The near col apse of the nation's financial system began in 2008.
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed by Obama on July 21, 2010.
The 2,319-page law required government agencies to exercise greater oversight over complex new financial transactions and pro tected consumers from unfair practices in loans and credit cards.
In dealing with foreign affairs, President Obama had more success than in reviving the American economy.
The Obama Doctrine was similar to the Nixon Doctrine, in that it stressed that the United States could not afford to police the world.
Efforts to end the costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led to the creation of the Obama Doctrine.
The president wanted to replace confrontation and military intervention with a stance of cooperation and negotiation.
The Iraqi government and the Bush administration had agreed in 2008 that all 142,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011.
The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq in December of 2011.
The war cost American lives and money.
The Iraqi government was incompetent and unfriendly to American interests.
The war was costly.
There were no weapons of mass destruction as the Bush administration had claimed, nor was there a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.
Few people celebrated when the U.S. troops returned from Iraq.
John Nagel, a retired army officer, said that the first Iraq war was necessary.
The American efforts at nation building had failed.
The United States could not avoid fighting in the Middle East and the Iraqis could not sustain a stable government in the face of terrorist incursions and sectarian fighting.
The U.S. provided continued military assistance, daily bombing raids, and massive economic aid to Iraq.
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan was changed at the same time that President Obama ended the U.S. military involvement in Iraq.
He rowed the focus of the U.S. mission to suppress terrorists rather than forming a stable capitalist democracy.
The surge worked as expected.
The twenty-first-century America of 1993-present was a thing.
Obama said that they wouldn't try to make Afghanistan a perfect place.
We will not patrol its mountains indefinitely.
The situation has deteriorated since then, and substantial Amer ican forces remain in place.
The Taliban have increased the amount of territory they control, and the Afghan government continues to be unreliable and corrupt.
Osama bin Laden, tall and thin with a scraggly beard, had been on the run since 9/11.
In August 2010, the U.S. intelligence analysts destroyed his sanctuary in a walled residential compound outside of Abbottabad, Pakistan.
President Obama authorized a daring night raid by the U.S. Navy on May 1, 2011.
Bin Laden was killed in a firefight.
His death wasn't the end of terrorism.
In late 2010 and early 2011 there were uprisings in the Arab world against authoritarian regimes.
Young idealists inspired by the hope of democracy and connected by social media forced corrupt tyrants from power.
The uprisings seemed to herald a new era in the Middle East.
Building new democratic gov ernments proved to be much harder than expected.
The Middle East had no models of open societies to follow, and the essential elements of democratic governance had to be established from scratch.
Thousands of nations are stuck.
Libya fell into chaos and rule in the Middle East when protesters converge in Cairo's Tahrir to call for an end to Mubarak's rule.
Yemen exploded in civil war.
Libya was long ruled by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the most violent dictator in the Arab world.
The civil war that began at the end of February was the first real test of the Obama Doctrine.
The president did not act alone in helping the Libyan rebels.
European allies were encouraged to take the lead.
France and Great Britain began bombing military strongholds on March 19.
The capital of Libya, Tripoli, was captured by rebel forces in August.
On October 20, rebel fighters killed Gaddafi.
President Obama surprised the world at the end of last year when he announced that the United States and Cuba would reestablish normal relations.
The restrictions on American tourists visiting Cuba were relaxed by Obama.
The two nations reestablished embassies in each other's capital cities six months later.
The powerful Cuban community in south Florida fiercely criticized Obama's decision, and congressional Republicans threatened to block the appointment of a U.S. ambassador to Cuba.
The president said that isolating Cuba did not work.
He said in July of 2015 that Americans and Cubans were ready to move forward.
In 2008 Barack Obama promised to bring dramatic change while reducing the partisan warfare between the two national parties.
He became the most divisive president in modern history by the end of his first year in office, according to a Gal up poll.
The parti san civil war was caused by Obama's detached style.
He didn't like to trade his way to legislative approval.
The standoff with Congress was not solely his fault.
The Republicans refused to negotiate with him.
The American political culture was so divided that it resembled two separate nations.
Each party had its own cable news station, think tanks, newspapers, and commentators.
It is more difficult to govern than it is to campaign.
Grass roots conservatives were mobilized against the tax and spend immediately after Barack Obama was sworn in.
In January 2009, a New York stock trader named Graham Makohoniuk urged people to send tea bags to their congressional representatives to symbolize the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American colonists protested against British tax policies.
Tea Party members focused more on bloated governments and reckless spending than on religious or cultural issues.
The "crony capitalism" that the anti- tax rebels were referring to was when the political "elite" rewarded big companies that had funded their campaigns, coluding for power and profit at the expense of common folk.
Most of the Tea Party members supported Social Security and Medicare, the most expensive federal social programs.
The 2010 election results proved that the Tea Party had become a political force, and that Democrats initially dismissed it as a fringe group.
When conservative Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, many of them aligned with the Tea Party, Democratic House and Senate candidates were defeated in droves.
They won a majority in the Senate.
It was the most one-sided election since 1938.
Mainstream Republicans were wary of the Tea Partiers because they seemed determined to cause a civil war in the party.
"There will be no compromise on stopping runaway spending, deficits, and debt," said Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana.
The emergence of the Tea Party was mocked on the left by the OWS movement when a call went out over the internet to "Occupy Wall Street".
Thousands of people, many of them unemployed young adults, descended on Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to "occupy" Wall Street, protesting the "tyrannical" power of major banks and investment companies.
The protesters said they were the voice of the 99 percent of Americans who were being hurt by the 1 percent.
The rich got richer and the poor got poorer during the first twenty years of the 21st century.
The OWS did not have staying power.
The movement was more interested in saying what it was against than explaining what it was for.
The attitudes toward some hot- button cul tural values were slowly changing.
In December 2010, Congress repealed the "don't ask, don't tel" military policy that had resulted in 9,500 gays and lesbians being dis charged from the armed forces.
In June 2016 the Pentagon lifted the financial districts nationwide, like this demonstration in Los Angeles.
President Obama was the first sitting president to support the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.
His statement came a day after the North Carolina legislature voted to ban all rights for couples of the same sex.
The youth vote, who supported marriage equality, would be crucial in the 2012 presidential election.
For the first time in history, American voters were evenly split on the issue of marriage equality, with Democrats and independent voters providing the majority of support.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act was issued by Obama in June of 2012 and allowed 1.5 million immigrants who were brought to the US as children to stay.
The policy had been debated in Congress but never passed.
The legislative logjam was broken by using an executive order.
Latino supporters were thrilled by his decision, even though they were discouraged by his failure to convince Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform.
Unexpected consequences were caused by the DREAM Act.
It made a lot of Central Americans want to migrate to America.
In order to connect with relatives and be granted citizenship in the United States, children from countries with high levels of drug related gang violence were sent to Mexico.
Braving hundreds of miles on foot, Honduran and Salvadorian children are sent off by their parents for a better life in the United States, away from the drug dealing violence of Central America.
A group of child refugees are stopped by border guards.
The "Deporter in Chief" claimed that he was following the laws written by anti- immigration Republicans.
At the same time, Obama continued to use his administrative authority to address the issue of illegal immigrants.
The Secretary of Homeland Secu rity announced a new policy on June 15, 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was an exercise of prosecutorial discretion and gave temporary relief from deportation to immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allowed almost 800,000 eligible young adults to work, attend school, and pursue their dreams without fear of deportation.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals did not provide permanent legal status to individuals and had to be renewed every two years.
The Defense of Marriage Act, which denied gay and lesbian couples the right to fed eral benefits, was overturned by the Supreme Court.
The justices did not rule that same sex marriage was a right.
A future court would have to resolve that issue.
Each state could decide to allow such marriages.
Federal courts overturned state laws banning same- sex marriages.
In five of the six southern states originaly covered by the VRA, black voter turnout exceeded white turnout according to the majority opinion.
This seemed to show that there was no evidence of continued racial discrimination.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that today's laws must be justified.
Critics charged that the new requirements were intended to suppress Democratic votes because there was no evidence of voter fraud.
Romney, a corporate executive, was the Republican nominee.
The main question for Romney was whether the Religious Right would allow him, a Mormon, to sidestep volatile social issues such as abortion, LGBTQ rights, and school prayer; the main question for Obama was whether he could overcome his failure to restore prosperity.
Romney's candidacy was hurt by two factors.
His decision to oppose immigration reforms that might allow immigrants a path to citizenship was the first thing he did.
Romney's impolitic statement was used by the Obama campaign to paint Romney as an arrogant elitist.
On Election Day, Obama won with 66 million votes to Romney's 61 million.
Romney was the choice of nearly 60 percent of white voters.
Latino, Asian Americans, and African Americans voted for Obama, as did college educated women.
In the first century of America, many people of color felt isolated.
A Florida jury of six women acquitted George Zimmerman, a white Latino man on "neighborhood watch" who the year before had shot and killed Martin, an African American.
He claimed that Martin had attacked him and that he had used his pistol to defend himself.
There was a lot of protest around the coun try.
Black Lives Matter was created to address mounting evidence that African Americans were being treated unfairly by law enforcement officers and the judicial system.
31 percent of people killed by police in 2012 were African American, even though blacks make up just 13 percent of the total population.
They used social media as their primary recruiting tool.
Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are targeted for death.
The Black Lives Matter movement gained added importance on August 9, 2014, when Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
The failure of a grand jury to indict the police officer caused civil unrest and led to protests around the country.
The movement's founding fathers stand with their arms linked at a protest.
Left to right are the people.
"We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades," President Obama said in response to the Missouri case.
It took four years before theAffordable Care Act was ready to be implemented.
The federal online health insurance "exchange," where people without insurance could sign up, opened with great fanfare.
Six people succeeded in signing up on October 1st.
The website had never been properly tested.
When Obama told the nation that if they liked their current health insurance plan, they could keep it, it became clear that he had misled them.
Many policies were canceled by insurers.
More than 9 million people had signed up for health insurance by August of last year, after the website was fixed.
Obama said that theAffordable Care Act is here to stay.
The government's ability to manage the program continued to be questioned by the public.
The United States held its first high- level talks with Iran since 1979 after the U.S. embassy employees in Tehran were taken hostage.
On November 23, Secretary of State John Kerry reached an agreement with Iran to scale back its nuclear development program for six months as a first step towards a more comprehensive agreement not to develop nuclear weapons.
The civil war in Syria was starting to have major international repercussions.
The Syrian government used chemical weapons to kill 1,400 people, many of them children, according to U.S. intelligence analysts.
Leon Panetta, the former secretary of defense, argued that backing off the threat was a blow to American credibility.
Kerry signed an agreement with Russia to dispose of Syria's chemical weapons.
The civil war continued despite the fact that the chemical weapon stockpiles had supposedly been destroyed.
He used economic and political pressure to get the republics of the former Soviet Union to join NATO and the Euro pean Union.
Putin sent troops into the former Soviet republic of Ukraine.
The parliament voted to become part of the Russian Federation a week later.
Even though he denied their presence, Putin made the illegal annexation official by positioning Russian troops there.
President Obama and European lead ers were surprised by the speed and ruthlessness with which Putin seized control of the peninsula.
It was not the start of a new cold war, but it was the end of hope that Russia would become a good partner of the United States and the European democracies.
Putin displayed a raw and resentful anti- Americanism.
The United States and the European Union organized efforts to de- escalate the crisis.
They announced economic sanctions against Russia and pledged financial assistance to Ukraine.
The United Nations Gen eral Assembly voted 100-11 against the annexation.
Russian soldiers and agents were involved in the takeover of several cit ies in eastern Ukraine in April of last year.
They called for the creation of a people's republic.
The United States and its allies imposed more economic sanctions on Russia.
There was no sign of Putin backing down.
The United States was once again in the position of trying to contain Russia's ambitions because of his popularity in Russia.
On their first day in office, presidents are more pop ular.
To govern requires making decisions, and decisions in democratic nations inevitably produce criticism.
In the post- cold war era, it was difficult for Barack Obama to lead the world's economic and military power.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria were part of a cluster of unstable nations that needed U.S. resources but resented American interference.
Obama adopted a posture of restraint in world affairs.
He wanted to avoid stupid errors, wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and reduce the use of U.S. military power abroad.
He and others were naive to think that the United States could not be the only power in the world.
If Obama had become too cautious about the use of force in world affairs, Diane Feinstein would have won the election.
Barack Obama had the chance to take action during the summer of 2014).
In June, the volatile Middle East took a sudden turn for the worse when Sunni jihad ists who had been fighting in Syria invaded northern Iraq and announced the creation of their own caliphate.
The original Iraqi affiliate of al Qaeda that specialized in suicide bombings became the largest, best-financed, most heavily armed, and most brutal of the jihadist terrorist groups.
The culmination of decades of Arab Islamist rage against Europe and the United States was represented by ISIS.
After American forces left Iraq, Sunnis became frustrated with the Shiite-dominated government.
Thousands of men, women, and children belonging to religious minorities, including Christians, were beheaded, raped, or crucified by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
The twenty-first-century America of 1993-Present Syria saw the assault of Christians, Kurds, and other minorities.
Obama seemed to have withdrawn U.S. power too quickly if George W. Bush had plunged the U.S. into Iraq.
American politics has always been chaotic and combative.
Both parties rejected compromise and moderation as legitimate political tools during Barack Obama's two terms as president.
The controlling political principle has become stalemate because of Republican efforts to reject any and all proposals from the Obama White House.
Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time in a decade in the congressional elections.
They strengthened their hold on the House and added governorships.
The Republicans focused on the "failure" of President Obama and the "disaster" of the health care law.
Moderates became extinct.
Since 1994, the percentage of voters who described themselves as liberals or conservatives had doubled, and more than twice as many Democratic and Republican voters had a "very unfavorable" view of the other party.
Republicans on the far right and Democrats on the far left made up the majority of Congress.
After Obama's reelec tion, voters were disappointed.
He blamed Republicans for not renewing his second term because he felt that there was a gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics.
The president was not responsible less.
Ian Bremmer, a political scientist specializing in foreign policy, said that George W. Bush was a leader who didn't like to think.
During the summer of 2015, Obama regained his energy.
Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings helped him.
Republicans have been fighting for years against theAffordable Care Act.
Critics turned to the courts to challenge the health- care law because they couldn't stop the implementation of the new program in Congress.
The law was saved by the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice explained in the majority opinion that the sloppy language in the original legislation should not be used to destroy the program.
Roberts said that theAffordable Care Act was passed to improve health insurance markets.
The decision angered the Religious Right.
A California couple poses in front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., while the justices hear arguments on the constitutional right for same- sex couples to wed in April 2015.
The Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in all fifty states on June 26, 2015.
The Supreme Court's affirmation of same- sex marriage reflected the profound change in public attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and LGBTQ rights during the early twenty- first century.
Barack Obama felt the need to distance himself from marriage equality in 2008.
He changed his mind by embracing the right to marry for same- sex couples.
His change of mind was indicative of a resurgence of social transfor mation.
Cultural diversity was here to stay.
The first Latina justice was appointed by Obama.
He ended the ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual people serving in the military.