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Reagan Revolution


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Reagan Revolution

  1. 1. The Reagan Revolution
  2. 2. A Nation Ready for Change <ul><li>Low Spirits </li></ul><ul><li>People lacked confidence in government . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The turbulent 1960s, Watergate, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian hostage crisis, and long gas lines put Americans in an uneasy mood. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Critics said Carter blamed Americans for the crisis of confidence instead of fixing the problems. </li></ul><ul><li>A conservative movement that opposed liberal social and racial policies was growing. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” <ul><li>“ In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This intolerable dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation. The energy crisis is real.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense -- I tell you it is an act of patriotism.” </li></ul>Gas lines during the energy crisis
  4. 4. Iran Hostage Crisis Discredits Carter <ul><li>After US-backed Shah of Iran was deposed in January 1979, the most westernized country in the Middle East transitioned to an Islamic fundamentalist regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini. </li></ul><ul><li>When President Carter allowed the Shah into the United States for cancer treatment, a student group stormed the US embassy in Iran and took 53 staff members hostage. </li></ul><ul><li>Public support for Carter quickly waned as the months dragged on with no progress. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Iran Hostage Crisis Discredits Carter <ul><li>After months of abortive efforts to forge a diplomatic solution, the President ordered a secret military rescue operation in April 1980. </li></ul><ul><li>The operation ended in disaster before getting close to the embassy when two helicopters malfunctioned and another collided with a cargo plane, killing eight service members. </li></ul><ul><li>Iranians displayed the burned corpses before television cameras. </li></ul><ul><li>The Iran Hostage Crisis became symbolic of the decline of US prestige in the world and the President was criticized for incompetence. </li></ul>Wreckage of Operation Eagle Claw
  6. 6. 1980 Election <ul><li>Reagan asked if people were better off than they were four years ago . </li></ul><ul><li>Reagan promised to return the country to a simpler time of low taxes, smaller government, a strong military, and conservative moral values. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused on “family, work, neighborhood, peace, and freedom.” </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 1980 Election
  8. 8. <ul><li>The growth of evangelical Christianity in the 1970s reflects the concern for what many perceived as a decline in traditional moral values . </li></ul><ul><li>By 1978, 40% of Americans described themselves as “born again,” including President Carter. </li></ul><ul><li>The divisive issues pervading American politics , including abortion and women’s rights, contributed to the proliferation of evangelical political organizations. </li></ul>The New Right
  9. 9. The New Right The New Right was a coalition of conservative media commentators, think tanks, and grassroots Christian groups. The New Right endorsed school prayer, deregulation, lower taxes, a smaller government, a stronger military, and the teaching of a Bible-based account of human creation. They opposed gun control, abortion, homosexual rights, school busing, the Equal Rights Amendment, affirmative action, and nuclear disarmament. Reagan gave the New Right an eloquent and persuasive voice and he drew many Americans to his side.
  10. 10. A Dramatic Start to the Reagan Presidency <ul><li>In 1981, Reagan enjoyed high public approval and success in implementing his campaign promises. </li></ul><ul><li>On January 20, 1981, 20 minutes after Reagan was sworn in as President , the American hostages were released by Iran into U.S. custody, having spent 444 days in captivity . </li></ul><ul><li>Congress enacted legislation to reduce tax rates by 25% over three years, cut social spending, and advance the goal of a balanced budget by 1984. </li></ul>
  11. 11. A Dramatic Start to the Reagan Presidency <ul><li>On March 30, 1981 , Reagan survived an assassination attempt by John Hinkley Jr, who shot the president in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster. </li></ul><ul><li>The president was released from the hospital on April 11 and recovered relatively quickly, becoming the first serving U.S. President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. </li></ul><ul><li>The attempt had great influence on Reagan’s popularity; polls indicated his approval rating to be around 73% . </li></ul>
  12. 12. A Dramatic Start to the Reagan Presidency <ul><li>In 1981, Reagan appointed the first female Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. </li></ul><ul><li>Although she identified herself as a moderate Republican, foes of abortion and the ERA condemned her appointment to the bench. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Reagan Revolution Begins <ul><li>Following his overwhelming victory Reagan and his political allies began an effort to reverse the political legacy of the New Deal and Great Society . </li></ul><ul><li>In his first Inaugural Address: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” </li></ul><ul><li>Reagan was able to capitalize on the new conservative national sentiment with a simple message: low taxes, smaller government, and strong national defense . </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to delivering a clear, concise agenda, Reagan conveyed a sense of optimism and accessibility that earned him the title “The Great Communicator.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Reagan’s Presidential Agenda <ul><li>Reduce the federal bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><li>Deregulate certain industries </li></ul><ul><li>Cut taxes </li></ul><ul><li>Increase defense budget </li></ul><ul><li>Take a hard line with the Soviets </li></ul><ul><li>Appoint conservative judges </li></ul>