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Ronald Reagan & the Modern Conservative Movement

Ronald Reagan & the Modern Conservative Movement

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Ronald Reagan & the Modern Conservative Movement

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  1. Ronald Reagan & the Modern Conservative Movement

  2. Background • Born in Illinois in 1911 • Former actor • Former Liberal • Switched to the Conservative party after HUAC in the late 50’s • Gained notoriety in his support of Barry Goldwater in 1964 • “The Speech” -

  3. Election of 1980 • Reagan vs. Carter • Reagan wins in a landslide • People were unhappy with Carter’s term • Inability to handle major challenges • Reagan’s ability to convey ideas • “Great Communicator” vs.

  4. New Right & the Conservative Revolution • Moral Majority and the Evangelical Christian Movement • Religious groups that wanted to restore Christian values to America • Heritage Foundation • Conservative think-tank that was created in the late 70’s but gained popularity during the Reagan years. • NRA • National Rifle Association • Greatly expanded membership and political lobby for 2nd Amendment rights in the 1980’s • All these conservative groups were concerned about government spending, welfare costs, and expansion of welfare benefits – All legacies of the Great Society and New Deal policies put in place in the 20th century

  5. Assassination Attempt • Reagan is shot in the lung by John Hinckley Jr • He wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster • Joked with doctors before surgery • “I hope you’re all Republicans” • Greatly boosted Reagan’s approval ratings because of the way he handled the situation and his speedy recovery

  6. Reaganomics • Supply-Side Economics • “Trickle-Down” Economics • Involves wide ranging tax cuts • Especially to the rich and businesses • Lower taxes means more money in people/businesses pockets • That money will be re-invested into companies to expand them • Promotes: • 1. New Jobs • 2. Capital investment • 3. Industrial Growth • Despite tax cuts, the theory is that government revenue will increase due to an expanded tax base • Laffer curve

  7. Economic Theories • Supply Side Economics (generally favored by conservatives): • Tax breaks to the wealthy capital accumulation higher productivity lower prices job creation higher tax revenues collected by the government money to reduce federal budget deficits. • Demand Side or Keynesian Economics (generally favored by liberals): • tax breaks to working/middle classes higher productivity job creation higher tax revenues collected by the government money to reduce federal budget deficits.

  8. Reaganomics • Deregulation of Industries • Contributed to lower government spending and more money for businesses • Limited the supply of the dollar • Raises the value due to limited supply • Combats inflation • Reaganomics overview • 1.Tax Cuts • 2. Deregulation of industry • 3. Limited supply of the dollar

  9. “Peace Through Strength” • Greatly increased military budgets every year • Intended to make the Soviets afraid of war with America • Helped lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union by out spending them • SDI – Space Defense Initiative • “Star Wars” • Space-based missile defense system designed to destroy Soviet missiles in orbit • Was never built but greatly concerned the Soviets • New technology and weapon systems

  10. Regan’s Domestic Policies • Reaganomics coupled with increased military budgets lead to budget deficits and greatly increase the national debt. • Deficit spending – spending more money than you take in • National Debt • $909 Billion in 1980 $3.2 Trillion in 1990 • Other domestic issues • Sandra Day O’Connor named to Supreme Court bench • 1st woman to serve • Challenger disaster • Space shuttle exploded after take-off in 1986 •

  11. Foreign Policy • Hostages in Iran freed the day Reagan took office • Hardline stance against Communism and the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union • Reagan as a “Cold Warrior” • Lebanon • Sent marines as a peace-keeping force • Barracks was bombed in a suicide terror attack killing over 200 Americans • Libya • Bombed military targets in response to the bombing of a West German nightclub • Grenada • Invaded after military coup to keep Communism at bay • El Salvador • Opposed Communist forces in Civil War

  12. Foreign Policy • Nicaragua • Supported the Contras fighting the Sandinistas (Communists) • Iran-Contra Affair • Scandal in which the US was selling weapons to Iran illegally and then using those profits to illegally fund the Contras in Nicaragua • Oliver North took responsibility • Soviet Union • Their economy was struggling to keep up with our military spending • Gorbachev starts to reform the country politically and economically • Perestroika and Glasnost • Beginning of the end of the Soviet Union • • Signs the INF treaty with the Soviets • Eliminated intermediate ranged nuclear weapons • Attempt by Soviets to curb the costly arms race

  13. George h.w. bush

  14. Election of 1988 • George H.W. Bush (Rep) vs. Michael Dukakis (Dem) • Very negative campaign lead to a low voter turnout • Bush wins 54%-46% but the Democrats win the majority in Congress

  15. Domestic Policies • Large budget deficit and growing national debt • Bush won the election by promising, “Read my lips: No new taxes.” • But, the growing debt caused him to cut spending and raise taxes • This caused many of his supporters to turn against him

  16. Foreign Policy • End of the Cold War • Soviet Union collapses in 1991 and forms the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) • Berlin Wall comes down in 1989

  17. Foreign Policy • Tiananmen Square • Protests in China favoring more Democratic principles were brutally put down by the government with the help of the military • International community condemns the government’s actions

  18. Foreign Policy • Crisis in Somalia • Warlords in Somalia were preventing the distribution of humanitarian aid to the starving civilians • Bush sent in 28,000 troops to “Do God’s Work” • Ended up being a 15 month operation until it was abruptly called off by Bill Clinton • “Blackhawk Down”

  19. Foreign Policy • The Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) • Iraqi forces led by Sadaam Hussein invade Kuwait in August of 1990 • International community condemned the invasion • George H.W. Bush begins to create an international coalition of forces to force Iraq to leave Kuwait and ensure the flow of Mid-East oil to the US • In the end, 34 nations join the US led coalition • War starts in Jan of 1991 with an aerial bombardment of Iraqi forces and installations • Iraq tried to break up the coalition by attacking Israel with Scud missiles • Wanted to get Israel to join the war which would cause many Mid-East countries to withdrawal their support of the coalition • Feb 24 ground operations begin, forcing Iraq to withdrawal from Kuwait • Decisive coalition victory • Cease-fire officially signed in April of 1991