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Bush, George H.W. - 41st President
20 January 1989 to 20 January 1993

Russell Renka
Southeast Missouri State University

General Sources:  The Miller Center's American President.org site has American President - George H.W. Bush.
    The American Experience The Presidents George H. W. Bush PBS has only a brief Overview and little else.
    The Bush Presidential Library and Museum has extensive materials, including Presidential Papers with a searchable index of Bush public statements organized down to the date.

Personal Biographies:   The Biography of George Bush is located at Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  Grolier has Encyclopedia Americana George Bush by Donald Young.  PBS - The American President's The "Kinder and Gentler" President has "In Brief."

Personal Timeline:  See frontline the choice 2000 george w. bush chronology.

Interviews with George H.W. Bush:

Character Above All: George Bush Essay is by historian Michael R. Beschloss.

Historical Documents, 1980s and 1990sHistory Index 1980-1989 and History Index 1990-1999

1988 and 1992 Presidential Elections:  Dave Leip's 1988 Election Results show the one-sided Bush victory over Dukakis in the Electoral College, although the popular vote performance was far less impressive.  The Bush loss in 1992 Election Results was complicated by the impact of third party candidate Ross Perot.

Inaugural:  Pictorial from the Smithsonian Institute is The Bush Inaugural.

Photographic History of Bush Administration:

Interviews:  Jim Lehrer of Public Broadcasting System on 10 April 1999 interviewed the former president, per Debating Our Destiny: President George Bush.  American Academy of Achievement's Hall of Public Service has a 1995 Interview with George Bush along with a brief Biography.  It's notable for softball questions but still revealing of Bush's fundamental beliefs and demeanor (this being a former President who largely shuns media attention, gave no farewell address, and professes no interest in writing his memoirs).

Major SpeechesUSA Index George Bush has the 1989 Inaugural Address and State of the Union addresses for 1990-1992.  George Bush Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf (1991) documents Bush's Desert Storm justification of January 1991 in response to Iraq's August 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait on the Persian Gulf.  Remarks to the Economic Club of Detroit - March 13 1992 is a lesser known but important statement of Bush's fundamental vision that anticipates an international system where Cold War questions are replaced by those of suppressing terrorism and encouraging international trade.
    Audio links from George Bush include his 1988 Republican National Convention acceptance speech including the famous "Read my lips!  No new taxes!" statement.  The same site has two video links (George Bush - video) including Bush in Saudi Arabia in November 1990 addressing Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.  George Bush Français English is the French parent site for these.
    The americanpresidency.org Audio-Video Archive - George H.W. Bush has 9 excerpts.

Campaign Commercials:  This peculiarly modern American practice began in America with the 1952 Eisenhower-Stevenson presidential campaign, and it flourished in the 1980s.   Among the classic commercials cited at AllPolitics - Ad Archive is the 1988 'Willie Horton: Is Dukakis Soft On Crime?' (1.2 MB); 'Dukakis Asks: Could Be President?' (1.3 MB) in reference to Bush running mate Dan Quayle; and 'George Bush Asks: Can We Trust Dukakis As Commander-in-Chief?' (1.2 MB).  MoviePlayer is required for this site, and can be downloaded from Apple - Products - QuickTime.

Executive Orders and Proclamations:  See Federal Register - Executive Orders - George Bush.

Foreign Policy with George H.W. Bush:

    TimelineBush Presidency 1989-1993 is dominated by foreign policy headlines and information, fittingly, during the one term of the 41st President.

    End of the Cold War:  The Cold War International History Project @ the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has a library of detailed documents from the former Soviet and eastern bloc side of the onetime Cold War.
    Foreign Policy News Clips 1979-1990, ed. Harry Kreisler, has a series of files, beginning with News Clips End of Cold War U.S. Strategy (1990), I. Bush Administration, with news entries of one or two sentences each.  These can be easily tracked.  A World Transformed Our Reflections on Ending the Cold War - http--www.houstonpbs.org is a 1995 retrospective in which Jim Lehrer interviewed the five leaders of the U.S., Soviet Union, Great Britain, Canada, and France on the way the Cold War was ended.  Basis for this is the Houston PBS production, A World Transformed: Our Reflections on Ending the Cold War.

    Post-Cold War Foreign Policy:  Strategic Defense Initiative still moved along during this period, as shown from Federation of American Scientists site at Bush Administration on Ballistic Missile Defenses.  Stock-taking for public acceptance of presidential commitments of force became considerably more sophisticated by this time.  See, for example, Rand Corporation's Public Support for U.S.Military Operations from March 1996.  The Triumph of Solidarity illustrates the great importance of the Polish movement in bringing about the opening of eastern Europe.

   Panama invasion of 1989:   The Federation of American Scientists Military Analysis Network's Operation Just Cause is analyzed here with considerable links for background.  One link goes to Eytan Gilboa, The Panama Invasion Revisited: Lessons for the Use of Force in the Post Cold War Era in Political Science Quarterly (v. 110, no. 4), p539.

    Persian Gulf WarFrontline:  The Gulf War from PBS includes oral histories, BBC radio broadcasts, and a variety of analyses.  See also History Channel - George Bush, forty-first U.S. president, On the Persian Gulf War for his justification of this brief 1991 war to oust Iraq from its neighbor, Kuwait.  WashingtonPost.com:  Fog of War chronicles the events and principals.  The congressional resolution of 12 January 1991 supporting the Gulf War is at Public Law 102-1 (H. J. Res. 77).  An excellent Canadian general resource site is Persian Gulf War (1991). (BROKEN LINK)
    The after-the-war revelation of Iraqi nuclear development is shown at the Federation of American Scientists Nuclear Resources site; follow links to Confrontation With Iraq and use that baseline for varied information and viewpoints on American policy toward Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime.  Another after-effect is profiled at Frontline:  last battle of the gulf war on Gulf War Syndrome.

    China:  The infamous events of June 1989 are shown at Tiananmen-1989 with extensive photographs.  No attempt or pretense of objectivity exists here, but many of these famed pictures require little or no commentary.  Tiananmen Square, 1989:  The Declassified History (Jeffrey T. Richelson and Michael L. Evans, from a declassified National Security Archive) has plenty of that commentary.  Bush consistently sought a friendly and normal relation with China despite pressures from both left and right.   Frontline - Tiananmen - the gate of heavenly peace is a documentary film on the 1989 events and subsequent effects in American public life.
   
Presidential Pardons
Presidential Pardons - Historic - Notable Clemencies from Presidents Washington to George H.W. Bush has links to the 24 December 1992 pardon of Caspar Weinberger; or go to Presidential Pardons for Proclamation 6518. Pardons and Commutation Granted by President George H.W. Bush is from the Department of Justice's Office of the Pardon Attorney.

Space Policy:  See Civil Space and Military Space from John Pike's Federation of American Scientists site.

War on Drugs:  Begun with Reagan, it continued with Bush and assumed an emphasis on public education alongside the usual interdiction and sentencing activities.  An analysis is The Successes and Failures of George Bush's War on Drugs.

Domestic Affairs - Civil Rights Policy and Environmental Policy:  The year 1990 was the dominant one for Bush domestic policy.  Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.  Department of Justice ADA Home Page gives one the sense that this remains a historically important law with major activity still underway to define its full impact.  Bush signing this law is one of many indicators that he was comparatively moderate on domestic policy compared to his patron and predecessor Ronald Reagan.  Another indicator is the November 1990 renewal of the Clean Air Act and Its Amendments (see also Implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 from the Congressional Research Service).  These two laws were chiefly the products of congressional Democrats.

Bush and Taxes:  The 1990 Bush budget compromise with congressional Democrats raised marginal income tax rates and reduced some tax expenditures on high income households.  Political conservatives and Reagan supply-side economics supporters unanimously saw this as betrayal of Bush's famous 1988 campaign pledge of  'no new taxes.'  Ever since, an extensive website supply of analyses from conservative think tanks has been devoted to its condemnation.  SUPPLY-SIDE TAX CUTS AND THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REAGAN ECONOMIC RECORD by William Niskanen and Stephen Moore at Cato Institute is representative of the economic side of this political conviction.  Similar ideological complaints exist on Bush yielding to congressional Democrats on other facets of conservative belief:  see George Bush's Hidden Tax:  The Explosion In Regulation - Heritage by William G. Laffer III and Nancy A. Bord of Heritage Foundation.  These complaints are not made about President Reagan.

Person of the Year: 
Time Magazine acknowledged the President's second year:  The Two George Bushes - 1990.

Book bibliography of President George H.W. Bush:  See Selected Bibliography at (fill in).

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Copyright©2004-2007, Russell D. Renka