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Conservative Resurgence. 1974-1989. Healing and Drift, 1974-1981. A Ford, Not a Lincoln: Gerald R. Ford (president, 1974-1977) Member of House of Representatives from Michigan since 1949; rose to House minority leader Named vice-president in 1973 to replace Spiro Agnew.

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healing and drift 1974 1981
Healing and Drift, 1974-1981
  • A Ford, Not a Lincoln: Gerald R. Ford (president, 1974-1977)
    • Member of House of Representatives from Michigan since 1949; rose to House minority leader
    • Named vice-president in 1973 to replace Spiro Agnew
slide3
The Nixon pardon, Sept. 8, 1974
    • Ford hoped to help the nation heal from Vietnam and Watergate
    • Pardon not popular with American public, hurt Ford politically
slide4
Ford’s Foreign Policy
    • Communist victories in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, 1975
    • Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State
      • Continued détente with the Soviets
      • Shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East
    • Committee on the Present Danger
      • Formed in 1976
      • Critical of détente; dissatisfied with Ford & Kissinger
slide5
Domestic Problems
    • Energy Crisis
      • Triggered by OPEC’s oil embargo in 1973-74
      • Rising prices, gas lines; indicative of America’s growing dependence on foreign energy sources
slide6
“Stagflation”: Inflation and Recession
    • Worst economic situation since the 1930s
    • “Whip Inflation Now!” (WIN!)
      • Ford urged Americans to slow inflation by refusing to buy high-priced goods and ceasing to demand higher wages
      • Campaign ridiculed from the start
slide7
The Peanut Farmer from Plains: James Earl (Jimmy) Carter (president, 1977-1981)
    • The Election of 1976
      • Carter, former governor of Georgia, presented himself as a trustworthy “outsider”
      • Defeated Ford in a close election
slide8
Carter’s Foreign Policy
    • Panama Canal Treaty, 1977
      • Negotiations begun in 1960s to transfer control of the canal to Panamanians
      • Senate ratified treaty by one vote in 1978
        • Guaranteed permanent neutrality of the canal itself
        • Gradually transferred sovereignty over the canal to Panama; completed Dec. 31, 1999
slide9
Camp David Accords, 1978
    • Carter negotiated peace agreement between Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin in 1978
    • Treaty signed following year; Sadat assassinated by Islamic militants in 1981
slide10
End of Détente
    • Relations with Soviets worsened
      • Carter’s focus on human rights
      • SALT II treaty negotiated and signed, but withdrawn from Senate consideration when Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979
slide11
Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981
    • Repressive regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi, a Cold War ally of the U.S., overthrown in Islamic revolution led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
    • American embassy in Tehran overwhelmed by Khomeini supporters
    • More than fifty hostages held for 444 days (released January 20, 1981)
slide12
Domestic Crises
    • Inflation (14.5 percent in January 1980)
    • Unemployment near 8 percent in 1980
    • Energy crisis
      • American auto makers struggling against more efficient imports
      • Dependence on imported oil
      • Price of fossil fuel-based electricity rose by 200 percent and more
      • Accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant
morning in america the reagan years 1981 1989
“Morning in America”: The Reagan Years, 1981-1989
  • Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-) and the Election of 1980
    • Hollywood career: only president who was ever head of a union (Screen Actors’ Guild)
    • Began turning away from Democratic party and toward conservative anti-communism in late 1940s
    • Elected governor of California, 1966, 1970
    • Almost defeated Ford in 1976 primaries
slide14
Reagan Campaign, 1980
  • Stand up to Communists
  • Social and symbolic issues
    • Small government
    • “welfare queens”
    • Court decisions
    • Education
    • Family values
  • Economics
    • Too much taxing & spending,
    • regulation; government as “the
    • problem”
    • Tax reduction needed

Republicans also won control of the Senate

for first time since 1952

Election results represented the culmination of

decades of conservative resurgence and gradual

repudiation of New Deal/Great Society

liberalism

slide15
The “Reagan Revolution” at Home
    • Social Issues
      • Reagan’s positions reflected deepening, hardening divisions in the country at large
      • Support for overturning Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights, prayer in schools, vouchers, and other issues important to religious conservatives
slide16
Reaganomics
    • Problems
      • Trade deficits
      • Declining skills & productivity
      • High inflation & interest rates
      • Budget deficits
    • Solution
      • Alter tax structure to encourage investment, growth, competitiveness
      • Supply-Side Economics
        • Reduce taxes to restore productivity
        • Boost supply & demand will catch up
slide17
Tax Reduction Act of 1981: 25% cut on income taxes, 1981-1983
  • Deregulation (airlines, trucking, savings & loans, etc.)
  • “Reagan Recession,” 1981-1983, followed by strong “Reagan Recovery”
  • Tax reform, 1986: simplified system by reducing number of tax brackets to two
  • Stock Market crash, October 1987
    • 22.6 percent loss in value ($1 trillion)
    • But recovery continued
slide18
Assessment of Reaganomics
    • Lower inflation
    • Lower interest rates
    • Lower energy prices
    • New jobs
    • Greater gap between rich & poor
    • Average hourly worker did worse
    • Budget deficit
      • $128 to 200 billion annually
      • National debt tripled
      • Trade deficit increased
slide19
Reagan and the Cold War
    • Overcoming the “Vietnam Syndrome”
      • Revival of the CIA
        • Used to back anti-communist regimes or insurgencies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
        • Key role in funding and supplying anti-Soviet mujaheddin rebels in Afghanistan (including Osama Bin Laden)
slide20
Grenada, 1983
    • Reagan used presence of Cubans to suggest the Soviets and Cubans were expanding influence in the Caribbean and Latin America
    • U.S. invasion led to overthrow of Marxist regime
slide21
Iran-Contra Scandal
  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)
    • U.S. supported Saddam Hussein
    • & Iraq
    • Attempts to negotiate with Iranian
    • “moderates” to influence release
    • of American hostages in Lebanon
  • Nicaragua
    • Sandinistas: Marxist government
    • Contras: anti-Sandinista rebels
    • Congressional restrictions on aid to
    • the Contras
    • Col. Oliver North & others involved in
    • secret arms sales to Iran, with proceeds
    • being diverted to Contras
slide22
Dealing with the Soviets
    • Largest peacetime military build-up in U.S. history
      • Neutron bomb
      • MX intercontinental missile
      • B-1 bomber
      • B-2 “stealth” bomber
      • Pershing II missiles in W. Europe
      • 600-ship navy
      • Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI-”Star Wars”)
slide23
Arms Reduction
    • Shift to negotiations with rise to power of Soviet reformer Mikhail Gorbachev
    • Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, 1987
      • Withdraw intermediate-range nukes from Eastern & Western Europe
      • Destroy missiles
      • On-site inspections
    • Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), 1991
      • 25% cut in strategic arsenals
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