I love the 80’s The Material Days
1980 Election • Carter loses in Nov • Reagan is sworn in
The Conservative Coalition • Reagan brings in a conservative era • Conservatives opposed equal rights, abortion, and in some cases integration • Goals: 1. Shrink the size of the government • 2. Promote Family Values • 3. Lower Taxes and reduce government regulations • 4. Strong National Defense • 5. Anti-Communism
Conservative Appointment • Reagan appoints Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court • She is the first female ever to hold the post • Reagan had wished for her to be the voice of Conservatives in the court • She turned out to vote very liberally.
Just Say No to Drugs • Nancy Reagan would not portray the role of the quiet First Lady. • She began promoting her husband’s policies • She began the anti-drug, anti-crime campaign JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS.
AIDS Epidemic • AIDS had first made its appearance in the 1970’s. Now in the 80’s it became the fear of a nation. • Thousands were finding out they were HIV positive and a candidate for full blown AIDS. • Schools began campaigns to educate students about how the disease was spread.
Reaganomics! • Reagan had an aggressive economic agenda. • cut spending on welfare, loans, free lunch programs, and food stamps • He kept social security and veteran’s pensions • Begins Supply Side Economics = tax cuts for big businesses, upper classes to increase savings and investments in order to create jobs and products. • Results: Inflation, stock market crash in ‘87
Deregulation • Reagan was not a friend to the environment. • He saw the EPA and environmental regulations as costly to big businesses. He felt their heavy regulation hampered economic production and growth. Therefore he diminished the power of the EPA • Reagan wanted to free financial groups of heavy gov’t regulation. He deregulated the savings and loan industry which ran rampant now that the rules had been changed. They end up collapsing in scandal and mismanagement.
Assassination Attempt • 1981--- soon after election Reagan made a speech in a local hotel in Washington D.C. • Upon leaving the building John Hinckley Jr. pulled a gun and fired several shots. A policeman, cabinet member, and a secret service agent John Brady were wounded. • Brady suffered severe brain trauma • Reagan is shot in the chest through the lungs.
Who is in Charge? • With Reagan on the verge of death in the hospital and the VP George Bush out of town, who is in charge of the country? A member of Reagan’s staff assumes command unconstitutionaly.
Recovery • Reagan bounces back quickly despite rumors he had actually died on the operating table • Reagan waves from the Hospital widow to reporters and amazed the nation through his fight to recover.
1984 Election Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro run against Reagan in 1984 Ferraro is the first woman to run for Vice President Reagan destroys these two democrats in the November election
Getting Tough on Communism • Regan is determined to end the cold war during his presidency • He meets with Mikhail Gorbachev • He creates the INF Treaty—limit nuclear weapons
More Pressure! • Reagan wants to end the Soviet Union • He travels to Berlin and gives a speech at the Brandenburg Gate beside of the Berlin Wall. • He orders “Mr. Gorbachev! Tear down this Wall!
Things Happen! • Thanks to Reagan’s pressure on the Soviet Union and the financial and political collapse of its communist system, the German people decide to take action and reunite their nation. The wall does come down by 1989.
SDI • Reagan uses National Defense to pressure the Soviet Union into collapse • Strategic Defense Initiative----”Star Wars” for short. • Spent 20 billion on developing lasers in space to destroy Russian Nukes. It was an impossible dream and mostly a bluff to make the Russians think we were far ahead of them in technology. • The ruse worked. The Russians began to doubt they could win the cold war.
Gorbachev loses Control • When Gorbachev took over the USSR in 1985, he had inherited a nation in financial chaos • He tries drastic reforms • 1. Glasnost---openness---this allows freedom of expression and limited speech. Soviets could criticize their government • 2. Perestroika---Less government control of the economy. Limited Free enterprise was allowed. • The USSR moves towards Democracy
The USSR Falls • By 1991 14 Soviet states declare independence • Nationalism sweeps the country • Gorbachev is deposed • The Iron Curtain falls as Eastern European nations revolt against their communist leaders • The Berlin Wall falls • Boris Yeltson is appointed leader of the Commonwealth of Russia and the Soviet Union is dead.
Iran Contra Scandal • Reagan tries to prevent the spread of Communism in Latin America • Nicaragua was on the verge of a communist take over by the Sandanistas • Reagan allows LTC. Oliver North to sell weapons illegally to Iran and use the money to fund the Contra Rebels who were fighting the communists in Nicaragua.
The Scandal • The question remained. Did Reagan order the arms sales to Iran? • Who was in charge of this deal? • The trial goes on in Congress and Oliver North is found guilty and pays for it all with the destruction of his military career. • Reagan is interviewed and he says” I don’t remember anything about it.” • He gets away clean earning the nickname: • Teflon Ron—nothing bad ever could damage Reagan’s popularity. Nothing sticks to Teflon.
The Legacy • Reagan leaves office in 1989 after George Bush is sworn in. • He was one of the most popular presidents of all time. • He left a failed economy and a victory in the Cold War. • He also left behind a conservative nation which had ignored the gay rights activism sweeping the nation and the Graying Nation of elderly who needed help.