Digital History

The 21st Century

The Presidency of George W. Bush Previous Next
Digital History ID 3378



The son of President George Herbert Walker Bush, George W. Bush received his college degree from Yale University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, before beginning his career in the oil and gas business in Midland, in the Texas panhandle. He later served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team until he was elected governor of Texas in 1994.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush described himself as a “compassionate conservative” committed to the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, strong families, and local control. He proposed to improve public schools by insisting on competency testing. Under his proposed “faith-based initiative,” religious institutions would be able to compete for government funds to provide social services. A major legislative success involved cutting taxes. But it would be the events that took place on September 11, 2001 that would reshape the whole direction of his presidency.

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