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The New Right and the Reagan Revolution


Title: Chapter 32 New Challenges, 1981-Present Author: Paul Harvey Last modified by: David Farrell Created Date: 5/23/2007 9:27:33 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The New Right and the Reagan Revolution

The New Right and the Reagan Revolution
Why did Reagan win the presidency in 1980?
Why Reagan?
  • Disgust with the Anti-war Movement
  • Disapproval of rioting in the 1960s by
    minorities and students
  • Disgust with the Counter-culture (sex, drugs, and
    rock n roll
  • Discomfort with the Feminist movement
  • Discomfort with Gay Rights movement
  • Jimmy Carters perceived weakness as President
  • A longing to return to a simpler time
  • What time would that be?

Carters Crisis of Confidence
  • President Carter struggled with inflation, high
    unemployment, and soaring energy costs.
  • After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran stopped
    oil shipments to the US.
  • He delivered a televised address that became
    known as the "Malaise Speech."
  • Carter asks Americans to return to the attitudes
    and values that made America strong and to share
    the responsibility of energy conservation.
  • Congress rejected most of the energy proposals in
    the speech.
  • Carter's approval rating plummeted.
  • The president was criticized for "blaming" the
    American people and offering few solutions.

Roe v. Wade Mobilizes Conservatives
  • In Roe v. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court ruled
    that state laws restricting abortion violated a
    woman's constitutional right to privacy.
  • The issue of legalized abortion helped galvanize
    the rise of the Christian Right in the 1970's and
  • In the wake of the sexual revolution and the
    women's liberation movement, many conservatives
    sought to restore "traditional family values".

Phyllis Schlafly and the ERA
  • One item on the agenda of social conservatives in
    the 1970's was the defeat of the Equal Rights
  • Many felt that felt that "traditional family
    values" had been undermined by the women's
    liberation movement.

The Christian Right Reversing the Counterculture
  • The growth of evangelical Christianity in the
    1970's reflects the concern for what many
    perceived as a decline in traditional moral
  • By 1978, 40 of Americans described themselves as
    "born again," including President Carter.
  • The divisive issues pervading American politics,
    including abortion and women's rights were
    central to Christian Conservatives.

Political Influence of the Christian Right
  • Groups like the National Conservative Political
    Action Committee and Reverend Jerry Falwell's
    Moral Majority pioneered the use of sophisticated
    campaigning and fundraising techniques such as
    direct mail.

Rev. Jerry Falwell
Intellectual Foundations of Modern Conservatism
  • Senator Barry Goldwater is widely regarded as the
    Father of Modern American Conservatism.
  • Goldwater's libertarian orientation often put him
    at odds with the social and moral agenda of the
    Reagan Administration and the Christian Right by
    the 1980's.

Election of 1980
  • The election came down to a single televised
    debate in October 1980. Reagan closed the debate
    with the campaign's signature refrain,
  • "Are you better off now than you were four years

Reagan Landslide
Election of 1980
Effect of Reagan on US Political Culture
  • Left Right
  • Left-right defined as accepted level of
    government intervention in the economy
  • right less intervention
  • left more intervention

US Pre-1981 New Deal and Great Society era
Reagan era
Political Realignment
  • New Deal Coalition
  • (Democrats)
  • White Southerners
  • African-Americans
  • Blue Collar Union members
  • Urban North
  • Immigrant/newer ethnic groups
  • Farmers
  • Reagan Coalition
  • (Republicans)
  • Midwest small towns
  • Farmers
  • Wealthy Americans
  • Foreign Policy Hawks
  • Blue Collar in North and Midwest (union and
  • White Southerners
  • Evangelical Christians

The Reagan Revolution Overview
  • The Reagan Revolution
  • A significant conservative shift
  • He promised a return to traditional American
  • Family life, hard work, respect for the law, and
  • Air Traffic Controllers Strike
  • Reagan fired them and ordered the military to run
  • Showed strong leadership
  • Deregulation
  • Cut govt. spending and regulations
  • Led to higher pollution, but cheaper production
    of cars

The Reagan Revolution Overview
  • The Supreme Court
  • Nominated the first woman
  • Sandra Day OConnor
  • Survived an assassination attempt
  • Reaganomics
  • Reverse the New Deal and Great Society
  • Supply-side economics/ trickle down theory
  • Cut taxes on businesses and the wealthy
  • This money is invested and stimulates the economy
  • Cut taxes and 40 billion in the federal budget
  • Vastly Increased military spending
  • Called the Soviets the evil empire.
  • The goal was to bankrupt the USSR by outspending

  • The rise of conservatism in the 1980's can be
    partially attributed to the economic
    "stagflation" of the 70s.
  • Reagan espoused supply-side economic theory.
  • Supply-siders favored tax cuts and reductions in
    spending to encourage investorment.
  • Conservative author George Gilder wrote, "a
    successful economy depends on the proliferation
    of the rich."

  • Reagan delivered an address to Congress shortly
    after being wounded in an assassination attempt.
  • In the spirit of the Reagan Revolution, he calls
    upon lawmakers to try a radical new approach to
    economic policy.
  • Congress members received him with applause and
    quickly passed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of
    1981 (with cut taxes by 747 billion over five
    years) and the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981
    (which in one piece of legislation, cut over 200
    social and cultural spending by 136 billion over
    two years).
  • The tax cut was the largest in history.

  • Tax Cuts ()
  • Safety Net Cuts ()
  • Massive increase in weapons spending
  • Debt!

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Reaganomics cont.
  • Government Debt
  • Led to a huge deficit
  • 1980 909 billion to 1990 3.2 trillion
  • Recession and Recovery
  • Recession hit America early in his 1st term
  • 1983, the economy made a long, steady rise
  • The rest of the 1980s were strong economically
  • Especially the stock market

The Reagan Doctrine
  • Under the Reagan Doctrine, the United States
    provided overt and covert aid the following
  • anti-communist guerrillas
  • governments fighting communist insurgencies
  • The idea was to "roll back" Soviet-backed
    communist governments in around the world
  • The doctrine was designed to diminish Soviet
    around the world.

Reagans Foreign Policy
  • Tough on communism
  • Massive military buildup
  • Proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Star Wars was too expensive and far-reaching
  • Latin America
  • Reagan sent aid to contras in Nicaragua to fight
    the communist Sandinistas
  • Oct. 1983, troops rescued Americans in Grenada
    during a rebellion
  • The Middle East
  • Marines sent to Lebanon to keep peace in 1982
  • Car bombing at the U.S. Embassy killed over 50,
    April 1983
  • 241 Americans and 58 French killed after attacks
    on barracks in Oct. 1983
  • Troops were pulled out

The Election of 1984
  • Reagan ran against Walter Mondale and Geraldine
  • 1st major party female VP candidate

  • Won in the biggest landslide in history
  • Won 49 out of 50 states

Reagans Second Term
  • A Changing Soviet Policy
  • 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR
  • Preached glasnost political openness
  • Perestroika economic and political reform
  • The Soviet economy was in deep trouble
  • Wasted too much money in the arms race
  • 1987, Reagan and Gorbachev met to sign the INF
  • Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
  • Reduced the number of nukes
  • The two became friends and relations were better

Iran-Contra Scandal
  • terrorists held American hostages in Lebanon
  • Reagans officials made a deal with them
  • Oliver North and John Poindexter
  • Sold weapons to the Iranians to free the hostages
  • The money was then sent to contras in Nicaragua

The Iran Contra Scandal
  • Private US
  • Foreign Govt

Swiss bank accounts controlled by North
Congressional Investigation
  • Congress charged the Reagan admin. overstepped
    the Constitution
  • Hearings were held to see if Reagan was connected
  • Reagan couldnt remember any involvement
    plausible deniability
  • No one cared. His popularity barely suffered.
  • The Teflon President

The Election of 1988
  • VP George H.W. Bush and his running mate, Dan
    Quayle ran in 1988
  • Against Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Benson

The Election of 1988
The Bush Presidency
  • New World Order
  • A Changing Soviet Union
  • Gorbachev described a new world order before
    the UN
  • Eastern European and Soviet Peoples wanted
    independence, democracy, and social justice
  • He met with Bush often
  • Reduced conventional weapons in Europe, 1990
  • Signed START in 1991 (Strategic Arms Reduction
  • Destroyed many existing nukes

New World Order cont.
  • A Rising Tide of Freedom
  • Unrest grew in Eastern Europe
  • Poland, workers gained the right to form the
    Solidarity in 1980
  • Lech Walesa
  • A symbol of resistance to communism
  • The Polish government agreed to have free
    elections in 1989
  • This marked the end of the Iron Curtain

New World Order cont.
  • Poland inspires reform in East Germany
  • The Wall Comes Tumbling Down
  • November 9,1989, the Berlin Wall is tore down
  • Germany reunited in 1990

New World Order cont.
  • Unrest in the Soviet Union
  • Shortages of food and basic items
  • Thousands march in protest of the govt. in 1990
  • Only possible because of glasnost
  • Many republics demanded independence

New World Order cont.
  • Collapse of the Soviet Union
  • Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia declared
    independence from the Soviets, 1990
  • Hard-line communists and the military resisted
    the changes
  • August 1991, they staged a coup and held
    Gorbachev captive
  • 50,000 Russians surrounded the Parliament
    building, demanding reform
  • Mayor of Moscow Boris Yeltsin led the people
  • The coup collapsed Aug. 22
  • Soon all 15 republics declared independence
  • Dec. 25, 1991, the USSR ceased to exist
  • The End of the Cold War
  • Bush pledged 24 billion in aid to the former
    Soviet Union

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A New Foreign Policy
  • Panama
  • U.S. troops sent in to capture Gen. Manuel
    Noriega for drug trafficking, Dec. 1989
  • He refused to yield power to a newly elected
  • Tried and convicted in 1992

A New Foreign Policy cont.
  • China
  • Government began to reform the economy in the
  • No political reforms
  • Student demonstrations held form May to June 1989
  • The Chinese crushed them at Tiananmen Square
  • Killed several hundred
  • Bush was careful in condemning the Chinese
  • He didnt want to sour relations.

A New Foreign Policy cont.
  • The Persian Gulf War
  • Aug. 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait
  • Led by Saddam Hussein
  • The U.S. feared an invasion of Saudi Arabia
  • Bush sent troops to protect Saudi Arabia
  • Operation Desert Shield
  • Norman Schwarzkopf commanded the troops
  • The UN gave a deadline for Iraq to pull out
  • Congress voted to support military action

A New Foreign Policy cont.
  • Operation Desert Storm
  • Jan. 16, 1991, missiles launched and bombs
    dropped in Iraq
  • After six weeks of round the clock bombings, the
    ground war began
  • Took 100 hours to liberate Kuwait
  • Bush, Schwarzkopf, and Colin Powell were heroes
  • Very popular at home
  • The U.S. helped rebuild Kuwait and extinguish
    oil-field fires
  • Bush refused to finish the war and conquer Iraq.
    Hussein stays in power. Consequences.?

A New Foreign Policy cont.
  • War in the Balkans
  • With the death of President Tito, Yugoslavia
    collapsed, creating new countries
  • Brutal civil war began in Bosnia with ethnic
    cleansing taking place in almost all of the
    former Yugoslavia.
  • The next president, Bill Clinton, will act on

Pres. Bush Domestic Issues
  • Accomplishments
  • Clean Air Act, 1990
  • Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990
  • Created the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Domestic Issues
  • Faced a banking crisis because of deregulation.
  • Savings and loan scandal-many banks around the
    country close because of bad lending practices
  • Economic Downturn
  • Huge national debt from the Reagan years the
    cause. The ensuing recession lasted for several
  • Businesses closed
  • Military spending cut because of the end of the
    Cold War
  • Bush didnt really do anything to fix it

The Election of 1992
  • Governor William Jefferson Clinton and Senator
    Albert Gore were selected by the Democrats.
  • Its the economy stupid
  • Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire, ran under the
    Reform party

The Election of 1992
The economy and Ross Perot hurt Bushs reelection
bid Clinton 43 Bush 38 Perot 19
The Clinton Administration
  • A controversial Beginning
  • Dont ask, dont tell
  • Health Care Reform (HillaryCare)
  • The standoff in Waco Texas

The Clinton Administration Republican Revolt
  • Contract with America
  • 1994, the Republicans pledged a variety of
  • Led by Newt Gingrich
  • Contract with America was about shrinking the
    size of government. Cut taxes and spending.
  • Republicans won control of Congress
  • 1st time in 40 years
  • Passed many parts of the Contract
  • Passed a line-item veto
  • Supreme Court overturned it
  • Many reforms stalled as Clinton vetoed them

The Clinton Administration cont.
  • Budget Problems and Compromise
  • 1996 budget didnt pass so the govt. shut down
    for 27 days
  • Who won?

Clintons Foreign Policy
  • NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
  • Essentially ends tariffs between the U.S.,
    Mexico, and Canada
  • Ross Perot campaigned against it
  • Fear of a loss of American jobs. Why?
  • Peacekeeping in the Balkans
  • NATO and UN troops sent in to stop ethnic
    cleansing by Serbs in Bosnia.
  • Serbs tried to drive Muslims out of Bosnia
  • US launches air strikes to protect Muslims.

Looking To the Future
  • Global Economy
  • Communications boom
  • Internet, cell phones, satellites
  • A Changing Society
  • Baby boomers are retiring Social Security?
  • Immigration issues
  • Hispanics now the largest minority
  • Environmental Changes
  • Global warming
  • Threats to Peace and Security
  • Terrorism
  • Oklahoma City bombing, 1995
  • Killed 168
  • Columbine shootings, 1999
  • Killed 15

The Clinton Administration Scandal
  • Under Investigation
  • Whitewater questions arose, 1994
  • Janet Reno appointed Kenneth Star to investigate
  • 1998, an affair with Monica Lewinsky led to
    scandal. Clinton denied the affair.
  • Clinton was accused of perjury and obstruction of

The Clinton Administration
  • Impeachment
  • Dec. 1998, the House impeached Clinton on two
  • He was found not guilty by the Senate, Feb. 1999

New President for a New Century
  • Election of 2000
  • George W. Bush and Dick Cheney Republicans
  • VP Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman Democrats
  • Ralph Nader from the Green Party
  • Disputed returns in Florida
  • Whoever won the state, won the electoral college
  • Both sides sued each other

  • Al Gore won the popular vote by half a million
  • The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Bush five
    weeks after the election

New President for a New Century
  • The Bush Administration
  • Need for unity and cooperation as the Senate was
    split 50-50
  • Cabinet and Advisers
  • Colin Powell Sec. of State
  • Elaine Chao 1st Asian woman to serve
  • Sec. of Labor
  • Condoleezza Rice Natl. Security Advisor and
    later Sec. of State
  • Tax Cut
  • Signed a 10-year, 1.3 trillion tax cut
  • International Affairs
  • Powell Doctrine use of American troops only when
    a vital interest is at stake and there is a clear
    and realistic goal

The Terrorist Threat
  • Terrorist Acts
  • Fundamentalists in Afghanistan harbored
  • The Taliban govt.
  • Al-Qaeda declared jihad on the U.S. and other
    non-Muslims until they leave the Middle East
  • Bombings of American embassies in 1998
  • Killed 200, injured 4,500
  • Clinton ordered missile attacks in Sudan and
  • USS Cole attacked in Yemen, Oct. 2000

The War on Terrorism
  • September 11, 2001
  • Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and
    the Pentagon
  • Left 2,973 dead
  • The Terrorist Threat
  • Who Was Responsible?
  • Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda
  • Fundamentalist Muslims
  • War in Afghanistan
  • Soviets invaded in 1979
  • Young Muslims fought
  • Bin Laden formed al-Qaeda then
  • Aided by the U.S., Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia
  • Got the Soviets to pull out in 1989

A New War Begins
  • New Threats
  • Anthrax-laced letters
  • Protecting America
  • Dept. of Homeland Security coordinates
  • USA Patriot Act allows the govt. to break many
    civil liberties to catch terrorists
  • Attorney General John Ashcroft uses them

A New War Begins cont.
  • Building a Coalition
  • U.S., Britain, India, Germany, Turkey, Poland,
  • On the Trail of Terrorism
  • Oct. 7, 2001, U.S. military and the Northern
    Alliance began strikes on the Taliban
  • Kabul fell to the Alliance
  • The Taliban removed from power and new democracy
    set up

A New War Begins cont.
  • Continuing the War on Terrorism
  • March 20, 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq to oust
    Saddam Hussein
  • Claimed they were a threat and had weapons of
  • Still there, still fighting
  • Saddam was ousted and later tried, and hanged

War in Iraq
Chapter 40 41 New Challenges Questions
  1. How did Ronald Reagan becoming president signal a
    change in attitude and policy in America? What
    was his lasting legacy domestically? What was the
    biggest disappointment of his two terms?
  2. How did the Cold War end? How did Gorbachev
    contribute to the collapse of communism? What
    ultimately ended the Cold War?
  3. What were some major events and successes of
    George H.W. Bushs presidency? How was he
    defeated in the 1992 election?
  4. What are some major events of the Clinton
    Administration? What were his successes and
    failures as president? Does your group think he
    was a good president?
  5. What are some new challenges for George W. Bush
    and America entering the 21st Century? How has
    our foreign policy changed and what caused this?
    Do you think the war on terrorism is still
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