- a militant Islamist group originally founded by Osama bin Laden
- boomerang generation
- young people who must return to their parents’ home in order to make ends meet
- Bush Doctrine
- the belief that the United States has the right to protect itself from terrorist acts by engaging in pre-emptive wars or ousting hostile governments in favor of friendly, preferably democratic, regimes
- charter schools
- elementary and secondary schools that, although funded by taxpayer money, are allowed to operate independently from some rules and regulations governing public schools
- civil unions
- a civil status offered to gay and lesbian couples with the goal of securing the main privileges of marriage without granting them equal status in marriage
- credit default swaps
- financial instruments that pay buyers even if a purchased loan defaults; a form of insurance for risky loans
- Great Recession
- the economic recession that began in 2008, following the collapse of the housing boom, and was driven by risky and misleading subprime mortgages and a deregulated bond market
- greenhouse gases
- gases in the earth’s atmosphere, like carbon dioxide, that trap heat and prevent it from radiating into space
- Kyoto Protocol
- an international agreement establishing regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the world’s industrialized nations
- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- subprime mortgage
- a type of mortgage offered to borrowers with lower credit ratings; subprime loans feature interest rates that are higher (often adjustable) than conventional mortgages to compensate the bank for the increased risk of default
- a fundamentalist Muslim group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001
- Tea Party
- a conservative movement focused primarily on limiting government spending and the size of the federal government
- weapons of mass destruction; a class of weapons capable of inflicting massive causalities and physical destruction, such as nuclear bombs or biological and chemical weapons
The prison operated by the U.S. military for the detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects and “enemy combatants” is located at ________.
- Kuwait City, Kuwait
- Riker’s Island, New York
- Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
- Lahore, Pakistan
Unwarranted wiretapping in the United States was conducted by ________.
- the FBI
- the CIA
- the New York Times
- the NSA
In what ways did the U.S. government attempt to deny the rights of prisoners taken in Afghanistan and Iraq?
What investment banking firm went bankrupt in 2008, signaling the beginning of a major economic crisis?
- Wells Fargo
- Lehman Brothers
- Price Waterhouse
A subprime mortgage is ________.
- a high-risk, high-interest loan
- a federal bailout for major banks
- a form of insurance on investments
- a form of political capital
What are the pros and cons of school vouchers?
A popular Mexican American studies program was banned by the state of ________, which accused it of causing resentment of white people.
- New Mexico
The first state to allow same-sex marriage was ________.
- New York
What was the result of the Bush administration’s unwillingness to recognize that climate change is being accelerated by human activity?
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in ________.
Which of the following is not a goal of Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)?
- to provide all Americans with access to affordable health insurance
- to require that everyone in the United States acquire some form of health insurance
- to lower the costs of healthcare
- to increase employment in the healthcare industry
What has Barack Obama done to make college education more accessible?
Critical Thinking Questions
What factors led to the Great Recession?
How have conservatives fared in their efforts to defend “American” culture against an influx of immigrants in the twenty-first century?
In what ways are Barack Obama’s ideas regarding the economy, education, and the environment similar to those of Bush, his Republican predecessor? In what ways are they different?
How successful has the United States been in achieving its goals in Iraq and Afghanistan?
In what ways has the United States become a more heterogeneous and inclusive place in the twenty-first century? In what ways has it become more homogenous and exclusive?