Republican George W. Bush became President of the United States in 2000. Democrat Al Gore had 500,000 more votes in the election, but to win needed the Electoral College vote from Florida, where a hand recount was stopped by the Supreme Court (contrary to Florida law), at Bush’s request.
New President Bush quickly dumped the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty on climate change. On 11 September 2001 the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC put focus on foreign policy. Bush declared war on terrorists; his USA Patriot Act allowed arrest without evidence or charge. He dubbed Iran, Iraq and North Korea ‘the Axis of Evil’.
In 2003 Bush invaded Iraq, which by 2006, after many Iraqi civilian deaths, had become a terrorist haven. Perhaps due to the spread of fear, in 2004 Bush was re-elected, despite his poor economic record, and in 2007 the USA went back into recession.