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Politics

Study Notes

George W Bush

Level:
A Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR

George W Bush served as the 43rd President of the United States between 2000 and 2008. Highlights of his presidency include 9/11, the Iraq and Afghan wars and the beginning of the 2008 financial meltdown. 

Bush was a member of the Texas Air National Guard from 1968, he left the Air Force reserve in 1972. After leaving the Air Force, he set up an oil exploration company. During the 1980s this was merged into Spectrum 7, which eventually merged into HKN. Towards the end of the 1980s, Bush purchased shares in the baseball team Texas Rangers. Bush made $15 million from the sale of shares in 1998.

Bush’s first run for elected office was for the House of Representatives for Texas’ 19th District. Bush lost the election and moved to Washington DC in 1988 to assist with the Presidential Campaign of his father. He also assisted with the campaign for his father’s reelection.

In 1994 Bush declared that he was running to be Governor of Texas. Two central themes of his campaign were improvements and a reduction in crime. Bush faced off against Ann Richards the incumbent Governor. Bush won the election after a promise that he would allow people of Texas to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. When in office Bush gave Texas a tax cut worth a total of $2 billion.

Presidency:

Bush had policies that would introduce wide-ranging domestic change in America, but it was derailed after 9/11. Bush is largely remembered for his response to 9/11 and the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush also ended his presidency with the financial crisis.

Bush authorized a huge increase in federal spending and signed into law a $1.35 trillion tax cut. One major policy area in the Bush years was the No Child Left Behind Act that sought to close the gap between the high achievers and low achievers. In healthcare, Bush created the Medicare programme which provided help for those people paying prescriptions.

The Bush administration also had to deal with Hurricane Katrina which stuck the south coast of America in 2005. Bush was widely criticised for his response to the crisis being too slow, and that the administration did not take full responsibility for the disaster.

Post Presidency:

Upon leaving the White House, Bush has had a low profile and has made relatively few public appearances. During the 2016 Presidential Election he campaigned for his brother Jeb.

Library:

The Bush library is located on the campus on the Southern Methodist University in Texas. Alongside the library is the George W Bush Policy Institute and the Offices of the George W Bush Foundation.

You can explore the George W Bush Presidential Centre here

Bush Approval Ratings

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