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The Reagan Years. The Rise of Reagan. Hollywood Actor, President of Screen Actors Guild Testified about communism before the House Un-American Activities Committee Originally a Democrat and supporter of New Deal Switched because of communism

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the rise of reagan
The Rise of Reagan
  • Hollywood Actor, President of Screen Actors Guild
  • Testified about communism before the House Un-American Activities Committee
  • Originally a Democrat and supporter of New Deal
    • Switched because of communism
  • 1966: Governor of California after gaining popularity with a 1964 pro-Goldwater speech
election of 1980
Election of 1980
  • Reagan stances
    • High taxes and government regulations hurt economy
    • Promised to cut taxes
    • Increase defense spending
    • Ban abortions
  • Asked voters if they were better off than they were 4 years ago
domestic policies
Domestic Policies
  • Reaganomics
    • Monetarists: raise interest rates
    • Supply-Side economics: lower taxes and deregulate economy
    • Reasons:
      • High taxes took money from investors
      • Lower taxes=more capital=more investments
    • 25 percent tax cut
  • Critics said it would help corporate America and wealthiest Americans but little wealth would “trickle down” to middle or lower classes
domestic policies continued
Domestic Policies (continued)
  • Cutting programs necessary due to budget deficit
    • Amount of money that expenditures exceed income
      • Example (Spending: 100 billion; Taxes: 75 billion; Deficit: 25 billion)
    • Social programs such as food-stamps, school-lunch program, Medicare, unemployment, student loans, and housing programs
  • Cutting programs and military spending more important than balancing the budget
domestic policies continued1
Domestic Policies (continued)
  • Deregulate the economy
    • End price controls on oil and gasoline
    • FCC stopped regulating cable
    • National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reduced requirements for air bags and higher fuel efficiency for cars
    • Deregulated airlines (started by Carter), EPA, other programs
  • Successes?
    • Oil prices fell
    • Price wars in airways
supreme court becomes conservative
Supreme Court becomes Conservative

Sandra Day O’Connor (first woman in SC)

William Rehnquist

Antonin Scalia

Robert Bork (confirmation rejected by Senate)

Anthony Kennedy (moderate, selected after Bork)

reagan v communism
Reagan v. Communism

End of containment and détente

Soviet Union=Evil Empire

US does not negotiate or contain evil, we defeat it

peace through strength
Peace Through Strength
  • Military Build Up
  • Cost about $1.5 trillion over 5 years
  • Rationale: Soviet response would put pressure on their economic system that it would reform or collapse
    • Believed defense spending would cause communism to fail
peace through strength continued
Peace Through Strength (continued)
  • Anti-terror movements
    • Libyan air attacks kill 37 and injure 200 after Berlin bombing
  • Economic impact
    • New jobs
    • Deficit grows by 150% to $200 billion
reagan doctrine
Reagan Doctrine
  • Support anti-communist guerrilla groups
    • Afghanistan: mujahadeen rebel support
      • Carter sent $30 million, Reagan $570 million
      • Soviet invasion hurt USSR economy and they withdrew
    • Nicaragua
      • Sandinistas overthrow pro-American dictator
      • Reagan sent money to anti-communist Contras
    • Grenada
      • US soldiers defeat Marxist rebels
iran contra scandal
Iran-Contra Scandal
  • Congress prohibited aid to Nicaraguan rebels
  • Reagan admin. illegally supported rebels
    • Sold weapons to Iran (enemy, terrorism-supporter) in exchange for hostagescaptured by Hezbollah
    • Money from sells went to contras (Nicaraguan rebels)
  • Oliver North, aide to National Security Council, testified and admitted to cover-up.
    • Reagan gave approval on the sale to Iran, but no evidence found that he was aware of redirected funds to contras
arms control
Arms Control
  • Reagan placed missiles in Western Europe to counter Soviet build-up in Eastern Europe
  • Push for “nuclear freeze”
    • End of deployment of new nuclear missiles
  • Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START)
    • Talks to cut missiles on both sides in half
    • Soviets refused and walked out
star wars
Star Wars
  • Reagan disagreed with nuclear deterrence
    • Idea that you deter another from attacking you because of your weapons
    • Mutual assured destruction: as long as US and USSR could destroy one another with nukes, neither will use them
  • Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
    • Development of weapons that could intercept and destroy incoming missiles
    • “Star Wars”
mikhail gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
  • 1985: New Leader of Soviet Union
  • Resumes talks with US on arms control
  • Pro-economic reform
  • Negotiated with Reagan
    • Give up SDI, we give up nuclear build-up
    • Several summits
us soviet relations improve
US-Soviet Relations Improve
  • Reagan doubted Gorbachev’s reform promises
    • Most Americans welcomed idea of better relations
  • Dec. 1987: Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
    • Called of destruction of nuclear weapons
    • Ended Soviet military spending race, opened up reforms to USSR
  • Economic boom, strong military, and better relations with USSR as Reagan’s term ends