Appomattox 1865 - Lee's Last Campaign, Ron Field

Appomattox 1865 - Lee's Last Campaign, Ron Field

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Appomattox 1865 - Lee's Last Campaign, Ron Field

Appomattox 1865 - Lee's Last Campaign, Ron Field

Campaign 279

The final act of the US Civil War in Virginia is generally well known, with the long siege of Petersburg finally ended after the Union victory at Five Forks, Lee withdrawing his army and retreating west before surrendering at Appomattox Courthouse. Most accounts tend to skip over the period between Five Forks and Appomattox, but as this account makes clear Lee had more in mind than simply attempting to retreat west – his actual aim was to move south to join up with Johnston's Army of Tennessee, one of the few other Confederate field armies still intact.

This topic tends to be something of a footnote in histories of the Civil War, which tend to skip over the period between the end of the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond and the surrender at Appomattox. It is thus rather nice to have a book that actually focuses in detail on the course of Lee's retreat, looking at his intentions, his route, Union attempts to cut him off and the details of the battles along the way. If Lee had achieved his objectives, then the war might have continued into the summer of 1865, so this campaign was of some significance.

Lee's problem was that he needed to escape to the south, but Union forces were already present on his right flank, so in order to achieve that he needed to move west quicker than his pursuers, find supplies on the way, and then turn south. The Union forces needed to block his path south, and attempt to get in front of him. This book traces the course of the series of battles that saw Grant's men repeatedly frustrate Lee, cut him off from supplies, and dismantle his army.

The key strength of this book is that it focuses on those often overlooked battles that decided the fate of Lee's army, supporting the battle narratives with good supporting maps, as well as a useful overall campaign map.

Opposing Commanders
Opposing Forces
Opposing Plans
The Campaign
The Battlefield Today

Author: Ron Field
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 96
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2015

Update for April 2017 at Build-up to El Alamein, Supermarine & Boulton Paul aircraft, US Heavy Tanks, Wickes class destroyers, Greek and Persian biographies, end of the Spring Campaign of 1813

Update for April 2017 at Build-up to El Alamein, Supermarine & Boulton Paul aircraft, US Heavy Tanks, Wickes class destroyers, Greek and Persian biographies, end of the Spring Campaign of 1813

This month we bring the North African campaign to Rommel's high point, his 1942 invasion of Egypt, and look at the battles that ended his run of success.

Our series on the War of Liberation brings us to the end of the Spring Campaign, covering the last few combats, the armistice that halted the fighting, and the agreement that brought Austria into the war.

In antiquity we continue with a mix of Greek and Persian biographies, covering two centuries from Themistocles to Mentor and Memnon of Rhodes

In the air we look at Supermarine's pre-war Schneider Trophy winning floatplanes, and the Seafang and Spiteful, late attempts to replace the Spitfire. For Boulton Paul we cover one of their last successful designs, the Balliol trainer, and move into the post-war world of jet research.

On land we look at American heavy tanks of the Second World War and post-war period, a series of designs of which only the 120mm gun combat tank M103 actually reached service.

At sea we continue with the Wickes class destroyers, mainly looking at ships that had limited First World War careers, but also covering USS Fairfax/ HMS Richmond, one of the destroyers swapped for bases.

As always we also post a series of new book reviews and add to our picture galleries.

North African Campaign

Operation Sentinel (1942) was a deception plan used to try and mislead Rommel in believing that Egypt was more strongly defended than it really was during his advance into Egypt after the battle of Gazala.

Operation Cascade (1942) was a deception plan used to convince Rommel that the British army in Egypt was much larger than it really was.

The first battle of El Alamein (1-27 July 1942) was a series of engagements in the area south of El Alamein in which Rommel's run of victories in 1942 was finally brought to an end. A series of British counterattacks also achieved little, and the battle ended as a stalemate.

The battle of Alam Halfa (31 August-7 September 1942) was Rommel's last offensive in Egypt, and Montgomery's first victory after taking command of the Eighth Army, and was a British victory that removed any chance of Rommel reaching Alexandria or the Suez Canal.

Operation Bertram (1942) was the tactical element of the deception plan for the second battle of El Alamein, and focused on convincing the Germans both that the offensive wouldn't begin until some time in November and that the main attack would come on the southern end of the front line.

The Supermarine Nanok (Polar Bear)/ Solant was designed as a torpedo bomber for the Danish Navy, but was rejected and ended up being used as a pleasure craft by the Guinness family.

The Supermarine S.4, S.5, S.6 and S.6B were a series of Schneider Trophy winning floatplanes that were designed by R.J. Mitchell, and that played a part in the design of the Supermarine Spitfire by giving him experience of designing high speed stressed skin monoplanes.

The Supermarine Seafang was the naval version of the Spiteful, produced as a replacement for the Spitfire and Seafire. Like the Spiteful only a handful of aircraft were ever produced.

The Supermarine Spiteful was developed to replace the Spitfire, but by the time it was ready to enter service it was no longer needed, and only a handful were ever completed.

The Boulton Paul P.107 was the company's last wartime design for a land based fighter. It was a two-seat long range escort fighter, powered by a Bristol Centaurus CE12SM engine.

The Boulton Paul P.108 Balliol was designed as a turboprop powered trainer but saw limited service as a standard piston engine powered trainer with the RAF and Fleet Air Arm.

The Boulton Paul P.109 was a design for an advanced trainer powered by a Bristol Perseus engine.

The Boulton Paul P.111 was an experimental delta winged jet aircraft used for research into the performance of delta wings at high speed.

The M51 Heavy Recovery Vehicle was produced in the early 1950s to replace earlier recovery vehicles based on the Medium tank M4 Sherman.

The T57 120mm gun tank was designed in an attempt to produce a tank that was lighter than the Heavy Tank T34 or 120mm gun combat tank M103, taking advantage of an oscillating turret to reduce weight.

The T58 155mm gun tank was designed to fire HEAT and HESH shells and used an oscillating turret in an attempt to save weight.

The T84 8in Howitzer Motor Carriage was the first attempt to mount a heavy artillery gun on the chassis of the M26 Pershing tank, but only two pilots were ever built.

The T92 240mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was one of two attempts to mount very heavy artillery pieces on the chassis of the M26 Pershing tank.

The T93 8in Gun Motor Carriage was one of a series of attempts to mount heavy artillery on the chassis of the M26 Pershing tank.

The 105mm gun tank T96 was a design for a long term replacement for the Heavy Tank T43 (M103), but work on the design was abandoned after it became clear that the gun would fit on the Medium Tank T95, under development at the same time.

The 120mm gun combat tank M103 was the only one of a series of late war and early post-war American heavy designs to actually reach production, and was a lighter version of the earlier Heavy Tank T34.

Wickes Class Destroyers

USS Fairfax (DD-93)/ HMS Richmond was a Wickes class destroyer that operated in the western Atlantic in 1918, as a training ship between the wars, then with the Royal Navy as HMS Richmond and the Soviet Navy as the Zhivuchi during the Second World War.

USS Taylor (DD-94) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the US Atlantic Fleet late in the First World War, but that had been reduced to a hulk by the outbreak of the Second World War. Later her bow was used to repair USS Blakeley, after that destroyer was damaged by a U-boat.

USS Bell (DD-95) was a Wickes class destroyer that escorted convoys across the Atlantic late in the First World War, but entered the reserve in 1922 and was never recommissioned.

USS Stribling (DD-96) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw limited service late in the First World War, was based in the Adriatic in 1919, and briefly served as a minelayer after her return to the United States.

USS Murray (DD-97) was a Wickes class destroyer that operated in European waters late in the First World War and then served as a minelayer in the immediate post-war period.

USS Israel (DD-98) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service late in the First World War, then served as a minelayer in the immediate post-war period.

War of Liberation of 1813

The combat of Hainau (26 May 1813) was a rare Allied success during their retreat after the battle of Bautzen, and saw a Prussian cavalry force ambush an isolated French division east of Hainau.

The combat of Sprottau (27 May 1813) was a minor French success during their pursuit of the Russians and Prussians in the aftermath of the battle of Bautzen.

The combat of Hoyerswerda (27 May 1813) was a French victory that encouraged Marshal Oudinot to advance towards Berlin, after a Prussian attack on his positions was repulsed.

The combat of Luckau (6 June 1813) was a French defeat during Marshal Oudinot's first attempt to threaten Berlin, but came after an armistice had already ended the fighting in the spring campaign in Germany.

The Armistice of Pleischwitz (2 June 1813) was a truce between between Napoleon and his Russian and Prussian opponent that ended the Spring Campaign of 1813 (War of Liberation).

The Convention of Reichenbach (27 June 1813) was an agreement between Austria, Prussia and Russia, in which the Austrians agreed to join the war against Napoleon unless he agreed to a series of demands.

Ancient Greece and Persia

Xerxes II (r.425-424 BC) was a very short lived ruler of the Persian Empire, who was killed by the son of one of his father's concubines after a reign of only 45 days.

Darius II (r.423-404 BC) Ochus was the Persian Emperor during the second half of the Great Peloponnesian War, and his money played a major part in the eventual Spartan victory.

Themistocles (c.524-460 BC) was a great Athenian naval leader who played a vital role in the defeat of Xerxes I's invasion of Greece in 480, but who like so many Athenian leaders ended his life in exile.

Epaminondas (410-362 BC) was a Theban general and statesman who was responsible for a series of battlefield victories that smashed the power of Sparta, ending a short period of Spartan dominance in Greece.

Mentor of Rhodes (385-340 BC) was a Greek mercenary who fought for and against Artaxerxes III and played a part in the final major Persian military success, the reconquest of Egypt of 343 BC.

Memnon of Rhodes (d.334 BC) was one of the few successful Persian commanders during the wars against Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, despite have started his military career as a rebel against Artaxerxes III

Casca 40: Blitzkreig, Tony Roberts.
Follows Casca through the initial campaigns of the Second World War, serving as a tank commander in a panzer division in Poland, Belgium and France. A fairly convincing fictional account of tank warfare, with Casca fighting in northern Poland and Belgium, although bookended with Casca the Nazi apologist, an unwelcome appearance
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John and Sebastian Cabot - The Discovery of North America, Charles Raymond Beazley.
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Bright Eyes of Danger - An Account of the Anglo-Sikh Wars 1845-1849, Bill Whitburn.
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Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane.
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Despatches from the Front: Capital Ships at War 1939-1945, compiled John Grehan & Martin Mace.
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The Atlantic Wall (3) - The Südwall, Steven J. Zaloga.
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The Vikings, R Chartrand, K Durham, M Harrison & I Heath.
A nicely organised overview of the Vikings, looking at Viking society, the Hersirs (medium ranked men who played a key part in early raids), the Vikings in battle and finally Viking ships. More than an introduction to the topic, there are some excellent sections, in particular on the various types of ships used by the Vikings and on their voyages to North America
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Sir John Moore - The Making of a Controversial Hero, Janet MacDonald.
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Hitler's Last Witness, the Memoirs of Hitler's Bodyguard, Rochus Misch.
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Appomattox 1865 - Lee's Last Campaign, Ron Field.
Looks at the final campaign of the American Civil War in Virginia, Lee's failed attempt to escape south to join up with other Confederate troops after the Union army finally broke through at Petersburg. Nice to have a book that focuses on this campaign in some detail, looking at the significant fighting that kept pushing Lee west instead of south, instead of skipping over it on the way between the siege of Petersburg and the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse
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Review: Petersburg 1864-65: The longest siege

For more information on the Siege of Petersburg, go to Beyond the Crater: The Siege of Petersburg Online.

Field, Ron. Petersburg 1864-65: The longest siege Osprey Publishing (May 19, 2009). 96 pages, maps, illustrations, index. ISBN: 978-1846033551 $19.95 (Paperback).

How can a campaign of almost ten months be covered in only 96 pages? The answer in this case is by summarizing most actions. Petersburg 1864-65: The longest siege is an entry in Osprey’s long running Campaign Series. It is a helpful primer for those readers new to the Siege of Petersburg, but the 96 page format, especially when considering the length of the action covered, is going to in most cases prevent any new interpretations or conclusions.

Petersburg 1964-65 looks at the nearly ten month long Siege of Petersburg in a neatly laid out book. Author Ron Field first provides readers with a look at the key opposing generals. For instance, Confederate division commander William Mahone played a key role in the Siege because he had been a civil engineer on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad prior to the war. He used his intimate knowledge of the terrain on more than one occasion to wreak havoc on cautiously advancing Union forces that became separated as their lines stretched.

Next, in typical Osprey Campaign fashion, the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia are compared and contrasted. Each Army is broken down and the experiences of each corps and its commander(s) are looked at going into the campaign. Both armies had been severely bloodied by the long and continuous fighting of the Virginia Overland Campaign of May and June 1864. Hancock’s Union II Corps, which had been severely drained of manpower, would show the effects of this in reduced battlefield effectiveness in battles at the Jerusalem Plank Road and Reams’ Station.

The Opposing Plans section covers the importance of Petersburg as a rail and therefore a supply hub of the Confederacy. Grant’s plan then was obviously to cut the railroads and roads leading into Petersburg one by one. He gradually accomplished this mission over almost 10 months by gradually extending his siege lines until he stretched the Confederate army to the breaking point in April 1865. Lee had predicted earlier in the war that once his army was forced into a siege the end of the war was only a matter of time.

The meat of the book covers the military actions of the siege. As in many overviews of the Petersburg Campaign, all but the most popular actions such as the Crater and Fort Stedman are briefly looked at. One surprise was the detailed map of the action at the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road on from June 21-23, 1864. I had never seen a good map depicting the fight on June 22 between Confederate forces under William Mahone and several divisions of the Union II Corps prior to seeing this book, so needless to say this was a pleasant surprise. An entire chapter was dedicated to the Battle of the Crater, while actions before and after were only given a concise outline of events.

The end of the book contained an Order of Battle for both sides, but it too suffered from the length of the action covered in the book. Numerous regiments were mustered out or brought into the campaign as it went on. Larger organizations were merged, shuffled, and even ceased to exist. Leaders were killed and wounded frequently in the campaign. The Army of the James even underwent a massive organizational change where the X Corps and XVIII Corps were broken up and reformed as the White XXIV and the Black XXV Corps. The Order of Battle lists all four corps as if they existed at the same time. The United States Colored Troops regiments were mislabeled as US rather than USCT, which is very misleading for someone new to the campaign. All in all, the Order of Battle is not something I would recommend readers to refer to when looking at the Petersburg Campaign.

One repeated issue concerned slight and sometimes not so slight factual errors. On more than one occasion early in the book, events were reported to have happened in July 1864 when the author clearly meant June. On another occasion, the term division was incorrectly substituted for the word corps.

I can definitely recommend Petersburg 1864-65: The longest siege as a good place to start for readers who wish to learn more about the Siege of Petersburg. However, the brevity of the Campaign series format, which works much better when dealing with shorter campaigns such as Waterloo or Antietam, prevents a truly in depth look in this case. Readers interested in the Siege of Petersburg will want this book in their library, especially considering the price. The map of the late June action along the Jerusalem Plank Road alone makes the book worth it, in this reviewer’s opinion. Be aware of the existence of some (obviously unintentional) factual errors and disregard the Order of Battle. Despite those shortcomings, the book provides value for those wishing to begin to learn more about what happened at “the longest siege” of the Civil War.

Osprey’s Campaign series focuses on major battles and campaigns from throughout history. Everything from the Battle of Cannae to the Battle of the Bulge is covered. Most of the books in the series are 96 pages long, though some of the more famous campaigns such as Gettysburg merit a slightly longer look. The Campaign series is geared to readers new to the specific battle or campaign being covered. The books typically contain a look at the strengths, weaknesses, and makeup of opposing armies and commanders prior to settling into a synthesis of the campaign. Some volumes contain a section on wargaming at the back, while others take a look at the battlefield today. Others even have a brief biographical essay. All generally contain a brief bibliography, though these books do not contain notes. Since these are traditional military history studies, an order of battle for each side is also a regular part of the series. A serviceable index rounds out these books.


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By the spring of 1865, General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, long the scourge of its Union opponents, had been pinned to the trenches outside Petersburg and Richmond for months. Attrition had made it a wasting asset, while Union armies commanded by General U.S. Grant continued to grow stronger. A time would come when Lee would have to make the decision to abandon Petersburg and Richmond if he was to save what was left of his army and of the Confederate cause.

"Appomattox 1865" is an Osprey Campaign Series book by experienced historian Ron Field, with illustrations by Adam Hook. It captures, in surprising detail for the short length of this book, the final Civil War campaign in Virginia, as Grant's armies pursued Lee's dwindling force to a fateful meeting at Appomattox Court House. The narrative quickly sketches the opposing commanders, their forces, and their plans. The heart of the story is the short period time between March 29th and April 9th, as Confederate defenses collapsed and as Lee's army attempted to escape. A series of running battles on the roads between Petersburg and Appomattox are each described. The text is supported by a excellent selection of maps, battle diagrams, period photographs and art, and modern illustrations.

Field's narrative captures the drama of the moment, and a sense of the inevitability of the conclusion, as Lee's option are foreclosed, one by one. In the scramble that followed the fall of Petersburg, both sides made mistakes, but Lee's army had less margin for error. Highly recommended as a very readable and informative introduction to the Appomattox campaign for the general reader and the student of the conflict.


George Herbert Walker Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts [2] on June 12, 1924. He was the second son of Prescott Bush and Dorothy (Walker) Bush. [3] His paternal grandfather, Samuel P. Bush, worked as an executive for a railroad parts company in Columbus, Ohio, [4] while his maternal grandfather and namesake, George Herbert Walker, led Wall Street investment bank W. A. Harriman & Co. [5] Walker was known as "Pop", and young Bush was called "Poppy" as a tribute to him. [6] The Bush family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1925, and Prescott took a position with W. A. Harriman & Co. (which later merged into Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.) the following year. [7]

Bush spent most of his childhood in Greenwich, at the family vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine, [b] or at his maternal grandparents' plantation in South Carolina. [9] Because of the family's wealth, Bush was largely unaffected by the Great Depression. [10] He attended Greenwich Country Day School from 1929 to 1937 and Phillips Academy, an elite private academy in Massachusetts, from 1937 to 1942. [11] While at Phillips Academy, he served as president of the senior class, secretary of the student council, president of the community fund-raising group, a member of the editorial board of the school newspaper, and captain of the varsity baseball and soccer teams. [12]

World War II

On his 18th birthday, immediately after graduating from Phillips Academy, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a naval aviator. [13] After a period of training, he was commissioned as an ensign in the Naval Reserve at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on June 9, 1943, becoming one of the youngest aviators in the Navy. [14] [c] Beginning in 1944, Bush served in the Pacific theater, where he flew a Grumman TBF Avenger, a torpedo bomber capable of taking off from aircraft carriers. [19] His squadron was assigned to the USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname "Skin". [20]

Bush flew his first combat mission in May 1944, bombing Japanese-held Wake Island, [21] and was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, 1944. During an attack on a Japanese installation in Chichijima, Bush's aircraft successfully attacked several targets, but was downed by enemy fire. [18] Though both of Bush's fellow crew members died, Bush successfully bailed out from the aircraft and was rescued by the USS Finback. [22] [d] Several of the aviators shot down during the attack were captured and executed, and their livers were eaten by their captors. [23] Bush's survival after such a close brush with death shaped him profoundly, leading him to ask, "Why had I been spared and what did God have for me?" [24] He was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his role in the mission. [25]

Bush returned to San Jacinto in November 1944, participating in operations in the Philippines. In early 1945, he was assigned to a new combat squadron, VT-153, where he trained to take part in an invasion of mainland Japan. On September 2, 1945, before any invasion took place, Japan formally surrendered following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [26] Bush was released from active duty that same month, but was not formally discharged from the Navy until October 1955, at which point he had reached the rank of lieutenant. [18] By the end of his period of active service, Bush had flown 58 missions, completed 128 carrier landings, and recorded 1228 hours of flight time. [27]

Marriage and college years

Bush met Barbara Pierce at a Christmas dance in Greenwich in December 1941, [28] and, after a period of courtship, they became engaged in December 1943. [29] While Bush was on leave from the Navy, they married in Rye, New York, on January 6, 1945. [30] The Bushes enjoyed a strong marriage, and Barbara would later be a popular First Lady, seen by many as "a kind of national grandmother". [31] [e] They have six children: George W. (b. 1946), Robin (1949-1953), Jeb (b. 1953), Neil (b. 1955), Marvin (b. 1956), and Doro (b. 1959). [13] Their oldest daughter, Robin, died of leukemia in 1953. [34]

Bush enrolled at Yale College, where he took part in an accelerated program that enabled him to graduate in two and a half years rather than the usual four. [13] He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was elected its president. [35] He also captained the Yale baseball team and played in the first two College World Series as a left-handed first baseman. [36] Like his father, he was a member of the Yale cheerleading squad [37] and was initiated into the Skull and Bones secret society. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in economics and minoring in sociology. [38]

After graduating from Yale, Bush moved his young family to West Texas. Biographer Jon Meacham writes that Bush's relocation to Texas allowed him to move out of the "daily shadow of his Wall Street father and Grandfather Walker, two dominant figures in the financial world", but would still allow Bush to "call on their connections if he needed to raise capital." [39] His first position in Texas was an oil field equipment salesman [40] for Dresser Industries, which was led by family friend Neil Mallon. [41] While working for Dresser, Bush lived in various places with his family: Odessa, Texas Ventura, Bakersfield and Compton, California and Midland, Texas. [42] In 1952, he volunteered for the successful presidential campaign of Republican candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower. That same year, his father won election to represent Connecticut in the United States Senate as a member of the Republican Party. [43]

With support from Mallon and Bush's uncle, George Herbert Walker Jr., Bush and John Overbey launched the Bush-Overbey Oil Development Company in 1951. [44] In 1953 he co-founded the Zapata Petroleum Corporation, an oil company that drilled in the Permian Basin in Texas. [45] In 1954, he was named president of the Zapata Offshore Company, a subsidiary which specialized in offshore drilling. [46] Shortly after the subsidiary became independent in 1959, Bush moved the company and his family from Midland to Houston. [47] There, he befriended James Baker, a prominent attorney who later became an important political ally. [48] Bush remained involved with Zapata until the mid-1960s, when he sold his stock in the company for approximately $1 million. [49]

In 1988, The Nation published an article alleging that Bush worked as an operative of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the 1960s Bush denied this allegation. [50]

Entry into politics

By the early 1960s, Bush was widely regarded as an appealing political candidate, and some leading Democrats attempted to convince Bush to become a Democrat. He declined to leave the Republican Party, later citing his belief that the national Democratic Party favored "big, centralized government". The Democratic Party had historically dominated Texas, but Republicans scored their first major victory in the state with John G. Tower's victory in a 1961 special election to the United States Senate. Motivated by Tower's victory, and hoping to prevent the far-right John Birch Society from coming to power, Bush ran for the chairmanship of the Harris County Republican Party, winning election in February 1963. [51] Like most other Texas Republicans, Bush supported conservative Senator Barry Goldwater over the more centrist Nelson Rockefeller in the 1964 Republican Party presidential primaries. [52]

In 1964, Bush sought to unseat liberal Democrat Ralph W. Yarborough in Texas's U.S. Senate election. [53] Bolstered by superior fundraising, Bush won the Republican primary by defeating former gubernatorial nominee Jack Cox in a run-off election. In the general election, Bush attacked Yarborough's vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial and gender discrimination in public institutions and in many privately owned businesses. Bush argued that the act unconstitutionally expanded the powers of the federal government, but he was privately uncomfortable with the racial politics of opposing the act. [54] He lost the election 56 percent to 44 percent, though he did run well ahead of Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential nominee. [53] Despite the loss, the New York Times reported that Bush was "rated by political friend and foe alike as the Republicans' best prospect in Texas because of his attractive personal qualities and the strong campaign he put up for the Senate". [55]

U.S. House of Representatives

In 1966, Bush ran for the United States House of Representatives in Texas's 7th congressional district, a newly redistricted seat in the Greater Houston area. Initial polling showed him trailing his Democratic opponent, Harris County District Attorney Frank Briscoe, but he ultimately won the race with 57 percent of the vote. [56] In an effort to woo potential candidates in the South and Southwest, House Republicans secured Bush an appointment to the powerful United States House Committee on Ways and Means, making Bush the first freshman to serve on the committee since 1904. [57] His voting record in the House was generally conservative. He supported the Nixon administration's Vietnam policies, but broke with Republicans on the issue of birth control, which he supported. He also voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1968, although it was generally unpopular in his district. [58] [59] In 1968, Bush joined several other Republicans in issuing the party's Response to the State of the Union address Bush's part of the address focused on a call for fiscal responsibility. [60]

Though most other Texas Republicans supported Ronald Reagan in the 1968 Republican Party presidential primaries, Bush endorsed Richard Nixon, who went on to win the party's nomination. Nixon considered selecting Bush as his running mate in the 1968 presidential election, but he ultimately chose Spiro Agnew instead. Bush won re-election to the House unopposed, while Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in the presidential election. [61] In 1970, with President Nixon's support, Bush gave up his seat in the House to run for the Senate against Yarborough. Bush easily won the Republican primary, but Yarborough was defeated by the more conservative Lloyd Bentsen in the Democratic primary. [62] Ultimately, Bentsen defeated Bush, taking 53.5 percent of the vote. [63]

Ambassador to the United Nations

After the 1970 Senate election, Bush accepted a position as a senior adviser to the president, but he convinced Nixon to instead appoint him as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. [64] The position represented Bush's first foray into foreign policy, as well as his first major experiences with the Soviet Union and China, the two major U.S. rivals in the Cold War. [65] During Bush's tenure, the Nixon administration pursued a policy of détente, seeking to ease tensions with both the Soviet Union and China. [66] Bush's ambassadorship was marked by a defeat on the China question, as the United Nations General Assembly voted to expel the Republic of China and replace it with the People's Republic of China in October 1971. [67] In the 1971 crisis in Pakistan, Bush supported an Indian motion at the UN General Assembly to condemn the Pakistani government of Yahya Khan for waging genocide in East Pakistan (modern Bangladesh), referring to the "tradition which we have supported that the human rights question transcended domestic jurisdiction and should be freely debated". [68] Bush's support for India at the UN put him into conflict with Nixon who was supporting Pakistan, partly because Yahya Khan was a useful intermediary in his attempts to reach out to China and partly because the president was fond of Yahya Khan. [69]

Chairman of the Republican National Committee

After Nixon won a landslide victory in the 1972 presidential election, he appointed Bush as chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC). [70] [71] In that position, he was charged with fundraising, candidate recruitment, and making appearances on behalf of the party in the media.

When Agnew was being investigated for corruption, Bush assisted, at the request of Nixon and Agnew, in pressuring John Glenn Beall Jr., the U.S. Senator from Maryland to force his brother, George Beall the U.S. Attorney in Maryland, who was supervising the investigation into Agnew. Attorney Beall ignored the pressure. [72]

During Bush's tenure at the RNC, the Watergate scandal emerged into public view the scandal originated from the June 1972 break-in of the Democratic National Committee, but also involved later efforts to cover up the break-in by Nixon and other members of the White House. [73] Bush initially defended Nixon steadfastly, but as Nixon's complicity became clear he focused more on defending the Republican Party. [58]

Following the resignation of Vice President Agnew in 1973 for a scandal unrelated to Watergate, Bush was considered for the position of vice president, but the appointment instead went to Gerald Ford. [74] After the public release of an audio recording that confirmed that Nixon had plotted to use the CIA to cover up the Watergate break-in, Bush joined other party leaders in urging Nixon to resign. [75] When Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, Bush noted in his diary that "There was an aura of sadness, like somebody died. The [resignation] speech was vintage Nixon—a kick or two at the press—enormous strains. One couldn't help but look at the family and the whole thing and think of his accomplishments and then think of the shame. [President Gerald Ford's swearing-in offered] indeed a new spirit, a new lift." [76]

Head of U.S. Liaison Office in China

Upon his ascension to the presidency, Ford strongly considered Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Nelson Rockefeller for the vacant position of vice president. Ford ultimately chose Nelson Rockefeller, partly because of the publication of a news report claiming that Bush's 1970 campaign had benefited from a secret fund set up by Nixon Bush was later cleared of any suspicion by a special prosecutor. [77] Bush accepted appointment as Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, making him the de facto ambassador to China. [78] According to biographer Jon Meacham, Bush's time in China convinced him that American engagement abroad was needed to ensure global stability, and that the United States "needed to be visible but not pushy, muscular but not domineering." [79]

Director of Central Intelligence

In January 1976, Ford brought Bush back to Washington to become the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), placing him in charge of the CIA. [80] In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War, the CIA's reputation had been damaged for its role in various covert operations, and Bush was tasked with restoring the agency's morale and public reputation. [81] [f] During Bush's year in charge of the CIA, the U.S. national security apparatus actively supported Operation Condor operations and right-wing military dictatorships in Latin America. [82] [83] Meanwhile, Ford decided to drop Rockefeller from the ticket for the 1976 presidential election he considered Bush as his running mate, but ultimately chose Bob Dole. [84] In his capacity as DCI, Bush gave national security briefings to Jimmy Carter both as a presidential candidate and as president-elect. [85]

Bush's tenure at the CIA ended after Carter narrowly defeated Ford in the 1976 presidential election. Out of public office for the first time since the 1960s, Bush became chairman on the Executive Committee of the First International Bank in Houston. [86] He also spent a year as a part-time professor of Administrative Science at Rice University's Jones School of Business, [87] continued his membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, and joined the Trilateral Commission. Meanwhile, he began to lay the groundwork for his candidacy in the 1980 Republican Party presidential primaries. [88] In the 1980 Republican primary campaign, Bush faced Ronald Reagan, who was widely regarded as the front-runner, as well as other contenders like Senator Bob Dole, Senator Howard Baker, Texas Governor John Connally, Congressman Phil Crane, and Congressman John B. Anderson. [89]

Bush's campaign cast him as a youthful, "thinking man's candidate" who would emulate the pragmatic conservatism of President Eisenhower. [90] In the midst of the Soviet–Afghan War, which brought an end to a period of détente, and the Iran hostage crisis, in which 52 Americans were taken hostage, the campaign highlighted Bush's foreign policy experience. [91] At the outset of the race, Bush focused heavily on winning the January 21 Iowa caucuses, making 31 visits to the state. [92] He won a close victory in Iowa with 31.5% to Reagan's 29.4%. After the win, Bush stated that his campaign was full of momentum, or "the Big Mo", [93] and Reagan reorganized his campaign. [94] Partly in response to the Bush campaign's frequent questioning of Reagan's age (Reagan turned 69 in 1980), the Reagan campaign stepped up attacks on Bush, painting him as an elitist who was not truly committed to conservatism. [95] Prior to the New Hampshire primary, Bush and Reagan agreed to a two-person debate, organized by The Nashua Telegraph but paid for by the Reagan campaign. [94]

Days before the debate, Reagan announced that he would invite four other candidates to the debate Bush, who had hoped that the one-on-one debate would allow him to emerge as the main alternative to Reagan in the primaries, refused to debate the other candidates. All six candidates took the stage, but Bush refused to speak in the presence of the other candidates. Ultimately, the other four candidates left the stage and the debate continued, but Bush's refusal to debate anyone other than Reagan badly damaged his campaign in New Hampshire. [96] He ended up decisively losing New Hampshire's primary to Reagan, winning just 23 percent of the vote. [94] Bush revitalized his campaign with a victory in Massachusetts, but lost the next several primaries. As Reagan built up a commanding delegate lead, Bush refused to end his campaign, but the other candidates dropped out of the race. [97] Criticizing his more conservative rival's policy proposals, Bush famously labeled Reagan's supply side-influenced plans for massive tax cuts as "voodoo economics". [98] Though he favored lower taxes, Bush feared that dramatic reductions in taxation would lead to deficits and, in turn, cause inflation. [99]

After Reagan clinched a majority of delegates in late May, Bush reluctantly dropped out of the race. [100] At the 1980 Republican National Convention, Reagan made the last-minute decision to select Bush as his vice presidential nominee after negotiations with Ford regarding a Reagan-Ford ticket collapsed. [101] Though Reagan had resented many of the Bush campaign's attacks during the primary campaign, and several conservative leaders had actively opposed Bush's nomination, Reagan ultimately decided that Bush's popularity with moderate Republicans made him the best and safest pick. Bush, who had believed his political career might be over following the primaries, eagerly accepted the position and threw himself into campaigning for the Reagan-Bush ticket. [102] The 1980 general election campaign between Reagan and Carter was conducted amid a multitude of domestic concerns and the ongoing Iran hostage crisis, and Reagan sought to focus the race on Carter's handling of the economy. [103] Though the race was widely regarded as a close contest for most of the campaign, Reagan ultimately won over the large majority of undecided voters. [104] Reagan took 50.7 percent of the popular vote and 489 of the 538 electoral votes, while Carter won 41% of the popular vote and John Anderson, running as an independent candidate, won 6.6% of the popular vote. [105]

As vice president, Bush generally maintained a low profile, recognizing the constitutional limits of the office he avoided decision-making or criticizing Reagan in any way. This approach helped him earn Reagan's trust, easing tensions left over from their earlier rivalry. [94] Bush also generally enjoyed a good relationship with Reagan staffers, including his close friend Jim Baker, who served as Reagan's initial chief of staff. [106] His understanding of the vice presidency was heavily influenced by Vice President Walter Mondale, who enjoyed a strong relationship with President Carter in part because of his ability to avoid confrontations with senior staff and Cabinet members, and by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller's difficult relationship with some members of the White House staff during the Ford administration. [107] The Bushes attended a large number of public and ceremonial events in their positions, including many state funerals, which became a common joke for comedians. As the President of the Senate, Bush also stayed in contact with members of Congress and kept the president informed on occurrences on Capitol Hill. [94]

First term

On March 30, 1981, while Bush was in Texas, Reagan was shot and seriously wounded by John Hinckley Jr. Bush immediately flew back to Washington D.C. when his plane landed, his aides advised him to proceed directly to the White House by helicopter in order to show that the government was still functioning. [94] Bush rejected the idea, as he feared that such a dramatic scene risked giving the impression that he sought to usurp Reagan's powers and prerogatives. [108] During Reagan's short period of incapacity, Bush presided over Cabinet meetings, met with congressional leaders and foreign leaders, and briefed reporters, but he consistently rejected the possibility of invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment. [109] Bush's handling of the attempted assassination and its aftermath made a positive impression on Reagan, who recovered and returned to work within two weeks of the shooting. From then on, the two men would have regular Thursday lunches in the Oval Office. [110]

Bush was assigned by Reagan to chair two special task forces, one on deregulation and one on international drug smuggling. Both were popular issues with conservatives, and Bush, largely a moderate, began courting them through his work. The deregulation task force reviewed hundreds of rules, making specific recommendations on which ones to amend or revise, in order to curb the size of the federal government. [94] The Reagan administration's deregulation push had a strong impact on broadcasting, finance, resource extraction, and other economic activities, and the administration eliminated numerous government positions. [111] Bush also oversaw the administration's national security crisis management organization, which had traditionally been the responsibility of the National Security Advisor. [112] In 1983, Bush toured Western Europe as part of the Reagan administration's ultimately successful efforts to convince skeptical NATO allies to support the deployment of Pershing II missiles. [113]

Reagan's approval ratings fell after his first year in office, but they bounced back when the United States began to emerge from recession in 1983. [114] Former Vice President Walter Mondale was nominated by the Democratic Party in the 1984 presidential election. Down in the polls, Mondale selected Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate in hopes of galvanizing support for his campaign, thus making Ferraro the first female major party vice presidential nominee in U.S. history. [115] She and Bush squared off in a single televised vice presidential debate. [94] Public opinion polling consistently showed a Reagan lead in the 1984 campaign, and Mondale was unable to shake up the race. [116] In the end, Reagan won re-election, winning 49 of 50 states and receiving 59% of the popular vote to Mondale's 41%. [117]

Second term

Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985. Rejecting the ideologically rigidity of his three elderly sick predecessors, Gorbachev insisted on urgently needed economic and political reforms called "glasnost" (openness) and "perestroika" (restructuring). [118] At the 1987 Washington Summit, Gorbachev and Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which committed both signatories to the total abolition of their respective short-range and medium-range missile stockpiles. [119] The treaty marked the beginning of a new era of trade, openness, and cooperation between the two powers. [120] President Reagan and Secretary of State George Shultz took the lead in these negotiations, but Bush sat in on many meetings. Bush did not agree with many of the Reagan policies, but he did tell Gorbachev that he would seek to continue improving relations if he succeeded Reagan. [121] [122] On July 13, 1985, Bush became the first vice president to serve as acting president when Reagan underwent surgery to remove polyps from his colon Bush served as the acting president for approximately eight hours. [123]

In 1986, the Reagan administration was shaken by a scandal when it was revealed that administration officials had secretly arranged weapon sales to Iran during the Iran–Iraq War. The officials had used the proceeds to fund the anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua. Democrats had passed a law that appropriated funds could not be used to help the Contras. Instead the administration used non-appropriated funds from the sales. [94] When news of affair broke to the media, Bush stated that he had been "out of the loop" and unaware of the diversion of funds. [124] Biographer Jon Meacham writes that "no evidence was ever produced proving Bush was aware of the diversion to the contras," but he criticizes Bush's "out of the loop" characterization, writing that the "record is clear that Bush was aware that the United States, in contravention of its own stated policy, was trading arms for hostages". [125] The Iran–Contra scandal, as it became known, did serious damage to the Reagan presidency, raising questions about Reagan's competency. [126] Congress established the Tower Commission to investigate the scandal, and, at Reagan's request, a panel of federal judges appointed Lawrence Walsh as a special prosecutor charged with investigating the Iran–Contra scandal. [127] The investigations continued after Reagan left office and, though Bush was never charged with a crime, the Iran–Contra scandal would remain a political liability for him. [128]

1988 presidential election

Bush began planning for a presidential run after the 1984 election, and he officially entered the 1988 Republican Party presidential primaries in October 1987. [94] He put together a campaign led by Reagan staffer Lee Atwater, and which also included his son, George W. Bush, and media consultant Roger Ailes. [129] Though he had moved to the right during his time as vice president, endorsing a Human Life Amendment and repudiating his earlier comments on "voodoo economics," Bush still faced opposition from many conservatives in the Republican Party. [130] His major rivals for the Republican nomination were Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas, Congressman Jack Kemp of New York, and Christian televangelist Pat Robertson. [131] Reagan did not publicly endorse any candidate, but he privately expressed support for Bush. [132]

Though considered the early front-runner for the nomination, Bush came in third in the Iowa caucus, behind Dole and Robertson. [133] Much as Reagan had done in 1980, Bush reorganized his staff and concentrated on the New Hampshire primary. [94] With help from Governor John H. Sununu and an effective campaign attacking Dole for raising taxes, Bush overcame an initial polling deficit and won New Hampshire with 39 percent of the vote. [134] After Bush won South Carolina and 16 of the 17 states holding a primary on Super Tuesday, his competitors dropped out of the race. [135]

Bush, occasionally criticized for his lack of eloquence when compared to Reagan, delivered a well-received speech at the Republican convention. Known as the "thousand points of light" speech, it described Bush's vision of America: he endorsed the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer in schools, capital punishment, and gun rights. [136] Bush also pledged that he would not raise taxes, stating: "Congress will push me to raise taxes, and I'll say no, and they'll push, and I'll say no, and they'll push again. And all I can say to them is: read my lips. No new taxes." [137] Bush selected little-known Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate. Though Quayle had compiled an unremarkable record in Congress, he was popular among many conservatives, and the campaign hoped that Quayle's youth would appeal to younger voters. [138]

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party nominated Governor Michael Dukakis, who was known for presiding over an economic turnaround in Massachusetts. [139] Leading in the general election polls against Bush, Dukakis ran an ineffective, low-risk campaign. [140] The Bush campaign attacked Dukakis as an unpatriotic liberal extremist and seized on the Willie Horton case, in which a convicted felon from Massachusetts raped a woman while on a prison furlough, a program Dukakis supported as governor. The Bush campaign charged that Dukakis presided over a "revolving door" that allowed dangerous convicted felons to leave prison. [141] Dukakis damaged his own campaign with a widely mocked ride in an M1 Abrams tank and a poor performance at the second presidential debate. [142] Bush also attacked Dukakis for opposing a law that would require all students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. [136] The election is widely considered to have had a high level of negative campaigning, though political scientist John Geer has argued that the share of negative ads was in line with previous presidential elections. [143]

Bush defeated Dukakis by a margin of 426 to 111 in the Electoral College, and he took 53.4 percent of the national popular vote. [144] Bush ran well in all the major regions of the country, but especially in the South. [145] He became the first sitting vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836 and the first person to succeed a president from his own party via election since Herbert Hoover in 1929. [94] [g] In the concurrent congressional elections, Democrats retained control of both houses of Congress. [147]

Bush was inaugurated on January 20, 1989, succeeding Ronald Reagan. In his inaugural address, Bush said:

I come before you and assume the Presidency at a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful, prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. The totalitarian era is passing, its old ideas blown away like leaves from an ancient, lifeless tree. A new breeze is blowing, and a nation refreshed by freedom stands ready to push on. There is new ground to be broken, and new action to be taken. [148]

Bush's first major appointment was that of James Baker as Secretary of State. [149] Leadership of the Department of Defense went to Dick Cheney, who had previously served as Gerald Ford's chief of staff and would later serve as vice president under his son George W. Bush. [150] Jack Kemp joined the administration as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, while Elizabeth Dole, the wife of Bob Dole and a former Secretary of Transportation, became the Secretary of Labor under Bush. [151] Bush retained several Reagan officials, including Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas F. Brady, Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, and Secretary of Education Lauro Cavazos. [152] New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, a strong supporter of Bush during the 1988 campaign, became chief of staff. [149] Brent Scowcroft was appointed as the National Security Advisor, a role he had also held under Ford. [153]

Foreign affairs

End of the Cold War

During the first year of his tenure, Bush put a pause on Reagan's détente policy toward the USSR. [154] Bush and his advisers were initially divided on Gorbachev some administration officials saw him as a democratic reformer, but others suspected him of trying to make the minimum changes necessary to restore the Soviet Union to a competitive position with the United States. [155] In 1989, all the Communist governments collapsed in Eastern Europe. Gorbachev declined to send in the Soviet military, effectively abandoning the Brezhnev Doctrine. The U.S. was not directly involved in these upheavals, but the Bush administration avoided gloating over the demise of the Eastern Bloc to avoid undermining further democratic reforms. [156]

Bush and Gorbachev met at the Malta Summit in December 1989. Though many on the right remained wary of Gorbachev, Bush came away with the belief that Gorbachev would negotiate in good faith. [157] For the remainder of his term, Bush sought cooperative relations with Gorbachev, believing that he was the key to peace. [158] The primary issue at the Malta Summit was the potential reunification of Germany. While Britain and France were wary of a re-unified Germany, Bush joined West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in pushing for German reunification. [159] Bush believed that a reunified Germany would serve American interests. [160] After extensive negotiations, Gorbachev agreed to allow a reunified Germany to be a part of NATO, and Germany officially reunified in October 1990 after paying billions of marks to Moscow. [161]

Gorbachev used force to suppress nationalist movements within the Soviet Union itself. [162] A crisis in Lithuania left Bush in a difficult position, as he needed Gorbachev's cooperation in the reunification of Germany and feared that the collapse of the Soviet Union could leave nuclear arms in dangerous hands. The Bush administration mildly protested Gorbachev's suppression of Lithuania's independence movement, but took no action to directly intervene. [163] Bush warned independence movements of the disorder that could come with secession from the Soviet Union in a 1991 address that critics labeled the "Chicken Kiev speech", he cautioned against "suicidal nationalism". [164] In July 1991, Bush and Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) treaty, in which both countries agreed to cut their strategic nuclear weapons by 30 percent. [165]

In August 1991, hard-line Communists launched a coup against Gorbachev while the coup quickly fell apart, it broke the remaining power of Gorbachev and the central Soviet government. [166] Later that month, Gorbachev resigned as general secretary of the Communist party, and Russian president Boris Yeltsin ordered the seizure of Soviet property. Gorbachev clung to power as the President of the Soviet Union until December 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved. [167] Fifteen states emerged from the Soviet Union, and of those states, Russia was the largest and most populous. Bush and Yeltsin met in February 1992, declaring a new era of "friendship and partnership". [168] In January 1993, Bush and Yeltsin agreed to START II, which provided for further nuclear arms reductions on top of the original START treaty. [169] The collapse of the Soviet Union prompted reflections on the future of the world following the end of the Cold War one political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, speculated that humanity had reached the "end of history" in that liberal, capitalist democracy had permanently triumphed over Communism and fascism. [170] Meanwhile, the collapse of the Soviet Union and other Communist governments led to post-Soviet conflicts in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Africa that would continue long after Bush left office. [171]

Invasion of Panama

During the 1980s, the U.S. had provided aid to Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, an anti-Communist dictator who engaged in drug trafficking. In May 1989, Noriega annulled the results of a democratic presidential election in which Guillermo Endara had been elected. Bush objected to the annulment of the election and worried about the status of the Panama Canal with Noriega still in office. [172] Bush dispatched 2,000 soldiers to the country, where they began conducting regular military exercises in violation of prior treaties. [173] After a U.S. serviceman was shot by Panamanian forces in December 1989, Bush ordered the United States invasion of Panama, known as "Operation Just Cause". The invasion was the first large-scale American military operation in more than 40 years that was not related to the Cold War. American forces quickly took control of the Panama Canal Zone and Panama City. Noriega surrendered on January 3, 1990, and was quickly transported to a prison in the United States. Twenty-three Americans died in the operation, while another 394 were wounded. Noriega was convicted and imprisoned on racketeering and drug trafficking charges in April 1992. [172] Historian Stewart Brewer argues that the invasion "represented a new era in American foreign policy" because Bush did not justify the invasion under the Monroe Doctrine or the threat of Communism, but rather on the grounds that it was in the best interests of the United States. [174]

Gulf War

Faced with massive debts and low oil prices in the aftermath of the Iran–Iraq War, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to conquer the country of Kuwait, a small, oil-rich country situated on Iraq's southern border. [175] After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Bush imposed economic sanctions on Iraq and assembled a multi-national coalition opposed to the invasion. [176] The administration feared that a failure to respond to the invasion would embolden Hussein to attack Saudi Arabia or Israel, and wanted to discourage other countries from similar aggression. [177] Bush also wanted to ensure continued access to oil, as Iraq and Kuwait collectively accounted for 20 percent of the world's oil production, and Saudi Arabia produced another 26 percent of the world's oil supply. [178]

At Bush's insistence, in November 1990, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution authorizing the use of force if Iraq did not withdrawal from Kuwait by January 15, 1991. [179] Gorbachev's support, as well as China's abstention, helped ensure passage of the UN resolution. [180] Bush convinced Britain, France, and other nations to commit soldiers to an operation against Iraq, and he won important financial backing from Germany, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. [181] In January 1991, Bush asked Congress to approve a joint resolution authorizing a war against Iraq. [182] Bush believed that the UN resolution had already provided him with the necessary authorization to launch a military operation against Iraq, but he wanted to show that the nation was united behind a military action. [183] Despite the opposition of a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1991. [182]

After the January 15 deadline passed without an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, U.S. and coalition forces began a conducted a bombing campaign that devastated Iraq's power grid and communications network, and resulted in the desertion of about 100,000 Iraqi soldiers. In retaliation, Iraq launched Scud missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia, but most of the missiles did little damage. On February 23, coalition forces began a ground invasion into Kuwait, evicting Iraqi forces by the end of February 27. About 300 Americans, as well as approximately 65 soldiers from other coalition nations, died during the military action. [184] A cease fire was arranged on March 3, and the UN passed a resolution establishing a peacekeeping force in a demilitarized zone between Kuwait and Iraq. [185] A March 1991 Gallup poll showed that Bush had an approval rating of 89 percent, the highest presidential approval rating in the history of Gallup polling. [186] After 1991, the UN maintained economic sanctions against Iraq, and the United Nations Special Commission was assigned to ensure that Iraq did not revive its weapons of mass destruction program. [187]


In 1987, the U.S. and Canada had reached a free trade agreement that eliminated many tariffs between the two countries. President Reagan had intended it as the first step towards a larger trade agreement to eliminate most tariffs among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. [188] The Bush administration, along with the Progressive Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, spearheaded the negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico. In addition to lowering tariffs, the proposed treaty would affected patents, copyrights, and trademarks. [189] In 1991, Bush sought fast track authority, which grants the president the power to submit an international trade agreement to Congress without the possibility of amendment. Despite congressional opposition led by House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, both houses of Congress voted to grant Bush fast track authority. NAFTA was signed in December 1992, after Bush lost re-election, [190] but President Clinton won ratification of NAFTA in 1993. [191] NAFTA remains controversial for its impact on wages, jobs, and overall economic growth. [192]

Domestic affairs

Economy and fiscal issues

The U.S. economy had generally performed well since emerging from recession in late 1982, but it slipped into a mild recession in 1990. The unemployment rate rose from 5.9 percent in 1989 to a high of 7.8 percent in mid-1991. [193] [194] Large federal deficits, spawned during the Reagan years, rose from $152.1 billion in 1989 [195] to $220 billion for 1990 [196] the $220 billion deficit represented a threefold increase since 1980. [197] As the public became increasingly concerned about the economy and other domestic affairs, Bush's well-received handling of foreign affairs became less of an issue for most voters. [198] Bush's top domestic priority was to bring an end to federal budget deficits, which he saw as a liability for the country's long-term economic health and standing in the world. [199] As he was opposed to major defense spending cuts [200] and had pledged to not raise taxes, the president had major difficulties in balancing the budget. [201]

Bush and congressional leaders agreed to avoid major changes to the budget for fiscal year 1990, which began in October 1989. However, both sides knew that spending cuts or new taxes would be necessary in the following year's budget in order to avoid the draconian automatic domestic spending cuts required by the Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Balanced Budget Act of 1987. [202] Bush and other leaders also wanted to cut deficits because Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan refused to lower interest rates, and thus stimulate economic growth, unless the federal budget deficit was reduced. [203] In a statement released in late June 1990, Bush said that he would be open to a deficit reduction program which included spending cuts, incentives for economic growth, budget process reform, as well as tax increases. [204] To fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party, Bush's statement represented a betrayal, and they heavily criticized him for compromising so early in the negotiations. [205]

In September 1990, Bush and Congressional Democrats announced a compromise to cut funding for mandatory and discretionary programs while also raising revenue, partly through a higher gas tax. The compromise additionally included a "pay as you go" provision that required that new programs be paid for at the time of implementation. [206] House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich led the conservative opposition to the bill, strongly opposing any form of tax increase. [207] Some liberals also criticized the budget cuts in the compromise, and in October, the House rejected the deal, resulting in a brief government shutdown. Without the strong backing of the Republican Party, Bush agreed to another compromise bill, this one more favorable to Democrats. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA-90), enacted on October 27, 1990, dropped much of the gasoline tax increase in favor of higher income taxes on top earners. It included cuts to domestic spending, but the cuts were not as deep as those that had been proposed in the original compromise. Bush's decision to sign the bill damaged his standing with conservatives and the general public, but it also laid the groundwork for the budget surpluses of the late 1990s. [208]


-Bush's remarks at the signing ceremony for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [209]

The disabled had not received legal protections under the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, and many faced discrimination and segregation by the time Bush took office. In 1988, Lowell P. Weicker Jr. and Tony Coelho had introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act, which barred employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The bill had passed the Senate but not the House, and it was reintroduced in 1989. Though some conservatives opposed the bill due to its costs and potential burdens on businesses, Bush strongly supported it, partly because his son, Neil, had struggled with dyslexia. After the bill passed both houses of Congress, Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 into law in July 1990. [210] The act required employers and public accommodations to make "reasonable accommodations" for the disabled, while providing an exception when such accommodations imposed an "undue hardship". [211]

Senator Ted Kennedy later led the congressional passage of a separate civil rights bill designed to facilitate launching employment discrimination lawsuits. [212] In vetoing the bill, Bush argued that it would lead to racial quotas in hiring. [213] [214] In November 1991, Bush signed the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which was largely similar to the bill he had vetoed in the previous year. [212]

In August 1990, Bush signed the Ryan White CARE Act, the largest federally funded program dedicated to assisting persons living with HIV/AIDS. [215] Throughout his presidency, the AIDS epidemic grew dramatically in the U.S. and around the world, and Bush often found himself at odds with AIDS activist groups who criticized him for not placing a high priority on HIV/AIDS research and funding. Frustrated by the administration's lack of urgency on the issue, ACT UP, dumped the ashes of HIV/AIDS victims on the White House lawn during a viewing of the AIDS Quilt in 1992. [216] By that time, HIV had become the leading cause of death in the U.S. for men aged 25–44. [217]


In June 1989, the Bush administration proposed a bill to amend the Clean Air Act. Working with Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, the administration won passage of the amendments over the opposition of business-aligned members of Congress who feared the impact of tougher regulations. [218] The legislation sought to curb acid rain and smog by requiring decreased emissions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, [219] and was the first major update to the Clean Air Act since 1977. [220] Bush also signed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. However, the League of Conservation Voters criticized some of Bush's other environmental actions, including his opposition to stricter auto-mileage standards. [221]

Points of Light

President Bush devoted attention to voluntary service as a means of solving some of America's most serious social problems. He often used the "thousand points of light" theme to describe the power of citizens to solve community problems. In his 1989 inaugural address, President Bush said, "I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good." [222] During his presidency, Bush honored numerous volunteers with the Daily Point of Light Award, a tradition that was continued by his presidential successors. [223] In 1990, the Points of Light Foundation was created as a nonprofit organization in Washington to promote this spirit of volunteerism. [224] In 2007, the Points of Light Foundation merged with the Hands On Network to create a new organization, Points of Light. [225]

Judicial appointments

Bush appointed two justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1990, Bush appointed a largely unknown state appellate judge, David Souter, to replace liberal icon William Brennan. [226] Souter was easily confirmed and served until 2009, but joined the liberal bloc of the court, disappointing Bush. [226] In 1991, Bush nominated conservative federal judge Clarence Thomas to succeed Thurgood Marshall, a long-time liberal stalwart. Thomas, the former head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), faced heavy opposition in the Senate, as well as from pro-choice groups and the NAACP. His nomination faced another difficulty when Anita Hill accused Thomas of having sexually harassed her during his time as the chair of EEOC. Thomas won confirmation in a narrow 52–48 vote 43 Republicans and 9 Democrats voted to confirm Thomas's nomination, while 46 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against confirmation. [227] Thomas became one of the most conservative justices of his era. [228]

Other issues

Bush's education platform consisted mainly of offering federal support for a variety of innovations, such as open enrollment, incentive pay for outstanding teachers, and rewards for schools that improve performance with underprivileged children. [229] Though Bush did not pass a major educational reform package during his presidency, his ideas influenced later reform efforts, including Goals 2000 and the No Child Left Behind Act. [230] Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990, [231] which led to a 40 percent increase in legal immigration to the United States. [232] The act more than doubled the number of visas given to immigrants on the basis of job skills. [233] In the wake of the savings and loan crisis, Bush proposed a $50 billion package to rescue the savings and loans industry, and also proposed the creation of the Office of Thrift Supervision to regulate the industry. Congress passed the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, which incorporated most of Bush's proposals. [234]

Public image

Bush was widely seen as a "pragmatic caretaker" president who lacked a unified and compelling long-term theme in his efforts. [235] [236] [237] Indeed, Bush's sound bite where he refers to the issue of overarching purpose as "the vision thing" has become a metonym applied to other political figures accused of similar difficulties. [238] [239] [240] [241] [242] [243] His ability to gain broad international support for the Gulf War and the war's result were seen as both a diplomatic and military triumph, [244] rousing bipartisan approval, [245] though his decision to withdraw without removing Saddam Hussein left mixed feelings, and attention returned to the domestic front and a souring economy. [246] A New York Times article mistakenly depicted Bush as being surprised to see a supermarket barcode reader [247] [248] the report of his reaction exacerbated the notion that he was "out of touch". [247] Amid the early 1990s recession, his image shifted from "conquering hero" to "politician befuddled by economic matters". [249]

At the elite level, a number of commentators and political experts deplored the state of American politics in 1991–1992, and reported the voters were angry. Many analysts blamed the poor quality of national election campaigns. [250]

1992 presidential campaign

Bush announced his reelection bid in early 1992 with a coalition victory in the Persian Gulf War and high approval ratings, Bush's reelection initially looked likely. [251] As a result, many leading Democrats, including Mario Cuomo, Dick Gephardt, and Al Gore, declined to seek their party's presidential nomination. [252] However, Bush's tax increase had angered many conservatives, who believed that Bush had strayed from the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan. [253] He faced a challenge from conservative political columnist Pat Buchanan in the 1992 Republican primaries. [254] Bush fended off Buchanan's challenge and won his party's nomination at the 1992 Republican National Convention, but the convention adopted a socially conservative platform strongly influenced by the Christian right. [255]

Meanwhile, the Democrats nominated Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas. A moderate who was affiliated with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), Clinton favored welfare reform, deficit reduction, and a tax cut for the middle class. [256] In early 1992, the race took an unexpected twist when Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot launched a third party bid, claiming that neither Republicans nor Democrats could eliminate the deficit and make government more efficient. His message appealed to voters across the political spectrum disappointed with both parties' perceived fiscal irresponsibility. [257] Perot also attacked NAFTA, which he claimed would lead to major job losses. [258] National polling taken in mid-1992 showed Perot in the lead, but Clinton experienced a surge through effective campaigning and the selection of Senator Al Gore, a popular and relatively young Southerner, as his running mate. [259]

Clinton won the election, taking 43 percent of the popular vote and 370 electoral votes, while Bush won 37.5 percent of the popular vote and 168 electoral votes. [260] Perot won 19% of the popular vote, one of the highest totals for a third-party candidate in U.S. history, drawing equally from both major candidates, according to exit polls. [261] Clinton performed well in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West Coast, while also waging the strongest Democratic campaign in the South since the 1976 election. [262] Several factors were important in Bush's defeat. The ailing economy which arose from recession may have been the main factor in Bush's loss, as 7 in 10 voters said on election day that the economy was either "not so good" or "poor". [263] [264] On the eve of the 1992 election, the unemployment rate stood at 7.8%, which was the highest it had been since 1984. [265] The president was also damaged by his alienation of many conservatives in his party. [266] Bush blamed Perot in part for his defeat, though exit polls showed that Perot drew his voters about equally from Clinton and Bush. [267]

Despite his defeat, Bush left office with a 56 percent job approval rating in January 1993. [268] Like many of his predecessors, Bush issued a series of pardons during his last days in office. In December 1992, he granted executive clemency to six former senior government officials implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal, most prominently former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. [269] The charges against the six were that they lied to or withheld information from Congress. The pardons effectively brought an end to the Iran-Contra scandal. [270]

According to Seymour Martin Lipset, the 1992 election had several unique characteristics. Voters felt that economic conditions were worse than they actually were, which harmed Bush. A rare event was the a strong third-party candidate. Liberals launched a backlash against 12 years of a conservative White House. The chief factor was Clinton's uniting his party, and winning over a number of heterogeneous groups. [271]


After leaving office, Bush and his wife built a retirement house in the community of West Oaks, Houston. [272] He established a presidential office within the Park Laureate Building on Memorial Drive in Houston. [273] He also frequently spent time at his vacation home in Kennebunkport, took annual cruises in Greece, went on fishing trips in Florida, and visited the Bohemian Club in Northern California. He declined to serve on corporate boards, but delivered numerous paid speeches and served as an adviser to The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm. [274] He never published his memoirs, but he and Brent Scowcroft co-wrote A World Transformed, a 1999 work on foreign policy. Portions of his letters and his diary were later published as The China Diary of George H. W. Bush and All The Best, George Bush. [275]

During a 1993 visit to Kuwait, Bush was targeted in an assassination plot directed by the Iraqi Intelligence Service. President Clinton retaliated when he ordered the firing of 23 cruise missiles at Iraqi Intelligence Service headquarters in Baghdad. [276] Bush did not publicly comment on the assassination attempt or the missile strike, but privately spoke with Clinton shortly before the strike took place. [277] In the 1994 gubernatorial elections, his sons George W. and Jeb concurrently ran for Governor of Texas and Governor of Florida. Concerning their political careers, he advised them both that "[a]t some point both of you may want to say 'Well, I don't agree with my Dad on that point' or 'Frankly I think Dad was wrong on that.' Do it. Chart your own course, not just on the issues but on defining yourselves". [278] George W. won his race against Ann Richards while Jeb lost to Lawton Chiles. After the results came in, the elder Bush told ABC, "I have very mixed emotions. Proud father, is the way I would sum it all up." [279] Jeb would again run for governor of Florida in 1998 and win at the same time that his brother George W. won re-election in Texas. It marked the second time in United States history that a pair of brothers served simultaneously as governors. [280]

Bush supported his son's candidacy in the 2000 presidential election, but did not actively campaign in the election and did not deliver a speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention. [281] George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the 2000 election and was re-elected in 2004. Bush and his son thus became the second father–son pair to each serve as President of the United States, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams. [282] Through previous administrations, the elder Bush had ubiquitously been known as "George Bush" or "President Bush", but following his son's election the need to distinguish between them has made retronymic forms such as "George H. W. Bush" and "George Bush Sr." and colloquialisms such as "Bush 41" and "Bush the Elder" more common. [283] Bush advised his son on some personnel choices, approving of the selection of Dick Cheney as running mate and the retention of George Tenet as CIA Director. However, he was not consulted on all appointments, including that of his old rival, Donald Rumsfeld, as Secretary of Defense. [284] Though he avoided giving unsolicited advice to his son, Bush and his son also discussed some matters of policy, especially regarding national security issues. [285]

In his retirement, Bush generally avoided publicly expressing his opinion on political issues, instead using the public spotlight to support various charities. [286] Despite earlier political differences with Bill Clinton, the two former presidents eventually became friends. [287] They appeared together in television ads, encouraging aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. [288]

Final years

Bush supported Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, [289] and Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, [290] but both were defeated by Democrat Barack Obama. In 2011, Obama awarded Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. [291]

Bush supported his son Jeb's bid in the 2016 Republican primaries. [292] Jeb Bush's campaign struggled however, and he withdrew from the race during the primaries. Neither George H.W. nor George W. Bush endorsed the eventual Republican nominee, Donald Trump [293] all three Bushes emerged as frequent critics of Trump's policies and speaking style, while Trump frequently criticized George W. Bush's presidency. George H. W. Bush later said that he voted for the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the general election. [294] After the election, Bush wrote a letter to president-elect Donald Trump in January 2017 to inform him that because of his poor health, he would not be able to attend Trump's inauguration on January 20 he gave him his best wishes. [295]

In August 2017, after the violence at Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, both Presidents Bush released a joint statement saying, "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms[. . ] As we pray for Charlottesville, we are all reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights." [296] [297]

On April 17, 2018, Barbara Bush, died at the age of 92 [298] at her home in Houston, Texas. Her funeral was held at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston four days later. [299] [300] Bush, along with former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush (son), Bill Clinton and fellow First Ladies Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush (daughter-in-law) and Hillary Clinton were representatives who attended the funeral and who took a photo together after the service as a sign of unity, which went viral online. [301] [302]

On November 1, Bush went to the polls to vote early in the midterm elections. This would be his final public appearance. [303]

Death and funeral

After a long battle with vascular Parkinson's disease, Bush died at his home in Houston on November 30, 2018, at the age of 94. [304] [305] At the time of his death he was the longest-lived U.S. president, [306] a distinction now held by Jimmy Carter. [307] He was also the third-oldest vice president. [h] Bush lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol from December 3 through December 5 he was the 12th U.S. president to be accorded this honor. [309] [310] Then, on December 5, Bush's casket was transferred from the Capitol rotunda to Washington National Cathedral where a state funeral was held. [311] After the funeral, Bush's body was transported to George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, where he was buried next to his wife Barbara and daughter Robin. [312] At the funeral, former president George W. Bush eulogized his father saying,

"He looked for the good in each person, and he usually found it." [311]

In 1991, The New York Times revealed that Bush was suffering from Graves' disease, a non-contagious thyroid condition that his wife Barbara also suffered from. [313] Later in life, Bush suffered from vascular parkinsonism, a form of Parkinson's disease which forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair. [314]

Bush was a lifelong Episcopalian. [315] He cited various moments in his life deepening of his faith, including his escape from Japanese forces in 1944, and the death of his three-year-old daughter Robin in 1953. [316] His faith was reflected in his Thousand Points of Light speech, his support for prayer in schools, and his support for the pro-life movement (following his election as vice president). [315] [316]

Historical reputation

Polls of historians and political scientists have ranked Bush in the top half of presidents. A 2018 poll of the American Political Science Association's Presidents and Executive Politics section ranked Bush as the 17th best president out of 44. [317] A 2017 C-Span poll of historians also ranked Bush as the 20th best president out of 43. [318] Richard Rose described Bush as a "guardian" president, and many other historians and political scientists have similarly described Bush as a passive, hands-off president who was "largely content with things as they were". [319] Professor Steven Knott writes that "[g]enerally the Bush presidency is viewed as successful in foreign affairs but a disappointment in domestic affairs." [320]

Biographer Jon Meacham writes that, after he left office, many Americans viewed Bush as "a gracious and underappreciated man who had many virtues but who had failed to project enough of a distinctive identity and vision to overcome the economic challenges of 1991–92 and to win a second term." [321] Bush himself noted that his legacy was "lost between the glory of Reagan . and the trials and tribulations of my sons." [322] In the 2010s, Bush was fondly remembered for his willingness to compromise, which contrasted with the intensely partisan era that followed his presidency. [323]

In 2018, Vox highlighted Bush for his "pragmatism" as a moderate Republican president by working across the aisle. [324] They specifically noted Bush's accomplishments within the domestic policy by making bipartisan deals, including raising with tax budget among the wealthy with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. Bush also helped pass the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which The New York Times described as "the most sweeping anti-discrimination law since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [325] In response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Bush built another bipartisan coalition to strengthen the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. [326] [327] Bush also championed and signed into a law the Immigration Act of 1990, a sweeping bipartisan immigration reform act that made it easier for immigrants to legally enter the county, while also granting immigrants fleeing violence the temporary protected status visa, as well as lifted the pre-naturalization English testing process, and finally "eliminated the exclusion of homosexuals under what Congress now deemed the medically unsound classification of “sexual deviant” that was included in the 1965 act." [328] [329] Bush stated, "Immigration is not just a link to our past but its also a bridge to America's future". [330]

According to USA Today, the legacy of Bush's presidency was defined by his victory over Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait, and for his presiding over the Dissolution of the Soviet Union and the German reunification. [331] Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott praise Bush's handling of the USSR, especially how he prodded Gorbachev in terms of releasing control over the satellite states and permitting German unification—and especially a united Germany in NATO. [332] Andrew Bacevich judges the Bush administration as “morally obtuse” in the light of its “business-as-usual” attitude towards China after the massacre in Tiananmen Square and its uncritical support of Gorbachev as the Soviet Union disintegrated. [333] David Rothkopf argues:

Détails sur le produit

  • Éditeur &rlm : &lrm Osprey Publishing (21 septembre 2010)
  • Langue &rlm : &lrm Anglais
  • Broché &rlm : &lrm 64 pages
  • ISBN-10 &rlm : &lrm 184908145X
  • ISBN-13 &rlm : &lrm 978-1849081450
  • Poids de l'article &rlm : &lrm 257 g
  • Dimensions &rlm : &lrm 18.54 x 0.69 x 25.22 cm
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    1980 presidential election

    Bush's tenure at the CIA ended after Carter narrowly defeated Ford in the 1976 presidential election. Out of public office for the first time since the 1960s, Bush became chairman on the Executive Committee of the First International Bank in Houston. ⏣] He also spent a year as a part-time professor of Administrative Science at Rice University's Jones School of Business, ⏤] continued his membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, and joined the Trilateral Commission. Meanwhile, he began to lay the groundwork for his candidacy in the 1980 Republican Party presidential primaries. ⏥] In the 1980 Republican primary campaign, Bush would face Ronald Reagan, who was widely regarded as the front-runner, as well as other contenders like Senator Bob Dole, Senator Howard Baker, Texas Governor John Connally, Congressman Phil Crane, and Congressman John B. Anderson. ⏦]

    Bush's campaign cast him as a youthful, "thinking man's candidate" who would emulate the pragmatic conservatism of President Eisenhower. ⏧] In the midst of the Soviet–Afghan War, which brought an end to a period of détente, and the Iran hostage crisis, in which 52 Americans were taken hostage, the campaign highlighted Bush's foreign policy experience. ⏨] At the outset of the race, Bush focused heavily on winning the January 21 Iowa caucuses, making 31 visits to the state. ⏩] Ultimately, he won a close victory Iowa with 31.5% to Reagan's 29.4%. After the win, Bush stated that his campaign was full of momentum, or "the Big Mo", ⏪] and Reagan reorganized his campaign. ⏫] Partly in response to the Bush campaign's frequent questioning of Reagan's age (Reagan turned 69 in 1980), the Reagan campaign stepped up attacks on Bush, painting him as an elitist who was not truly committed to conservatism. ⏬] Prior to the New Hampshire primary, Bush and Reagan agreed to a two-person debate, organized by The Nashua Telegraph but paid for by the Reagan campaign. ⏫]

    Days before the debate, Reagan announced that he would invite four other candidates to the debate Bush, who had hoped that the one-on-one debate would allow him to emerge as the main alternative to Reagan in the primaries, refused to debate the other candidate. All six candidates took the stage, but Bush refused to speak in the presence of the other candidates. Ultimately, the other four candidates left the stage and the debate continued, but Bush's refusal to debate anyone other than Reagan badly damaged his campaign in New Hampshire. ⏭] He ended up decisively losing New Hampshire's primary to Reagan, winning just 23 percent of the vote. ⏫] Bush revitalized his campaign with a victory in Massachusetts, but lost the next several primaries. As Reagan built up a commanding delegate lead, Bush refused to end his campaign, but the other candidates dropped out of the race. ⏮] Criticizing his more conservative rival's policy proposals, Bush famously labeled Reagan's supply side-influenced plans for massive tax cuts as "voodoo economics". ⏯] Though he favored lower taxes, Bush feared that dramatic reductions in taxation would lead to deficits and, in turn, cause inflation. 𖏜]

    After Reagan clinched a majority of delegates in late May, Bush reluctantly dropped out of the race. 𖏝] At the 1980 Republican National Convention, Reagan made the last-minute decision to select Bush as his vice presidential nominee after negotiations with Ford regarding a Reagan-Ford ticket collapsed. 𖏞] Though Reagan had resented many of the Bush campaign's attacks during the primary campaign, and several conservative leaders had actively opposed Bush's nomination, Reagan ultimately decided that Bush's popularity with moderate Republicans made him the best and safest pick. 𖏟] Bush, who had believed his political career might be over following the primaries, eagerly accepted the position and threw himself into campaigning for the Reagan-Bush ticket. 𖏠] The 1980 general election campaign between Reagan and Carter was conducted amid a multitude of domestic concerns and the ongoing Iran hostage crisis, and Reagan sought to focus the race on Carter's handling of the economy. 𖏡] Though the race was widely regarded as a close contest for most of the campaign, Reagan ultimately won over the large majority of undecided voters. 𖏢] Reagan took 50.7 percent of the popular vote and 489 of the 538 electoral votes, while Carter won 41% of the popular vote and John Anderson, running as an independent candidate, won 6.6% of the popular vote. 𖏣]

    Sorry Ron Paul, You Don't Get To Abuse Trademark Law To Unveil Anonymous Internet Users

    Back in January, we wrote about the bizarre decision by Ron Paul to file a lawsuit to unmask some anonymous internet users, who had created a controversial anti-John Huntsman video. At the end of the video, the anonymous videomakers had endorsed Paul, but some conspiracy-minded folks insisted that they were really working for Huntsman and staging an elaborate ruse to put up a video that looked bad about Huntsman to have that backfire on Ron Paul. For a variety of reasons that's either improbable or just downright stupid. But even if we assume the worst case scenario, Ron Paul's lawsuit not only made absolutely no legal sense, but it also seemed to go against nearly everything he believed in concerning internet freedom and the overreaching power of the government.

    Either way, a judge has rejected Paul's attempt to unmask the videomakers on the narrow grounds that he failed to state a legitimate claim, since the video was not commercial in nature (necessary for a trademark violation). The judge did not go so far as to get into the First Amendment issues, but made clear that if Paul comes back with an amended suit with an actual claim, then the First Amendment considerations will be covered. Kudos to Paul Levy at Public Citizen for filing a pair of amicus briefs in the case to make sure the judge was aware of what was happening -- and hitting back at Paul's camp for its initial filing that completely ignored the relevant law and legal standards for unmasking anonymous internet users.

    There are a number of especially troubling items in terms of how Paul and his camp went about this. First, just trying to unmask anonymous internet speech seems extremely problematic. Second, however, is the way in which he tried to twist trademark law to do so. As Eric Goldman explains, Paul's attempts to route around the clear requirements of trademark law were especially mockable:

    To try to salvage the situation, Paul tries two mockable arguments. First, he argues that YouTube and Twitter are commercial sites, and that gives the dispute enough commerciality. The court rightly points out that the inquiry is about the defendant's conduct, not the websites where it took place, and notes the argument's illogic would mean non-commercial activity on any commercial website would be governed by the Lanham Act. In a footnote, the court adds that "using another company’s commercial website to post a comment or video is just far 'too attenuated' to result in an individual’s own conduct automatically meeting the Lanham Act’s commercial use requirement."

    Second, Paul argues that "the video was intended to frustrate Plaintiff’s fundraising efforts and increase the amount of money contributed to Presidential nominees other than Ron Paul." The court says the Lanham Act is predicated on the defendant trying to improve its competitive status, and these defendants had no competing services and the video on its face didn't try to solicit any donations.

    Also surprising to me, is that even Paul's very vocal online supporters seem to refuse to recognize the issue here. I was amazed on our original post how many commenters came to Paul's defense here because they think that the videos were designed to make Paul look bad, and therefore the people "must" be revealed. That's not how the law works and that's not standing up for the basic principles of free speech, internet freedom and liberty that they supposedly stand for.

    The sign of a truly principled person is when you're willing to retain those principles in the face of a situation where standing firm hurts you. Instead, Ron Paul folded and suddenly relied on big federal government regulations and abuse of the law to try to take away individuals' free speech rights.

    Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

    Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites &mdash especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

    While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise &mdash and every little bit helps. Thank you.

    Atlanta 1864: Sherman Marches South: 290 Paperback – 16 februari 2016

    At the conclusion of the Chattanooga campaign in late 1863, the next logical goal for the Union Army was the City of Atlanta, defended by General Joseph Johnston's Confederate Army of the Tennessee. Union General Sherman disposed of three separate Union armies, the armies of the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Ohio. In spring 1864, he began the lengthy campaign of maneuver that would eventually bring the fighting to the outskirts of Atlanta itself.

    "Atlanta 1864" is an Osprey Campaign Series book, well authored by James Donnell with illustrations by Steve Noon. The author begins with a comparison of the opposing commanders and their forces and plans. Through a nice combination of narrative, maps, and battle diagrams, he walks the reader through the moves and countermoves, and some extremely tough fighting, as the two sides maneuvered their way through northern Georgia. When the fighting reached Atlanta itself, Johnston was relieved of his command, replaced by the more aggressive General Hood. A series of sharp battles around Atlanta in July and August 1864 would settle the fate of the key Southern city.

    At just under 100 pages, this book is a nice introduction to the Atlanta campaign, with a decent amount of detail. It captures the key events in a presentation accessible to the general reader but likely to interest the student of the Civil War. Recommended.

    Recensioni clienti

    Recensioni migliori da Italia

    Le recensioni migliori da altri paesi

    As General Grant discovered when he came East in the spring of 1864 to command all Union forces, including the Army of the Potomac, Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was perhaps too tough, too experienced, and too well-led to be easily defeated in open battle. Grant opted to do the next best thing: pin down Lee's army by threatening Richmond and the key transportation hub of Petersburg. In a well-orchestrated sidestep from the Battlefield at Cold Harbor, Grant moved thousands of troops smartly to the James River, crossed, and assaulted Petersburg.

    "Petersburg 1864-1865" offers a solid account of the Civil War's longest siege, in the Osprey Campaign format, with an introduction short sketches of the opposing leaders, armies, and plans and a concise narrative of the siege of Petersburg. There is a nice selection of period photographs, maps and a few modern illustrations. The siege lasted nearly ten months and featured a series of moves and countermoves, as Grant sought to stretch Confederate forces in the Petersburg lines to the breaking point. Author Ron Field has the tough choice of picking which incidents to emphasize. Among his picks are the several initial failed attempts to take Petersburg, including the ultimately futile Battle of the Crater in July 1864. The author does a good to excellent job of explaning the various flank fights that attrited Lee's army and led to the climatic Battle of Five Forks.

    "Petersburg 1864-1865" is highly recommended to the general reader interested in the Civil War. It is also recommended to the student looking for a quick introduction to the campaign.

    Watch the video: Civil War - Petersburg To Appomattox 1865 - a short history


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