2 ELECTION OF 1980 Ronald Reagan John Anderson Jimmy Carter Democrats nominated Jimmy Carter after a challenge from Senator Edward KennedyRonald ReaganRepublicans nominated Ronald Reagan of CaliforniaReagan the leading spokesmen for conservatismWas a B-grade movie star in the 1940’sWorked in Hollywood to purge communists from the film industryGovernor of California fromJohn AndersonJohn Anderson, an Independent Congressman, ran on a third party ticket
3 THE 1980 CAMPAIGN The New Right The Moral Majority Reagan called for reductions in government spending and taxes, a shift in power from the federal govt to the states, and advocated “traditional American values”--family, religion, hard work, and patriotismBlasted the Soviets for their aggression and vowed to rebuild US militaryThe New RightReagan received vigorous support from the “New Right” including evangelical Christian groups like Jerry Falwell’s Moral MajorityReagan promised to get government off people’s backs!!!The Moral Majority
4 1980 ELECTION RESULTSReagan got over 51% of the vote, Carter 41%, Anderson 7%Carter first sitting president to be unseated by voters since Herbert HooverRepublicans gained control of the Senate for the first time in 25 yearsUshered in the conservative “Reagan Revolution” that would continue into the mid-1990s and beyond
5 “THE GREAT COMMUNICATOR” Reagan had superb communication skills and optimism that gave Americans a renewed sense of hope and destiny in the 1980’s following the frustrating and cynical 1970’s
6 REAGAN: THE COLD WARReagan’s early rhetoric about the Soviet Union was harshUS concerned about Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979Reagan sought to deal with Soviets from a position of strength by embarking on a massive new round to the arms race!!!Americans could better bear the burden of the expense while the Soviets could not!!!!!!!!!!
7 SDI: “STAR WARS”In 1983, Reagan announced his intention to pursue a high technology missile-defense systemPlan called for battle stations in space that could fire laser beams or other forms of concentrated energy to vaporize intercontinental missiles on lift-offReagan claimed SDI offered a nuclear umbrella over US citiesMost scientists viewed SDI as impossible and it became the cause of much ridicule in the scientific communityThe biggest reason Reagan used SDI was to scare the Soviets!!!!!
8 THE “EVIL EMPIRE” SPEECH Reagan called the Soviet Union “the evil empire” and the “focus of evil in the modern world”!This justified his military buildup as necessary to thwart aggressive Soviets!!!!!
9 REAGAN: THE MIDDLE EAST? LebanonReagan sent Marines to Lebanon in 1983 as part of an international peacekeeping force after Israeli attacks against Palestinian strongholds in Lebanon caused chaosOctober, a suicide bomber crashed his truck into the US Marine barracks killing 241 MarinesReagan soon pulled remaining American troops while suffering no political damage from the attacksOpponents called him the “Teflon President” to whom nothing politically damaging could stick!!!!!!
10 REAGAN: THE MIDDLE EAST? Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya in 1986 in retaliation for an alleged Libyan-sponsored bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed US servicemenLibyaCol. Mommar Quaddafi had long been a sponsor for terrorism against the West
11 REAGAN: THE MIDDLE EAST? Iran-Iraq WarUS backed Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein as Iran and the US had become bitter enemies since the 1979 Iranian Revolution
12 REAGAN: WESTERN HEMISPHERE NICARAGUAEL SALVADORGRENADASandinistas were socialist revolutionaries who made practice of condemning capitalism and US policies in Latin AmericaSupported by CubaReagan accused Sandinistas of being a base for Soviets and CubansReagan sent covert aid including CIA-led mining of harbors to the “contra” rebels opposing the anti-US govt in NicaraguaResults in the Iran-Contra ScandalReagan sent military “advisors” to prop-up pro US (anticommunist) govt of El Salvador as well as gaining congressional approval for $5 billion in aidPublic opinion soured after news of govt “death squads” eliminating hundreds, perhaps thousands of oppositionsIn 1983, Reagan sent 6000 troops to tiny Grenada in the Caribbean where a military coup had killed the prime minister and brought a Marxist regime to powerUS forces successfully overran the island
13 END OF THE COLD WARIn 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became a reform-minded leader of the Soviet UnionGorbachev courted the West“Iron Curtain” fell in the costs of maintaining satellite countries, both politically and economically, were too much a burden for USSR to handleBerlin Wall torn down in November
14 ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT Assassination attempt in March 1981 nearly killed ReaganWhite House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and debilitated for years
15 REAGANOMICSReagan cut taxes on the “trickle-down” idea that if peple had more money, they would invest rather than spend the excess on consumer goodsCongress granted Reagan a 25% cut, spread over three yearsReagan enacted large budget cuts in domestic programsDefense budget increased by $12 billionRESULT: HUGE BUDGET DEFICITS THAT RESULTED IN A RISE IN NATIONAL DEBT1982 recession occurred, yet inflation fell dramaticallyReagan and Congress also deregulated many industries
16 AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS STRIKEIn 1981, federally employed air traffic controllers went on an illegal strikeReagan fired 11,400 of them after they refused to follow his order to return to workDestroyed the air traffic controllers’ union
17 SANDRA DAY O’CONNORReagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female justice on the Supreme Court in US history
18 ELECTION OF 1984 Ronald Reagan Walter Mondale Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush renominated by Republican PartyDemocrats nominated Mondale, former VP under CarterGeraldine Ferraro nominated as first female VP nominee in US historyResults: Reagan defeated Mondale in the Electoral VoteDemocratic Coalition of the FDR New Deal broken apart
19 IRAN-CONTRA AFFAIRScandal exposed in 1987 that showed money had been diverted from the secret sale of weapons to Iran and then money funneled to “Contras”Congress had expressly forbidden US money being sent to the “Contra’s”Led by Lt. Col. Oliver NorthBecame biggest scandal of Reagan AdministrationReagan claimed he was unaware of what was going on in his Administration
20 CHALLENGER EXPLOSION1986--Space shuttle Challenger exploded on liftoff killing 7 astronauts including the first teacher in spaceDamaged NASA’s credibility and reinforced doubts about the complex technology required for the SDI program
21 ELECTION OF 1988George H.W. BushMichael Dukakis
22 TIANANMEN SQUARE1989--Chinese students for democracy protested in communist ChinaPresident Bush criticized the Chinese govt, but insisted on normal relations with China
23 PERSIAN GULF CRISISIn 1990, Iraq under the leadership of Saddam Hussein invaded neighbor KuwaitPresident Bush moved with the UN to form a massive coalition to push Iraq out of KuwaitMassive invasion became known as Operation Desert Storm