United States Border Map

Yearbook 2003

USA. At the beginning of the year, the United States continued to seek to join the United Nations and its NATO allies in the plans for military intervention against Iraq. But in his annual speech to the nation in January, President George W. Bush made it clear that he did not necessarily intend to await “other people’s decisions” on the issue. In February, an attempt was made to pass a UN resolution mandating an attack, but the request was withdrawn when it became clear that France, Russia and China were all prepared to veto.

Based on Abbreviationfinder, a majority of Americans supported the war plans at the same time as the largest anti-war demonstrations since the Vietnam War were carried out the weeks before the March outbreak. The war itself was soon over, but still the invasion was not the walking victory that the White House seems to have counted on. Gradually, guerrilla-like attacks by hard-to-identify groups began to become a growing problem for the occupation forces.

By the end of the year, more Americans had fallen in Iraq after the war itself than during the war. A total of about 500 Americans had been killed, and despite the fact that the United States had 140,000 soldiers in Iraq, there was little to indicate that the security situation was about to improve.

The growing criticism at home was fueled by the failure to find any of the weapons of mass destruction that had been cited as a main motive for the attack. Bush was officially forced to admit that there were inaccuracies in the intelligence material he was referring to and that there was nothing to prove that the toppled Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001. According to Countryaah.com, United States Independence Day is July 4.

An official investigation into the security services’ behavior before the death was published in July. It pointed to shortcomings and mistakes, including in the form of poor coordination between the CIA intelligence service and the federal police FBI. A few days after the attack on Iraq, Bush requested about $ 75 billion to fund the war, which Congress approved after certain changes in April. In the fall, he requested, and received, an additional $ 87 billion for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The grant was the largest approved so far outside the normal budget process. In the fall, Congress also approved $ 400 billion in defense funding, the largest since the Cold War.

In April, tax cuts of $ 350 billion were adopted over a ten-year period. It was halved compared to the proposal presented by Bush in January to boost the weak economy. Congress pushed through a lost package because of concerns over the growing budget deficit and the cost of the Iraq war. It was a defeat for the president, especially given the Republican dominance of both chambers.

Bush, on the other hand, noted a success when reinforcements in the Medicare health insurance system, which includes the elderly and the disabled, were approved in November. The congress then gave $ 400 billion worth of drug subsidies in ten years.

In the most populous state of California, a name gathering led voters to decide in October whether Democratic Governor Gray Davis would remain and who else would take over. Davis, who was unpopular because of the state’s major financial difficulties, was voted off, and instead, the Austrian-born bodybuilder and film star Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected. Schwarzenegger’s victory in California was considered to strengthen Bush’s chances for re-election, as the traditional Democratic California was thus granted a Republican governor. Bush appeared as the candidate for his party ahead of the 2004 presidential election, while the Democrats fought each other.

Towards the end of the year, more and more signs of an economic recovery pointed to improving Bush’s already strong position. Growth accelerated, investment and consumption increased and high unemployment began to fall.

At the same time, the president was forced to retire in December for the steel duties imposed in March 2002. The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the tariffs were contrary to free trade agreements and threatened a trade war with the EU. Bush then claimed that the duties were already fulfilled, but the domestic steel industry and trade unions protested loudly.

In April, the US prison population crossed the two million mark for the first time. In November, the state of Massachusetts became the first in the United States to legalize gay marriage. The same month it became clear that a man arrested two years earlier was one of the worst serial killers in US history. Gary Ridgway then admitted the murder of 48 women in the state of Washington.

Productivity and creativity

The Northern European Puritan work ethic, which strongly emphasizes that everyone is the “blacksmith of their own happiness”, has been an important part of North American ideology. The belief in capitalism as an economic system and profit as an overall and justified driving force, of course, also occupies a natural position in the ideological basis of the average American. The most important thing for the dramatic and enormous economic expansion in the United States has been the combination of this Puritan work ethic and the access to almost incredible land and mineral resources.

The conquest of the United States was considered one of the most noble adventures of mankind – a migration that replaced barbarism and wilderness with civilization and industry. Immigrants found a unique wealth of land and forest, of water, rivers, lakes, a relative abundance of metals, oil, coal and gas. A land that was almost unused. Only a few Native American and Mexican environments had to be destroyed. That was all that stood in the way of the clearing and expansion.

Only after World War II did this picture become a bit more nuanced, because part of North American society has also seen costs more clearly: the predatory behavior on nature, the exploitation of the black and other minorities, the corruption and the speculators. It became a country where most was allowed – and it was possible if one was skilled or lucky enough to secure the booty. But the nation also got the basic human rights written into its constitution, and with a strong will to create a judicial community. Until today, the nation has been marked by the conflict between, on the one hand, systematic liberalism and the right of the strong, and, on the other, the will for equality for the law prescribed by the Constitution and the anticolonial past.

Politics and Constitution

The United States Constitution of 1789 has undergone only 13 formal changes over the past 200 years. There is a very restrictive position on amending the Constitution. Congress – both the House of Representatives and the Senate – must adopt a constitutional amendment by a two-thirds majority, and three-quarters of the states – today at least 37 states – must accept the constitutional amendment through formal resolutions in their state assemblies before the amendment applies. The latest attempt to make a supplement to the Constitution – which formally affirms women’s equality in society, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – has so far been stranded on the fact that it has not been approved by enough states.

The North American constitution was created on the basis of a colonial situation, with an ingrained skepticism towards strong central authorities. This resulted in a constitution which, to a greater extent than almost any other constitution, has determined the distribution of power between the governing bodies of society. At the same time, it contains clear provisions on religious freedom, freedom of the press and assembly and other principles of the rule of law – combined with a strong protection of private property.

The United States does not have a parliamentary system. The president who elects his own government has the executive and executive power. He does not rely on a majority in Congress and does not resign as a result of a defeat of important proposals.

The president is elected by a nationwide election for a four-year term and may be re-elected once. The presidential election is formally indirect, with a certain number of people being elected from each state to an electoral college that makes the formal election of the president. In reality, however, this is largely a direct choice.

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