I. Politics

    • A. Republican Barry Goldwater lost 1964 election, but his campaign laid down the ground work for a rebirth of conservationism
      Barry Goldwater revives conservative era
      • 1. terms led by Nixon and Ford and ideas presented by Milton Friedman, William Buckley Jr., and others hinted a movement toward right-minded thinking
    • B. 1976—Conservative Republicans choose Ronald Reagan as their candidate and he campaigns as a “true conservative”
      • 1. Reagan lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter
    • C. Support system
      • 1. by 1980, conservationism had an extensive group of supporters in all areas of American society
        • a. political conservatives (Republicans in govt)
        • b. political action committees (PACs); opposed to…
          • 1) Big government
          • 2) New Deal liberalism
          • 3) Gun control
          • 4) Feminism
          • 5) Gay rights
          • 6) Welfare
          • 7) Affirmative action
          • 8) Sexual permissiveness
          • 9) Abortion
          • 10) Drug use
        • c. all of these were diminishing “family and religious values, the worth ethic, and national security”
    • D. Election of 1980
      • 1. Ronal Reagan ran against Jimmy Carter and won by a landslide (489 to 49 electoral votes)
      • 2. During Reagan’s campaign, he attacked the Democratic “big-government” solutions to problems
      • 3. And because of the huge increase of unemployment, Regan would ask, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
    • E. Regan Presidency
      Ronald Reagan
      • 1. Republicans gained control of the senate for the first time since 1954
      • 2. Major goals:
        • a. provide tax cuts to repair the quick economic expansion of the U.S.
        • b. reduce government spending on welfare
        • c. strengthen and bulk U.S. armed forces
        • d. create a more conservative federal court
      • 3. Foreign Policy
        • a. wanted to increase U.S. international prestige and increase Cold War competition with Soviet Union
          • 1) proposed a defense system: Strategic Defense Initiative
            • a) proposal to develop technology that allows creation of a “space-based” defensive missile shield surrounding U.S
        • b. Soviet Union= “focus of evil in the modern world”
        • c. Reagan spent money on anticommunist forces in Latin America
          • 1) CIA set up contras (Nicaraguan military force) to oppose the Nicaraguan Marxist government
        • d. With his foreign policy, U.S. encountered many disagreements with the Middle East
          • 1) CIA openly sent aid to anticommunist forces in Afghanistan (these forces, however, were opponents to the contras, whom the U.S. were currently supporting)
          • 2) Iran-contra Affair
            • a) scandal in Reagan administration à U.S. covertly sold arms to Iran (who were accused of holding American hostages), and used the $ to fund the contras in their attempts to overthrow their govt
        • e. End of Cold War
          • 1) 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became new leader of Soviet, and he implemented two reforms:
            • a) glansot (no longer secluded à attempt to move toward political freedom for nation)
            • b) perestroika (introduced some free-market practices à reorganize Soviet economy)
          • 2) 1987, made progress by agreeing with Reagan to remove and destroy all intermediate-rang miss
            George H. W. Bush
          • 3) 1988, relieved more pressure by pulling troops out from Afghanistan where Soviet troops were stationed
    • F. Election of 1988
      • 1. George H. Bush won over Democratic nominee, Dukakis, by accusing him on weak national defense; he also promised absolutely no raises in taxes
    • G. George H. Bush Presidency
      • 1. International movement
        • a. 1989, in Tiananmen Square (China), students protesting for democracy created an uproar in the nation; protest suppressed by Chinese Communist government, who brought in tanks and killed hundreds of protestors (event broadcasted across western world)
        • b. Communism began to fall all over eastern Europe when Gorbachev announced he would no longer support Communist govt with Soviet forces
          • 1) Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and East Germany
            • a) 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down between East and West Germany

          • 2) 1991, Bush and Gorbachev signed the START I agreement that reduced amount of nuclear weapons to less than 10,000 per side
        • c. 1990, Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, invades Kuwait and threatens oil sources in Persian Gulf
          • 1) UN attempts to put pressure on Iraq to leave Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but they resist
          • 2) 1991, Desert Storm (air forces from U.S. and 28 other nations attack Iraq from air, and U.S. land forces quickly force Iraq to surrender)

II. Economics

    • A. “Reaganomics”
      government spending emphazized on national defense
      • 1. Reagan’s administration employed supply-side economics
        • a. tax cuts à reduced govt spending à “investment by the private sector” à increased production, jobs, and prosperity
        • b. this method contrasted Keynesian economics, which the Democrats favored
        • c. critics related Reagan’s method to the “trickle-down” economics taking place in the 1920s
          • 1) upper class Americans profited and some of their profits and spending benefited the lower classes
        • d. Federal Tax Reduction
          • 1) huge amounts of tax relief to upper-income taxpayers
          • 2) small investors were able to invest up to $2000 a year in Individual Retirement Accounts without paying taxes on the invested money
        • e. Spending Cuts
          • 1) Republicans cut over $40 billion from domestic programs (food stamps, student loans, and mass transportation)
          • 2) Spending is counteracted by increased military spending
      • 2. because of huge tax cuts and increased military spending the national debt went from $900 billion to roughly $2.7 trillion
        • a. tax cuts increased consumption of foreign products rather than stimulate investments
          • 1) so U.S. trade deficit reached about $150 billion per year
          • 2) this increased purchase of U.S. real estate by foreigners
        • b. 1985, Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act was passed
          • 1) entailed huge spending cuts to reduce debt
          • 2) In two years, Congress reduced deficit to $66 billion
      • 3. Results of Reaganomics
        • a. Because of the huge deficits produced by Reagan’s policy, it became futile for either Democrats or Republicans to present new social programs to the nation (i.e. universal health coverage)
        • b. It was the first time since time around World War I that the U.S. was in national debt50_80_stockP.gif70_80_excr.gif
    • B. 1982 Recession (worst recession since 1930s)
      • 1. Banks closed
      • 2. Unemployment rate reached 11%
      • 3. 1983, U.S. entered year long recovery
        • a. Recovery widened the rich-poor gap
        • b. Middle-class recovery regained total losses mid 90’s

III. Religion

    • A. The conservative revolution was a return to traditional values centered around religious principles
      • 1. Support came from right-wing evangelical Christians
        • a. Branch of Protestantism emphasizing “born-again” religious revival
        • b. Strict interpretation of the Bible
      • 2. Evangelicalism (concentration in fundamentalist sects) became popular
        • a. Denounced “moral relativism of liberals”
        • b. Prominent evangelical figures
          • 1) Billy Graham
          • 2) Jerry Falwell
          • 3) Pat Robertson
        • c. Came together to form a movement called the New Right, which player a bigger role in the Ronald Reagan election (1980) and in 1994 when Republicans regained control of both houses from President Clinton

IV. Social Aspects

    • A. Reagan’s Administration was against labor unions
      • 1. Developed various antiunion policies that quickened the decline of labor union membership
      • 2. Recession and foreign competition reduced workers’ wages
    • B. Social Issues
      • 1. Reagan began placing far more conservative judges to federal courts, just as promised
        • a. Nominated Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court; under a new chief justice, William Rehnquist
        • b. Supreme Court reduced affirmative action in the workplace
        • c. Limited court case, Roe v. Wade à permitted states to impose restrictions on abortion (mandating the notification of a minor’s parents before having an abortion
      • 2. Great emphasis on the roles of men and women
        • a. Traditional values
        • b. Nuclear family
        • c. Separate spheres

V. Intellectual Aspects

    • A. The 1980s was a time when everyone was doing everything possible to better their status
      • 1. It was all about “Me! Me! Me!”
    • B. Movie-making and big companies were money-makers at the time
      • 1. At least 20 million people went to the movies every week
        • a. ET
        • b. Sixteen Candles
        • c. The Goonies
        • d. Die Hard
        • e. The Terminator
        • f. Back to the Future
        • g. The Breakfast Club
      • 2. several of today’s wealthiest people began earning their fame and fortune in the 80s (Donald Trump, Bill Gates)
        Microsoft Company in 1978 (Bill Gates, at age 23, sits at bottom left
        • a. in 1980, the Microsoft company was restructured and Gates was made the president of the company
        • b. in 1985, the company came out with its first version of Microsoft Windows and made deals with IBM to create an operating system, OS/2
      • 3. there was a rush of money into the stock market as people began to buy and sell shares and began making investments
    • C. Some great fictional books were published as well
      • 1. Tim O’Brien à The Things They Carried in 1990 about the Vietnam War
      • 2. Toni Morrison à Beloved in 1987 about post Civil War slaves
      • 3. Cormac McCarthy à Blood Meridian about the old west

VI. Art

Princeton Review: AP U.S. History