Bill Clinton's Presidency

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What impact did Clinton's administration have on America during the 1990’s?

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This is an exceedingly difficult question to answer since it is very difficult to identify what aspects of the 1990s were actually attributable to the Clinton administration. 

For example, one of the major aspects of the 1990s is that it was a time of economic prosperity.  The United States experienced relatively high rates of economic growth.  The question is, did the Clinton administration lead to this growth?  There is no way to say for sure and Republicans would want to say that it did not.  As another example, there was a serious change in government as Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over.”  There was welfare reform and there were balanced budgets.  However, Republicans would claim credit for this as well since Congress was controlled by Republicans for much of this time.

We can also say that the Clinton administration brought more conflict to the country.  Clinton’s attempt to reform health care led to anger between Republicans and Democrats.  The push to allow gays in the military helped to make the “culture wars” heat up.  Clinton’s draft status in the Vietnam Era reopened old wounds.  Most of all, the Monica Lewinsky scandal led to a great deal of anger on both sides of the political spectrum.

Thus, we can say that the 1990s were a time of increasing prosperity and relatively good government.  At the same time, they were a time when American politics and society were becoming more divided and contentious.  It is, however, difficult to know how much of all of that should be attributed to the Clinton administration.

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