January 1, 2002


Presidents of the United States

Study Guide (BRTS13)



GEORGE WASHINGTON (F) 1789-1797. Elected twice.


In 1776, Congress took the final step toward declaring the colonies free and independent states by writing the Declaration of Independence (G 34). In the same year the colonies declared themselves independent, drafting for The Articles of Confederation began. 


Washington helped to shape America in three important ways.  First, General Washington commanded the armed forces seeking to win the independence of the 13 colonies from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War.


Second, Washington was President of the Constitutional Convention (G 29). The Constitutional Convention was composed primarily of Federalists. They wrote and signed the US Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation.  John Hanson served as the first President of the United States under the Articles of Confederation.


Third, in 1789, the same year the Constitution went into effect, Washington was elected the first President of the United States under the US Constitution (G 286). Also in 1789, the Bill of Rights (G 42) was written by James Madison and proposed in Congress. The ten amendments of Bill of Rights were not ratified until two tears later.


Questions: GW

GW1.   In what year did Congress take the final step in declaring the colonies free and independent states?

GW2.   In what year was the Declaration of Independence written?

GW3.   The same year the Declaration of Independence was written, what other document was drafted?

GW4.   Who commanded the forces that were seeking to win independence from the British?

GW5.   How many colonies were seeking independence?

GW6.   What is the name of the war fought between the colonial forces and those of the British?

GW7.   What convention was Washington President of?

GW8.   What party wrote and signed the Constitution?

GW9.   What document replaced the Articles of Confederation?

GW10. Who was the first President under the Articles of Confederation?

GW11. Who was the first president under the Constitution?

GW12. When did the US Constitution go into effect?

GW13.  In 1789 what other document was written and proposed in Congress?

GW14.  Who wrote the Bill of Rights?

GW15.  How many years did it take for the Bill of Rights to be ratified?


JOHN ADAMS (F) 1797-1801. Vice President under President Washington (F) for two terms. Elected once. Defeated by Thomas Jefferson(D-R) in attempt at reelection.


Adams was the first Vice President of the United States under the Constitution, and the second President of the United States under the Federalists party. The US government moved its headquarters from Philadelphia to Washington, DC during Adams administration. Adams was the first President to live in the White House.


Adams signed the Declaration of Independence. Adams also appointed John Marshall to Chief Justice of the United States (G 378-379).


Questions: JA.

JA1. Under what president did Adams served for 8 years as vice president?

JA2. Who was the second President of the United States?

JA3. Where did the government move its head quarters during Adams Presidency?

JA4. Who did John Adams appoint to Chief Justice of the United States?



THOMAS JEFFERSON (D-R) 1801-1809. Elected twice.


Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (G 34).  The election of Thomas Jefferson is significant because it was the first peaceful transfer of power between two different political parties.  John Adams was a Federalist, and the newly elected Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican (A22 #3). Under Jefferson's administration, in the Civil Case of Marbury v Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall declared the power of judicial review over acts of Congress (G 378-379).


Questions: TJ

TJ1. Who wrote the Declaration of independence?

TJ2. When was the Declaration of Independence written?

TJ3. What was the political party of Thomas Jefferson?

TJ4. What important case did Chief Justice John Marshall decide during Jefferson's presidency?

TJ5. What power of the court did Chief Justice John Marshall declare in the case of Marbury v Madison?



JAMES MADISON (D-R) 1809-1817. Elected twice.


Father of the Constitution


Madison was originally a member of the Federalist Party and supported many of George Washington's policies (G 65). In time, he gradually came to oppose the financial plans of Washington's Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton (G 394). As a result, Madison turned against the Federalist Party and with Jefferson formed the Democratic-Republican Party.


James Madison wrote the U.S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the Bill of Rights. 


Madison wrote the US Constitution (G 27) to replace the Articles of Confederation. 


The Federalist Papers (G 52) were written between 1776 and 1789 to advertise the US Constitution.  Alexander Hamilton and John Jay assisted Madison in writing the papers.  Together, the three authors used the pen name “Publius.


Because the US Constitution still faced opposition, Madison promised to write the Bill of Rights (G 42). The Bill of Rights was written in 1789, two years later it was ratified and became the first ten amendments to the Constitution.


Madison helped design the checks and balances (G 54) that operate among legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches of the government. He also helped create the US federal system (G 37), which divides power between the central government and the states.  Madison was reelected president by the narrowest margin of any election since the Democratic-Republican Party had come to power.


Madison was Secretary of State when William Marbury sued him to force delivery of his appointment as justice of the peace.  However, President Jefferson had ordered Madison not to make the appointment. Chief Justice John Marshall denied Marbury’s request for appointment, saying that Marbury had the right to his commission, but not to bring an original action in the Supreme Court. This case was

Marbury v. Madison which stated that the Supreme Court had the power of judicial review (G56).




Questions: JM

JM1.   Who is known as the Father of the Constitution?

JM2.   What were the two political parties of James Madison?

JM3.   Who wrote the United States Constitution?

JM4.   Who wrote the Federalist Papers?

JM6.   Who wrote the Bill of Rights?

JM7.   In what year were the Bill of Rights written?

JM7.   When were the Federalist Papers written?

JM8.   What was the pen name used by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay?

JM9.   How many amendments are included in the Bill of Rights?

JM10. Why were the Federalist Papers and the Bill of Rights written?

JM11. What are the three branches of government that use the checks and balances system?

JM12. Who developed the US federal system?

JM13. In what court case was James Madison involved?

JM14. When sued by W. Marbury, what was James Madison’s position?

JM15. What power of the court was established in the case of Marbury v. Madison?


ANDREW JACKSON (D) 1829-1837.  Elected twice.


In 1789, The US Constitution went into effect although it faced opposition by the Democratic-Republican Party.  In the election that occurred about 40 years after the Constitution went into effect, the Democratic-Republican Party evolved into the Democratic Party of today (G 164) under the leadership of Andrew Jackson (A22 #7). This change was due to strong differences in opinion between Andrew Jackson and supporters of Thomas Jefferson.


Mainly farmers and other working people supported the Democratic Party. To allow farmers and other working people to help Jackson be elected, Jackson established the state convention to bypass the caucus (G 180) system. Hostile eastern bankers had dominated the caucus system and had prevented Jackson from taking office because he was a Western farmer. 



Questions: AJ

AJ1. What important document went into effect in 1789?

AJ2. Who opposed the Constitution?

AJ3. What party ended with the election of Andrew Jackson?

AJ4. What new party evolved due to the election of Andrew Jackson?

AJ5. Who was the first person to lead the Democratic Party?

AJ6. Who supported Jackson?

AJ7. Who established the state convention?





ABRAHAM LINCOLN (R) 1861-1865.  Elected twice. Did not complete his second term. When President Lincoln was assassinated, his Vice President Andrew Johnson (R) took office.


Lincoln became the first Republican president of the Unites States (G 164).  During the Civil War, Lincoln was the incumbent (G 189) president of the United States. President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, and incumbent vice president, Andrew Johnson, took over the presidency.  1865 was the same year the Civil War ended.  The Civil War was fought over the issue of the southern states wishing to secede (leave) from the Union. Eleven southern states tried to secede from the Union.  The Union was lead by Lincoln.


Under Lincoln (G 288-289), the Emancipation Proclamation became effective.  The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves who were living in Confederate states that were fighting against the Union.  African-Americans were grateful to the Republican Party for the Emancipation Proclamation and for decades they voted in huge numbers for Republican candidates.  The South responded to the Emancipation Proclamation with Jim Crow laws (G 113) that require segregation. Lincoln was elected president for two terms. Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. When President Lincoln was assassinated, his vice-president, Andrew Johnson, became President of the United States.


Questions: AL

AL1.   Who the first Republican President elected?

AL2.   Who was president of the United States during the Civil War?

AL3.   In what year was the U.S. President assassinated?

AL4.   In what year did the Civil War end?

AL5.   Who became President after the Civil War when the incumbent, Lincoln, was assassinated?

AL6.   Over what issue was the Civil War fought?

AL7.   What group of voters was grateful to the Republican Party and was loyal to that Party for decades?

AL8.    What group benefited from the Emancipation Proclamation?

AL9.   What were Jim Crow laws?

AL10. What famous speech did Abraham Lincoln deliver?



ANDREW JOHNSON (R) 1865-1869. Vice President under President Lincoln (R). When President Lincoln was assassinated, Johnson took office; he was impeached and acquitted.


After President Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson became President of the United States. President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives and tried before the Senate with the Supreme Court Chief Justice presiding (G 286). Because Andrew Johnson was acquitted by one vote, he remained in office. Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached.


Questions: AJ

AJ1. When did Andrew Johnson become president?

AJ2. Who impeached Andrew Johnson?

AJ3. Who was Andrew Johnson tried before?

AJ4. Who presided over the impeachment?

AJ5. Who was the first president to be impeached?

AJ6. What was the result of the impeachment procedures?



THEODORE ROOSEVELT (R) 1901-1909. Vice president under President McKinley (R) When McKinley was assassinated, T. Roosevelt took office. Won election as a member of the Republican Party. Did not seek reelection.


"Square Deal"/ New Nationalism: Policy of the Progressive Party


President Roosevelt led supporters into his Bull Moose Party, another name for the Progressive Party      (G 168). The Party's platform (G159) called for numerous social and political reforms, including the conservation of natural and human resources, women's suffrage, popular election of US Senators and the initiative, referendum and recall.  President Taft, formerly Roosevelt’s Vice President, did not continue with the policies Roosevelt had implemented. As a result, Roosevelt decided to run for reelection under the Progressive Party against Taft.  Roosevelt was unsuccessful his attempt at reelection because the Republican Party was divided.


Questions: TR

TR1. What was Teddy Roosevelt slogan?

TR2. What was the name of the party that President Roosevelt formed?



WILLIAM H. TAFT (R) 1909-1913. Elected for once, lost reelection to W. Wilson (D).

Chosen to carry on the policies of President Roosevelt (R).


Angered over what he felt was the betrayal of his policies, former President Roosevelt sought the Republican nomination.  The Republican Party chose Taft, rather than Roosevelt to run for election. Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party or Bull Moose Party and ran against Taft in an attempt at reelection. If the Republican Party had not split, they would have won the Presidential Election.


Questions: WHT

WHT1. What was President Taft's party?

WHT2. What Party chose William H. Taft?

WHT3. Who formed the Bull Moose Party and divided the Republicans?



WOODROW WILSON (D) 1913-1921. Elected for twice.


"New Freedom": Antimonopoly policies and return to small-scale business.


Wilson won election because Roosevelt, running as a Progressive and Taft the nominee for the Republic Party, divided the Republican voters.  During President Wilson's administration, American troops were sent to Europe, and the United States became involved in World War I, 1917 (G 428). The Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey) fought the Allied Powers (Great Britain, France and Russia).


Questions: WW

WW1. What was Wilson's political party?

WW2. When did the US become involved in World War I?

WW3. To what part of the world were Americans troops sent during President Wilson’s term?

WW4. What countries were in the Central Powers?

WW5. What countries were in the Allied Powers?

WW6. Who were the allies of the United States?

WW7. What was Woodrow Wilson's slogan?



FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (D) 1933-1945. Elected four times. Died in office, his Vice President Harry S. Truman (D) took over presidency.


"New Deal"


The 1929 Stock Market Crash affected economies in every country around the world. Many jobs across America were lost. 1929 was the beginning of a period in history known as the Great Depression. President Roosevelt's nickname was FDR.  FDR proposed the New Deal (G 335), a series of programs that attempted to fix the economic situation of the United States. The New Deal appealed to African-American voters resulting in a switch of their loyalty from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. In the first presidential election after the 1929 Stock Market Crash, FDR, a Democrat, was elected president. FDR was the only American president ever to serve four terms. Today, there is a term limit on the number of times a president can serve in office (two terms).


FDR was president when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The day after Japan attacked Pearl harbor, FDR asked Congress for a declaration of war against the Japanese government. This began American involvement in World War II (G 290). President FDR died just before the end of World War II and his vice president, Harry S. Truman became President. World War II ended in 1945 with the unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces in the Pacific.  After WWII, America ended its policy of isolationism      (G 428). 


Questions: FDR

FDR1.   When was the stock market crash that caused the Great Depression?

FDR2.   What was the name of FDR’s plan to fix the economy?

FDR3.   How many times was FDR elected as President?

FDR4.   What other president has served as many terms as FDR?

FDR5.   Who became President when FDR died?

FDR6.   How many times can a President be elected now?

FDR7.   What was FDR’s political party?

FDR8.   In what war was the United States involved during FDR’s presidency?

FDR9.   When did World War II end?

FDR10. What was FDR's slogan?

FDR11. What policy was abandoned by the US after WWII?


HARRY S. TRUMAN (D) 1945-1953. Took office when President Roosevelt (D) died. Elected for once. Lost reelection to Dwight D. Eisenhower (R).


"Fair Deal"


In 1945, FDR died, Hitler died by suicide, and Germany surrendered. Truman ordered atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan (G 310). Japan surrendered within a week after the bombs were dropped. World War II ended in 1945.


The Allies cooperated to form the United Nations Organization (UNO) (G 428) in San Francisco (the headquarters of the UNO are now in New York City). UNO was established to ensure global peace and security. Within the UN are agencies such as the United Nations International Emergency Children's fund (UNICEF), which provides education and health care, nutrition and emergency aid; and the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific, and Cultural Organization), a specialized agency to promote cooperation in these areas.


Questions: HST

HST1.   Who became president when FDR died?

HST2.   What leader died on the same year as FDR?

HST3.   In what year was the atomic bomb dropped?

HST4.   In what cities did the US drop atomic bombs?

HST5.   What country are Hiroshima and Nagaski in?

HST6.   What was resulted due to the US’ use of atom bombs?

HST7.   Why was the UNO formed?

HST8.   Within the UN what other agencies are included?

HST9.   What agency provides emergency aid to children?

HST10. What agency promotes educational and scientific aid?


Due to the fear of spreading communism, the US began the policy of containment (G 429) shortly after the end of WWII.


The Berlin airlift (G 429) provided food and supplies to West Germany because it had no road access due to a Soviet blockade.  The Allied airlift forced the Soviets to lift the Berlin blockade that was aimed at pressuring the Western powers out of the Soviet occupied areas. 


After WWII, America abandoned the policy of "abstention from entangling alliances in peacetime," by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of democratic countries of Europe. NATO (G 430) included Britain, France, Benelux, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway and Portugal. The alliance was a form of protection from communist threats. The Soviets responded to NATO by forming the Warsaw Pact (Warsaw Treaty Organization) which intended to guard countries where Soviet influence was present. 


The Truman Doctrine (containment) was aimed to support free peoples who were resisting Soviet communism. At the time the Truman Doctrine was adopted, Great Britain requested help from the US to protect Greece and Turkey (G 428) from communist aggression.  Great Britain feared the domino theory, which states if one country falls into communism more will follow until all are affected. The US kept the Soviets from pursuing imperialistic interests by focusing on internal reconstruction through the Marshall Plan (G 449) also known as the European Recovery Program.  The Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan were based on containment of the Soviet Union, Soviet Union satellites, and communist allies.  The Cold War (G 429), was a period of ideological, economic and political hostility and competition between east and west from 1945 to 1989.  The Cold War also resulted in creating a bipolar (G 429) world in which nations were either allied with the US or the Soviet Union.


Questions: HST

HST11. How were food and supplies provided to West Germany?

HST12. Why was the Berlin airlift necessary?

HST13. What US policy was abandoned after WWII?

HST14. What does NATO stand for?

HST15. What organization did the Soviets form in response to NATO?

HST16. What doctrine was used to support those who were resisting Soviet communism?

HST17. Great Britain requested help from the US to protect which two countries?

HST18. What is the theory of countries systematically falling into communism called?

HST19. The European Recovery Program is also known as what?

HST20. What were the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine both used to prevent?

HST21. What was the period of hostility between the East and the West known as?

HST22. What was the time period of the Cold War?

HST23. What kind of world was created during the Cold War?


The government of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek was so corrupt that US aid was ineffective. Chinese Communists under dictator Mao Tse-tung took over China, making it the People's Republic of China (PRC). Chiang fled to Formosa (Taiwan) where he became president of the Republic of China (ROC).


The Korean War (G 429) was after WWII. Japan had withdrawn from Korea that was now divided by the 38th parallel.   The 38th parallel divided Korea into the Democratic People's Republic (Communist North Korea) backed by the USSR, and the Republic of (South) Korea, backed by the US and the UN. South Korea had a weak army and needed help to defend itself. The UN with a great deal of assistance from the US struggled to push the North Koreans back across the 38th parallel (G 430). The UN and American troops were stationed at the DMZ (demilitarized zone).


Questions: HST

HST24. Who took over China when Chiang Kai-Shek was forced to retreat to Fermosa?

HST25. What does PRC stand for?

HST26. Where is Formosa?

HST27. What was the name of the president of the ROC?

HST28. What was used to divide North and South Korea?

HST29. Who was stationed at the DMZ?



DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (R) 1953-1961. Elected twice.


Dwight D. was known as Ike Eisenhower. President Eisenhower ended the Korean War, which had begun when Harry S. Truman was President


 Since 1862, France controlled the provinces around Saigon, and by 1893 it dominated all of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea, or Cambodia). A group led by Ho Chi Minh formed the League for the Independence of Vietnam (Vietminh) to oust the French from Vietnam. In the Geneva Accord, France, Great Britain, Russia and China agreed to divide Vietnam along the 17th parallel. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (pro communist), under Ho Chi Minh would be to the north (Vietcong), and the southern sector would belong to Emperor Bao Dai.


In the Soviet Union, marxist-leninist dictator Joseph Stalin died and was replaced by Nikita Krushchev.  Soviets launched the satellite Sputnik.  The US felt the need to improve education in an attempt to compete with Soviet technology.  To improve educational programs, the US passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).


Questions: DDE

DDE1.  What was President Eisenhower's nickname?

DDE2.  What war did President Eisenhower end?

DDE3.  What country used to control the provinces around Saigon?

DDE4.  What countries were included in Indochina?

DDE5.  What leader formed the League for the Independence of Vietnam?

DDE6.  What countries were parts of the Geneva Accord?

DDE7.   How was Vietnam divided?

DDE8.   Who was Joseph Stalin?

DDE9.   What was the name of the satellite launched by the Soviets?

DDE10. Why did the US decide to pass the ESEA?


In the Middle East, the US had to restrain Russian expansion into oil resources such as Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Another source of conflict in the Middle East was due to Israel’s (former Palestine) constant friction with neighboring nations (G 432). Truman’s support of Israel caused feelings of resentment for the US among Israel’s Arab neighbors.  This conflict added to national, ethnic and religious dissent in the Middle East.  An example Arab dissent would be the movement of Palestinians in Jordan and Israel to form a Palestine Nation.


When Guatemala began importing Soviet weapons, the Eisenhower administration helped overthrow the Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.  Similarly, Fidel Castro (G 448) overthrew Dictator Fulgencio Batista and began a revolution in Cuba. Eisenhower ended his term breaking diplomatic relations with Cuba.


Questions: DDE

DDE11. Why was Russia trying to expand in the Middle East?

DDE12. What countries were threatened by Russian expansion?

DDE13. What was the former name of Israel?

DDE14. Why were the Arabs resentful of the United States?

DDE15. What movements were formed as a result of this resentment?

DDE16. What country in Latin America was beginning to import Soviet weapons?

DDE17. Who overthrew Dictator Fulgencio Batista?

DDE18. With what country did Eisenhower brake diplomatic relations?



JOHN F. KENNEDY (D) 1961-1963. Elected once.  Defeated Richard Nixon (R), Vice President under Ike Eisenhower (R) for two terms. JFK was assassinated, and Vice President LB Johnson (D), took office.


"New Frontier"


Kennedy was the first Catholic to be elected President of the United States. He is the only president in US history who was not a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). He selected Lyndon B. Johnson as his vice-president.


Once there were signs of Soviet-friendly activity in Cuba, Kennedy assigned the CIA to train and equip anti-Castro exiles to attack and overthrow revolutionary dictator Fidel Castro. This secret army invaded the Bay of Pigs (G450), but was unsuccessful. Kennedy then raised an economic blockade on Cuba. Castro strengthened his connections with the Soviet Union.


The Soviet Union loaded Cuba with nuclear technology. Kennedy demanded removal of the nuclear weapons, threatening force if necessary. The blockade on Cuba was lifted and both the US and Soviet Union opened direct communication in case of crisis. This event was called The Cuban Missile Crisis    (G 429).


The Berlin Wall (G 429) was built to separate east and west Germany.  The wall was built to stop migration in and out of East Germany.  With no obvious objection from the US, the Soviet Union began testing nuclear weapons.


President Kennedy also introduced Civil Rights legislation to Congress. President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Vice-president Lyndon B. Johnson became president.


Questions: JFK

JFK1.  Who was the first Catholic president to be elected?

JFK2.  What country was the US concerned with during Kennedy’s Presidency?

JFK3.  What is the meaning of WASP?

JFK4.  Why was the US involved with Cuba?

JFK5.  What was the name given to the US invasion of Cuba?

JFK6.  What type of technology was being built in Cuba at the time?

JFK7.  What country was helping Cuba?

JFK8.  What country did the US blockade during Kennedy’s Presidency?

JFK9.  What legislation did President Kennedy introduce?

JFK10. How did President Kennedy die?

JFK11. How many terms did Kennedy serve?

JFK12. Who became president after his death?

JFK13. What was John F. Kennedy's slogan?



LYNDON B. JOHNSON (D) 1963-1969. Completed President Kennedy's (D) term. Won election once. Did not seek reelection.


"Great Society"


Johnson took the oath of office as President of the United States after President Kennedy’s assassination.

Johnson’s Great society policies introduced dozens of innovative and new grant programs with an urban focus.  The Model Cities program was designed to help cities develop projects addressing a variety of economic and social problems.  For the first time community based programs for feeding the poor, training the unemployed, and educating the children of low-income families were introduced.


Under Johnson’s administration, American combat troops were deployed in Vietnam  (G 430). Johnson requested congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that authorizes the President “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the US and to prevent further aggression.” (G 298).  The involvement of American troops in Vietnam was protested throughout the United States. President Johnson did not seek reelection.


Questions: LBJ

LBJ1. Who was president before Lyndon B. Johnson?

LBJ2. When did LBJ become president?

LBJ3. What area did Johnson’s Great Society programs focus on?

LBJ4. What program helped cities to develop projects for economic and social problems?

LBJ5. Where did LBJ deploy troops?

LBJ6. For what Resolution was LBJ responsible?

LBJ7. What was Lyndon B. Johnson's slogan?



RICHARD M. NIXON (R) 1969-1974. Elected twice. Under the threat of impeachment, he resigned during his second term. His Vice President Gerald Ford (R) took office.


When Nixon became president, the United States was still involved in the Vietnam War and Vietcong was unwilling to negotiate. South Vietnamese armies were ineffective even with the help of American troops. Nixon began to gradually reduce the number of US forces in Vietnam, but he did send thousands of American troops to Cambodia, hoping to destroy an enemy base.  Shortly after the attack on Cambodia, the US withdrew from the Vietnam War (G 430).


Nixon’ foreign policy adviser Henry Kissinger, (G 431) adopted a détente policy (negotiation rather than confrontation) and decided to change the way America dealt with China and Russia. In 1972, the Soviet Union and the Unites States agreed to stop making nuclear ballistic missiles by signing the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT). 


Nixon agreed to support China's admission to the United Nations.  Nixon also developed economic and cultural exchanges among China and the US (G 296). The change in relations between China and the US opened a way for North Vietnamese to negotiate the withdrawal of the US from Vietnam.  American involvement in Vietnam ended with the signing of a peace accord in Paris.


Due to the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon was going to be impeached (G 294), but in August 9, 1974 he resigned before impeachment procedures (G 293). On the same day Nixon resigned, Vice President Gerald R. Ford took the oath of office as President.


Questions: RN

RN1.   In an effort to destroy an enemy base, where were US troops sent?

RN2.   What does détente mean?

RN3.   Who was the foreign policy adviser at that time?

RN4.   What treaty was signed as an agreement to stop making nuclear missiles?

RN5.   What country was admitted to the UN by the Nixon administration at time?

RN6.   Did the peace accord in Paris end US involvement in Vietnam?

RN7.   What President was involved in the Watergate scandal?

RN8.   What action did Nixon take to avoid impeachment?

RN9.   Who took over the presidency?



GERALD R. FORD (R) 1974-1977. Took office when President Nixon (R) resigned under the threat of impeachment. Lost election to Jimmy Carter (D).


Like Andrew Johnson, Gerald R. Ford was not elected to the Presidency.


In 1975, communists invaded Cambodia. The communists took the American merchant ship Mayaguez captive in the Gulf of Siam. President Ford ordered an attack to rescue the ship and its 39-crew members.


Questions: GF

GF1. How did Gerald R. Ford become president?

GF2. Who was involved in the hijacking of the Mayaguez?

GF3. Where was the ship captured?



JIMMY CARTER (James Earl Carter) (D) 1977-1981. Elected once, lost reelection to Ronald Reagan (R).


In 1979 the United States and the Soviet Union signed the second Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT II). War in the Middle East resulted in a cut of US oil supply (G 432).  President Carter called for Israel and Egypt to negotiate an end to their wars. Representatives of the three nations met at Camp David. In result to the meeting, Egypt would recognize Israel as a nation, and Israel would withdrawl from territory it had captured.


Carter sought to diminish American dependency on OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries G 426, 432) for oil. Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia founded OPEC, with other nations like Libya, Indonesia, Algeria and Nigeria joining in following years. The OPEC nations could raise oil embargoes on countries that supported their enemies.


 Iran had bought arms from the US dating back to about two years prior to Gerald Ford’s election. The Shah of Iran (Muhammad Reza Pahlavi) alienated the people, especially Muslim leaders.  Pahlayi did this by ineffective rule that was dependent on the US.  At one point, Pahlavi had to flee Iran.  Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a revered religious leader back from exile in France, assumed power.  Khomeini seized the American Embassy in Teheran and demanded the surrender of the shah and his possessions in exchange for American hostages (G 434). Compliance to his demands would violate American laws on terrorism. In 1980, Carter sent a team to rescue the hostages, but the aircraft crashed and the stalemate continued with US hostages still in Iran.


Jimmy Carter only served one term. Ronald Reagan defeated him. Carter was blamed for his lack of action concerning the Iran situation.


Questions: JC

JC1.   What does SALT II stand for?

JC2.   In what part of the world was President Carter trying to negotiate the end of a war?

JC3.   What nations met at Camp David to negotiate a compromise?

JC4.   What does OPEC stands for?

JC5.   Who founded OPEC

JC6.   From what country did Shah Reza Pahlavi have to flee?

JC7.   Who took over that country?

JC8.   Where was a group of Americans held hostages?

JC9.   How many terms did President Carter serve?

JC10. For what situation was President Carter blamed?

JC11. What party did Carter represent?


RONALD REAGAN (R) 1981-1989. Elected twice.


The day Ronald Reagan took office, the Iran hostages that Carter could not succeed in rescuing were released (G 434).  During the Reagan administration, the US openly aided the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The US covertly aided the Contras of Nicaragua (G 308). The US also opposed the Cuban-backed Grenada government. Reagan promised to aid anti-communist "freedom fighters" that were fighting against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.  The US involvement in Central American and the Caribbean was justified as prevention against Cuban military plans for the area.


In El Salvador, communist peasant rebels and native Indians formed guerrillas to bring about land reforms.  Mainly Nicaragua, Cuba, and the Soviet Union aided the reforms. The US supported the conservative government of El Salvador with financial and military aid (G449).


The United States also became involved in the peacekeeping of Lebanon (G298) when a fight broke out between the PLO and the Christian (Maronite)


Questions: RR

RR1. In what country were the Contras fighting?

RR2. Against what government were the Contras fighting?

RR3. What countries did the US help in Central America.

RR4. What Caribbean nation did the US covertly assist?

RR5. Why was the US involvement in Central America justified?

RR6. What other countries were involved with El Salvador?

RR7. When a fight broke out between Christian Phalange and the PLO where did the US become involved?


During Reagan’s Presidency, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union.  Gorbachev showed himself more open politically, he started glasnost (open political debate and criticism) and introduced perestroika (restructuring, encouraging individual enterprises and decentralizing administration to stimulate the economy). Gorbachev  honored Salt II, but Reagan pressed for an increase in defense technology (G 457).  The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or Star Wars was a computer-controlled system capable of destroying enemy missiles in outer space (G 57).  Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to end production of short and medium-range nuclear missiles during the first Strategic Arms Reductions Talks (START).


The Iran-Contra affair involved the US sale of weapons to a hostile government in Iran and the illegal funding of rebel groups in Central America (G 328).  12 million dollars of income from arms sales to Iran went to aid the Contras in Nicaragua (G 448-449). The Iran-Contra affair violated the Boland Amendment. During Reagan’s presidency, the groundwork for the collapse of the Berlin Wall began (G 424).


Questions: RR

RR8.   When Ronald Reagan was president who became leader of the Soviet Union?

RR9.   What is the meaning of glasnost?

RR10. What is perestroika?

RR11. How is the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) commonly known?

RR12. What does START stand for?

RR13. Who was president when the American hostages in Teheran were released?

RR14. How many terms did this president serve?

RR15. What president started talks to end the Cold War?



GEORGE BUSH, the father. (R) 1989-1993. Vice president for President Reagan for two terms. Elected once, lost reelection to Bill Clinton (D).


After the supreme Court acquitted Gregory Johnson on criminal charges for flag desecration, President Bush announced that he favored an amendment (not a bill) to make flag desecration illegal (G 94). An amendment is a change made to the Constitution. The Democrats proposed the Flag Protection Act (a bill that would be easier to overturn than an amendment). The Flag Protection Act passed without Bush’s signature because Bush had favored an amendment.  The Flag Protection Act became law in 1989, the same year the Berlin Wall fell. The fall of the Berlin Wall signified the end of The Cold War (G 424-425).


In 1989 the US forced Manuel Noriega out of power in Panama and restored its elected, legitimate president (G 299).


After becoming President, Saddam S. Hussein set up a dictatorship in Iraq, eliminating all manifestations of opposition.  A year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Iraq attacked Kuwait. The UN immediately imposed a trade embargo on Iraq, and US troops were sent to Saudi Arabia. After negotiations, Iraq refused to withdraw from Kuwait. The Gulf War (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are located in the Persian Gulf) lasted 100 days (G 299). The Iraqi army surrendered, and Iraq agreed to cease-fire resolutions.  Iraq also agreed to long-term weapons inspections.


Questions: the elder

GB1. Who served as vice-president for Ronald Reagan for two terms?

GB2. What did President Bush propose to make flag desecration illegal?

GB3. What bill was passed to make flag desecration illegal?

GB4. What did the fall of the Berlin Wall signify?

GB5. What dictator was forced out of Panama by U.S. troops?

GB6. Who was in control of Iraq?

GB7. When did Iraq attack Kuwait?

GB8. In what part of the world is Kuwait located?

GB9. What agreement did the US obtained from Iraq?


During Bush’s Presidency, Somalia had been afflicted with internal divisions, famine and disease. Fighting in Somalia was so intense, that the UN had to leave briefly.  Shortly after leaving, the UN returned led by US troops to help with reconstruction.


When Gorbachev let the communists governments of the Soviet Union survive on their own, they soon began to weaken. The Warsaw Pact was made null. The Berlin Wall fell and talks of the unification of Germany began.


Just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, student demonstrations for democracy in China were massive. In l989 many students died when crushed by PLA tanks on Tienanmen Square (G 435). This event influenced Gorbachev's decision to relax communism in the Soviet Union. Bush aided the new governments resulting from the breakup of the Soviet Union.  The Soviet Union was divided into 15 parts. Soviets had rejected Gorbachev's glasnost/perestroika.  The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania won independence from the Soviet Union shortly after it’s division.


Questions: the elder

GB10. What country had been afflicted with internal divisions, famine and disease?

GB11. In what country were the UN and US troops helping with reconstruction?

GB12. When the Berlin Wall fell, what two countries talked of unification?

GB13. Is the Warsaw Pact still in operation?

GB14. In what country is Tienanmen Square?

GB15. What happened in Tienanmen Square?

GB16. Was glasnost/perestroika embraced by the new nations in the Soviet Union?

GB17. Are Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania part of the Soviet Union?



WILLIAM J. CLINTON (D) 1993-2001. Elected twice.  Clinton was impeached and acquitted.


The civil war among the six major tribes of Somalia (G438) was originally supported by the Soviets. Somalia lost SU support when it entered a war with socialist Ethiopia, a country already aligned with the Soviets. Two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the president of Somalia had to flee the country because he had no support from the SU or from his own people. The Somalis began to clash for power because they could not decide on one common leader. The tribes fought for control of ports and airports because food distribution depended on them. President Bush wanted to prevent a famine and violence in the land and took action prior to Clinton’s election.


President Clinton continued attempts to prevent famine. Clinton sent additional relief troops to Somalia. Bosnia became independent from Yugoslavia.  Bosnian Serbs began ethnic cleansing. Bosnian-Croatians followed with the same. They prevented the UN from delivering humanitarian aid to Bosnian-Muslims. The conflict became more violent when President Clinton began his term. The US airdropped relief supplies early in his term. Toward the end of his first term a seize-fire was agreed to begin peace negotiations. The UN was to help keep peace while the nation focused on rebuilding. Four years of bloodshed ended with the Dayton Peace Accord in Ohio.


In 1991 the president of Haiti was overthrown by a military coup (G 299, 444). Many Haitians fled the country and sought refuge in the US, but President Bush did not allow them to immigrate. When Clinton became president, the number of refugees increased. Clinton requested the UN to impose economic sanctions to pressure the military dictatorship into restoring the legitimate president. This caused a negative effect in the economy and more refugees fled the country. Clinton allowed them to be taken to Cuba and other Caribbean countries where they could find asylum. He attempted negotiations with the military leaders but efforts were fruitless. As a last resort, troops were sent to take rebel leaders down by force. In 1994 President Clinton called off the invasion when rebel leaders agreed to reinstate the exiled legitimate President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.


The US and N. Korea made an agreement in which a nuclear power plant would be built and fuel oil would be provided in exchange for the North to cease construction of an old style nuclear power plant. In the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), 1,500,000 soldiers faced each other, including 37,000 from the US.


Questions: BC

BC1. What nation in Africa did President Clinton send additional relief aid?

BC2. What country previously included Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia?

BC3. In what type of cleansing were the Bosnians and Croatians engaging?

BC4. Who was prevented from receiving humanitarian aid in that area?

BC5. What is the name of the accord signed in Ohio related to that conflict?

BC6. What Caribbean nation was taken by a military coup?

BC7. Who was the exiled legitimate president of that Caribbean nation?

BC8. What does DMZ stand for?


The Chemical Weapons Convention baned the production, reserve, and use of chemical weapons. The START II Treaty, along with START I, reduced two-thirds of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals from their Cold War heights.


In 1998, the House of Representatives impeached incumbent president Bill Clinton.  He was accused of perjury and obstruction of justice. President Clinton is the first elected president to be impeached. Since the votes were not in the majority, President Clinton was acquitted in both charges (G 199). Had President Clinton been convicted and removed from office, the incumbent vice president, Al Gore, would have taken over the presidency.


Questions: BC

BC9.   What was President Clinton trying to accomplish with the Chemical Weapons Convention?

BC10. Who was the first elected president to be impeached?

BC11. What were the charges against President Clinton?

BC12. Who impeached President Clinton?

BC13. How many votes were needed to obtain a conviction?

BC14. What was the result of the impeachment procedures?

BC15. How many terms did this president serve?

BC16. Who was his vice president?

BC17. How many terms did his vice president serve?



GEORGE W. BUSH, the son (R) 2001- Elected once.  Defeated Al Gore (D) who served as Vice President under President Clinton for eight years.


George W. Bush won the presidency of the United States by a very small margin of electoral votes.  Al Gore had actually received a plurality (the most votes, but not more than half) of the popular vote.  The main issue of the election was which president would receive Florida’s electoral votes.  The winner of Florida’s electoral votes would have a majority (more than half) of the electoral votes. 


Al Gore contested George Bush and the outcome of the election.  The U.S. Supreme Court had to decide who won the election.  Over two months later, President Bush, who the press and the public refer as "Dubya" (W in "Texan"), was sworn in as President (G 61). His vice president is Dick Cheney.


Questions: GWB

GWB1. Who received a plurality of the popular vote?

GWB2. Who received a majority of the electoral votes?

GWB3. Who contested the 2001 election?

GWB4. What name does the press and the public often use to refer to president Bush?

GWB5. Who is the vice president of the United States?

GWB6. What political party does George W. Bush represent?


On September 11, 2001, an event occurred that was inconceivable to most Americans due to their sense of security.  Terrorists carried out the worst attack on American soil ever; he death toll of the terrorist attack exceeded that of Pearl Harbor.  Four commercial airliners were hijacked. Two of the hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City. The third plane flew into the Pentagon, the building which houses the Department of Defense in Washington D.C.  The fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers overpowered terrorists on the plane. Osama bin Laden, who is a member of Afghanistan’s Taliban, organized the terrorist attack.


Shortly after the attack, President Bush waged a war on all forms of terrorism.  The United States attacked the Taliban by use of air strikes.  President Bush explained that the war would be covert, no large-scale ground attacks.  US forces launched air strikes against terrorist camps, Taliban command centers and communication facilities.


In consequence to the tragedy that occurred, President Bush received the highest public opinion poll (G134-135, 249) rating in history. 


Questions: GWB

GWB7.   When did the worst attack on America occur?

GWB8.   What was the total number of planes hijacked?

GWB9.   Where did the first two planes crash?

GWB10. Where did the third plane crash?

GWB11. Which cabinet department is housed in the Pentagon?

GWB12. What state did the fourth plane crash in?

GWB13. Why did the fourth plane crash?

GWB14. Who organized the terrorist attack?

GWB15. What group does Osama Bin Laden belong to?

GWB16. What country contains the Taliban group?

GWB17. Which other attack on America was this worse than?

GWB19. Which President has received the highest public opinion rating?