For my AP U.S. History class, I read and analyze historical texts, including letters, speeches, official documents, and analysis by historians. Chapter 41 of our textbook, which is the thirteenth edition of The American Pageant by David M. Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen and Thomas A. Bailey, is entitled "America in the Post-Cold War Era" and details the Clinton Administration. Many people view Bill Clinton's reign in the White House as an overwhelming success for the nation. Others are critical of the 42nd President of the United States of America. After reading this chapter and some documents in a supplementary reference book, I recognize not only the good Clinton did for our country but also the negative effects of some of his actions and policies.
Clinton's economic policies ultimately brought America out of its long period of financial deficit. The government was actually faced with the long-forgotten issue of how to deal with a federal surplus during his terms. In the 1990s, America was a formidable economic power in the global economy because, thanks to Clinton's genius budgeting, we were no longer so dependent on foreign borrowing. The economic developments Clinton made are probably his best known and by far his most successful policies.
In the diplomatic realm, Clinton felt pressured in his last days in office to establish a legacy for himself. His Middle East Peace Initiatives between Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin resulted in a shaky agreement in the principle of self-rule for the Palestinians living in Israel. But Clinton's hopes of being known as a peacemaker were dashed two years later when Arafat was assassinated. This unfruitful conference actually stirred up controversy in the Middle East and was a source of political turmoil in the global community.
Today, Bill Clinton is the most popular living former President of the United States. Just last week, he appeared in my hometown, stumping for local Democrats. He still pushes his successful economic frameworks and is immensely respected by most citizens. However, he was not successful in all aspects of his presidency. Despite his flaws, I still consider him one of our nation's greatest leaders.