Presentation on theme: "Democrats nominated Jimmy Carter after a challenge from Senator Edward Kennedy Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan of California Reagan the leading spokesmen."— Presentation transcript:
Democrats nominated Jimmy Carter after a challenge from Senator Edward Kennedy Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan of California Reagan the leading spokesmen for conservatism Was a B-grade movie star in the 1940’s Worked in Hollywood to purge communists from the film industry Governor of California from 1966-1974 John Anderson, an Independent Congressman, ran on a third party ticket
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 patriotism Blasted the Soviets for their aggression and vowed to rebuild US military Reagan received vigorous support from the “New Right” including evangelical Christian groups like Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority Reagan promised to get government off people’s backs!!!
Reagan got over 51% of the vote, Carter 41%, Anderson 7% Carter first sitting president to be unseated by voters since Herbert Hoover Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time in 25 years Ushered in the conservative “Reagan Revolution” that would continue into the mid-1990s and beyond
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
Reagan’s early rhetoric about the Soviet Union was harsh US concerned about Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 Reagan 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!!!!!!!!!!
In 1983, Reagan announced his intention to pursue a high technology missile-defense system Plan called for battle stations in space that could fire laser beams or other forms of concentrated energy to vaporize intercontinental missiles on lift-off Reagan claimed SDI offered a nuclear umbrella over US cities Most scientists viewed SDI as impossible and it became the cause of much ridicule in the scientific community The biggest reason Reagan used SDI was to scare the Soviets!!!!!
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!!!!!
Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon in 1983 as part of an international peacekeeping force after Israeli attacks against Palestinian strongholds in Lebanon caused chaos October, 1983--a suicide bomber crashed his truck into the US Marine barracks killing 241 Marines Reagan soon pulled remaining American troops while suffering no political damage from the attacks Opponents called him the “Teflon President” to whom nothing politically damaging could stick!!!!!!
Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya in 1986 in retaliation for an alleged Libyan-sponsored bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed US servicemen Col. Mommar Quaddafi had long been a sponsor for terrorism against the West
US backed Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein as Iran and the US had become bitter enemies since the 1979 Iranian Revolution
Sandinistas were socialist revolutionaries who made practice of condemning capitalism and US policies in Latin America Supported by Cuba Reagan accused Sandinistas of being a base for Soviets and Cubans Reagan sent covert aid including CIA-led mining of harbors to the “contra” rebels opposing the anti-US govt in Nicaragua Results in the Iran-Contra Scandal Reagan sent military “advisors” to prop-up pro US (anticommunist) govt of El Salvador as well as gaining congressional approval for $5 billion in aid Public opinion soured after news of govt “death squads” eliminating hundreds, perhaps thousands of opposition s In 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 power US forces successfully overran the island
In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became a reform-minded leader of the Soviet Union Gorbachev courted the West “Iron Curtain” fell in 1989--the costs of maintaining satellite countries, both politically and economically, were too much a burden for USSR to handle Berlin Wall torn down in November
Assassination attempt in March 1981 nearly killed Reagan White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and debilitated for years
Reagan cut taxes on the “trickle-down” idea that if peple had more money, they would invest rather than spend the excess on consumer goods Congress granted Reagan a 25% cut, spread over three years Reagan enacted large budget cuts in domestic programs Defense budget increased by $12 billion RESULT: HUGE BUDGET DEFICITS THAT RESULTED IN A RISE IN NATIONAL DEBT 1982 recession occurred, yet inflation fell dramatically Reagan and Congress also deregulated many industries
In 1981, federally employed air traffic controllers went on an illegal strike Reagan fired 11,400 of them after they refused to follow his order to return to work Destroyed the air traffic controllers’ union
Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female justice on the Supreme Court in US history
Democrats nominated Mondale, former VP under Carter Geraldine Ferraro nominated as first female VP nominee in US history Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush renominated by Republican Party Results: Reagan defeated Mondale 525-13 in the Electoral Vote Democratic Coalition of the FDR New Deal broken apart
Scandal 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 North Became biggest scandal of Reagan Administration Reagan claimed he was unaware of what was going on in his Administration
1986--Space shuttle Challenger exploded on liftoff killing 7 astronauts including the first teacher in space Damaged NASA’s credibility and reinforced doubts about the complex technology required for the SDI program
1989--Chinese students for democracy protested in communist China President Bush criticized the Chinese govt, but insisted on normal relations with China
In 1990, Iraq under the leadership of Saddam Hussein invaded neighbor Kuwait President Bush moved with the UN to form a massive coalition to push Iraq out of Kuwait Massive invasion became known as Operation Desert Storm