Ronald Reagan

By: Allie Ballinger

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7 major things Ronald Reagan did for America

Economic Growth


New Federalism


Privatization


Checking Judicial Activism


Rebuilding Military Might


The Reagan Doctrine


Defense Technology with a Human Face

Economic Growth

  • Government can help unleash human imagination and creativity. It can encourage men and women to take economic risks and then allow them to get big rewards when they succeed. Of course, it also must allow them to fail and pay the price of failure.

  • Exactly what Ronald Reagan did which= longest economic growth in the peacetime of America, a record number of new American businesses, record number of new jobs.

New Federalism/Restoring the Balance

  • For America's first 150 years as a nation, the federal system was balanced and worked well. But things began changing in the 1930s and 1940s. The huge national economic programs during the Depression and the huge effort to fight World War II gave the national government great new powers. This weakened the federal system.
  • His policies have restored power to the states and cities, and reduced the power of the central government in Washington. Though state officials at first hesitated and were reluctant to accept this new power, now they are enthusiastic about it.
  • Great new ideas are coming from the states-in housing issues, education reform, help for the poor, and ways to clean the environment.

Privatization

  • Ronald Reagan began the privatization of federal services and programs.
  • Example: Conrail sold to private firm
  • Reagan also began the process of allowing private companies to build rockets to launch payloads into space.
  • While much remains to be done with privatization, Reagan demonstrated that the president can use the private sector to deal with problems that in the past would have been addressed by government.

Checking the Judicial Activist

  • In recent decades the Supreme Court has become more aggressive, they have taken control of congress, the President, and even has begun making new laws. This violated a long tradition in the U.S, and threatened the balance of the government.
  • Ronald Reagan promised to stop this. He did so by appointing judges to the court who respect the traditional role of the court. He appointed judges who are against the activist role of the court. Reagan appointed three of the Supreme Court's nine judges and he appointed 361 of the federal court system's 743 judges.
  • You may know that these judges keep their jobs for the rest of their lives and cannot be removed by new presidents. Thus, they will influence court decisions for decades. Indeed, Reagan deliberately appointed young people as judges.

Rebuilding Military Might

  • Throughout the 1970s, under Republican and Democratic presidents, the U.S. became militarily weaker. Today we again can be trusted as allies.
  • Today we certainly can deal with Moscow from a position of strength. Because of what Ronald Reagan did, the U.S. has a greater military capability than at any time in a quarter-century.
  • We now are a more reliable friend and again a true superpower that can block Soviet aggression and expansion. This, of course, gives the new U.S. president valuable flexibility in dealing with Moscow.

The Reagan Doctrine

  • This doctrine is a policy of true liberation.
  • It recognizes that national liberation movements in the Third World can be on the side of freedom and democracy and that the U.S. can help these national liberation movements win. It breaks with the 1970s when the U.S. had become isolationist and was unwilling to remain involved in the world.
  • It proclaims that the future belongs to democracy, not to Soviet-imposed dictatorships. And rather than being on the retreat, as they were in the 1970s, the world's democracies are now on the offensive.

Defense Technology With a Human face

  • SDI, The Strategic Defense Initiative, which could turn out to be one of the most important of the Reagan policies because it could potentially change the world.
  • SDI is a proposed missile defense system, intended to protect the U.S from attack by nuclear weapons.
  • It could end the nightmare of the nuclear holocaust.
  • SDI is a moral and humanitarian policy. After all, if government has any legitimate function it is to protect its citizens. This SDI would do. Reagan merely launched SDI.
  • Although this policy still has very far to go.
  • If SDI does work, the shadow of nuclear nightmare that has darkened the world since 1945 will begin to lift.