Background: Most of us have lived much of our lives in the “Age of Reagan,” a period that dates from 1980 and that may still be ongoing today. Historians increasingly agree that the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 represented a “revolution” in American society and, particularly, its politics. Review Reagan’s presidential career to explain what about it precisely was so “revolutionary.”
Resources: When writing your response, draw from material in the following video:
Isbouts, J. & Johnson, B. D. (Writers) & Johnson, B. D. (Director). (1998). Powerplay: End of the empire [Television series episode]. In J. Florescu, J. Isbouts, & B. Johnson (Executive producers), Inside the Cold War with Sir David Frost. Los Angeles, CA: Porchlight Entertainment & David Paradine Television. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=8398&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref=
Also, draw from AT LEAST TWO of the documents listed below:
(1994). “Equal rights are not special”: Advocates call for an end to anti-gay employment discrimination. In Employment Discrimination Against Gay Men and Lesbians, 103d Congress, 2d Session, June 20, 1994. Retrieved from http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6463
Alley, R. (2001). Experimenting with our liberties. Retrieved from http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5666
Apuzzo, V. (1983). “A time bomb inside of you”: Social service organizations advocate an improved federal response to AIDS. In Federal Response to AIDS: Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, 98th Cong., 1st Sess., August 1 and 2, 1983. Retrieved from http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6893
Barack, O. (2009, Sept. 9). Address to Congress. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-5299229.html
Buchanan, P. (1992, Aug. 17). Address to the Republican national convention. Available at http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/patrickbuchanan1992rnc.htm
Carter, J. (1979, July 15). A crisis of confidence. Retrieved from http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/carter-confidence.htm
Clinton, W. (1995, April 23). Oklahoma bombing memorial prayer service address. Retrieved from http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/wjcoklahomabombingspeech.htm
Cosby, B. (2004, May 17). Address at the NAACP on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Retrieved from http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/billcosbypoundcakespeech.htm
Hill, A. (1991, Oct. 11). Testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee. Retrieved from http://www.speeches-usa.com/Transcripts/126_hill.html
Houghton, T. (1992). “There’s been no real creative response”: Ted Houghton on homelessness in New York City. Retrieved from http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/7045
Kennedy, E. (1980, Aug. 12). Address to the Democratic national convention. Retrieved from http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/tedkennedy.h
Reagan, R. (1982, June 8). Address to British Parliament. Retrieved from http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/reagan-parliament.htm
United States Supreme Court. (1973, Jan. 22). Roe v. Wade majority decision. Retrieved from http://www.vlib.us/amdocs/texts/roevwade.html
Instructions: After reviewing your Instructor’s Guidance and completing the weekly reading assignments (including those in the resource section below), please post a substantive discussion post of at least 200 words that analyzes the “Reagan Revolution” and its impact on American society and culture. Please use the following questions as the basis of your analysis:
Compare his approach to politics and foreign affairs with those of his predecessors, and assess the ways that his successors either built upon or attempted to reverse his legacy. Explain why so many Americans opposed Reagan’s policies and those of his successors. Consider also the social and cultural changes that took place during the Age of Reagan. Finally, assess the success of the “Reagan Revolution” by identifying which problems it ameliorated and which it exacerbated. In your response, consider AT LEAST TWO of the following topics, with regard to how both Reagan and his successors handled or contributed to them:
The federal debt
Before writing your response, reflect upon the topic by considering the following questions:
How revolutionary was the Reagan Revolution and how was it revolutionary? Consider the following topics and look at one or two in detail:
The federal debt
In what ways was it beneficial to the American nation and in what ways was it detrimental?
Did the positives outweigh the negatives or vice versa?
Did the Reagan Revolution make the American nation more united or more divided?
What cultural issues caused the most friction during the Age of Reagan?
Is the Age of Reagan still underway?
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