Reagan's rise

1. Election of Reagan… when, what party he belonged to, how close was the election, etc… He is elected TWICE so make sure you cover both elections

Election of 1980

  • This election was a mandate on conservatism
  • Population was older, more mature and hesitant of Carter
  • Campaigned against the interventionist democrats with their Affirmative Action
  • Moral Majority took over the Republican party

Election of 1984

  • Democrats elected a woman for the VP
  • Still lost overwhelmingly
  • Election focused on foreign policy

Budget Woes

1. Issues/concerns over the national budget

  • Military spending with the "new society" created massive debt
  • Inflation ran rampant
  • Reagan stepped in with a neo-conservative economic policy dubbed "Reaganomics"
  • Massive tax cuts and massive reduction to government spending
  • During the small recession of 1982 the anti-inflationary measures of the Fed kicked in
  • Deficit was not solved and continued to be a problem

The Cold War

  • Reagan drove up military spending
  • Proposed Star Wars, merits debated heavily
  • Korean plane was shot down over Russia and the Cold War intensified
  • Reagan blundered in Lebanon by sending and quickly recalling troops
  • To keep El Salvador from turning communist, Reagan sent "Military advisors"
  • America strong armed the Caribbean by ousting a communist revolution in Granada
  • Later in his term Reagan signed the INF Treaty with russia to reduce the amount of middle-range nukes

Iran-Contra Affair

  • Budget was tight and communist was making headway in different countries
  • Arms were sold to Iran in order to raise money to fight the

    Sandinistas in Nicaragua and radical islamists in Lebanon

  • The secret dealings were found out and Reagan claimed to not know about it
  • Several officials were convicted
  • Shadow of doubt went over Reagan's foreign policy achievements but the Teflon President wasn't hurt in the approval ratings


  • Reagan stepped in with a neo-conservative economic policy dubbed "Reaganomics" aka supply-side economics
  • Intention to subvert the welfare state, was successful
  • Claimed that reduced taxes would increase revenue, might have worked but military spending offset it
  • Massive tax cuts, massive reduction to government spending and massive deregulation
  • Income gap widened, military spending + tax cuts made a huge deficit, inflation was driven down, economy stabilized
  • Reagan continues to be a conservative icon with Thatcher