the main lawmaking body in the United States that consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives
  • a ruler with absolute power
  • pretaining to the home, family or the internal affairs of a country
  • a state of concern or attention; curiosity
  • the greater quantity; more than half the total number
  • the violent and cruel murder of a number of people who are usually helpless and have done nothing to provoke the attack
  • the lesser quantity; less than half the total quantity
  • a formal speech, usually delivered on an important occasion or to a special audience
  • the city that serves as the official seat of government in a state or nation
  • a period of one hundred years
  • the way people use what they have in order to get what they need or want
  • to provide the money needed to complete a project
  • coming from or related to a place outside of one's own country
  • freedom from the control, coercion, interference, or restriction of others; independence
  • waiting for conformation; not yet decided
  • to object or dissent
  • extremely different; straying from the usual or traditional
  • things that are not regarded as religious
  • financial assistance provided by the government to keep the price of a good or service low or to help a business, industry, educational institution or another government to continue to function
  • all of the nations that united (including Great Britain, France, and Russia) to defeat the Central Powers during World War I; all of the nations that united (including Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States) to defeat the Axis Powers during World War II
  • a system of government power or administration
  • the highest house of Congress in the United States consisting of two representatives from each state who are elected by the people to serve a six year term
  • an original document that provides information for research
  • a male monarch who inherits his position by right of birth
  • command; authoritative instruction
  • a particular space with definite or indefinite boundaries that has a specific name
  • a large inlet of the sea that is often parallel to the coast
  • from, in, or like the city
  • a proposed law
  • something that is greater in excellence (better) or higher in quality; favorable
  • part of a larger body of water that extends into land
  • a rule established by custom or authority
  • the money that a person is paid to work, usually calculated by the hour, day, or piece completed
  • a law
  • a small body of water that is enclosed by land on three sides, but opens out into a larger body of water.