What was President Ronald Reagan's biggest mistake?
Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl
Ursula Lehmkuhl is Professor of Modern History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Free University of Berlin. Her research interests are the colonial history of North America, the cultural and political history of the Atlantic region in the 19th century, international history and American and Canadian foreign policy in the 20th century. Among other things, she is the author of "Pax Anglo-Americana: Power-Structural Foundations of Anglo-American Asian and Far East Policy in the 1950s" (1999) and co-editor of "History and Nature: Comparative Approaches to Environmental History" and "Governing without a State? Governance in Areas of limited statehood ".
On January 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan took office after an overwhelming Republican election victory. His government program envisaged cutting government spending, revitalizing the economy through tax cuts, increasing the military budget and taking a tougher position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. Reagan's strategy was aimed at giving an insecure and suspicious population an impression of courage, determination and drive by acting quickly.
Reagan was perceived by the great majority of the population as a symbol of the American Dream. Because he came from a poor background, had achieved great success as an actor and was ultimately elected Governor of California. After an assassination attempt on him shortly after taking office in March 1981, his popularity increased.
Arms race and politics of strengthReagan took over the presidency after a decade of real crisis in US history. The Watergate scandal and the forced resignation of President Nixon had sparked a constitutional and confidence crisis inside the United States. In addition, the USA had lost the Vietnam War and was now looking for a new global balance of power. In view of the massive armament program of the Soviet Union, the course was already set when Reagan took office in the direction of an arms race and a politics of strength. With his promise to restore "American greatness", Reagan appealed to the country's deeply rooted patriotism.
Patriotism and new religiosityThe basic conservative mood of that time was strengthened by evangelical Protestant Christianity, the New Christian Right. The conservative turnaround that began with the Reagan presidency lent political backing to fundamentalist and neoconservative circles. In the form of revival movements, evangelical Christianity in particular contributed to restoring religion to a high status and a clearly visible profile in public life. The well-organized and generously funded fundamentalists had already made a significant contribution to Reagan's election victory. Her message of a return to the old American values of family, church and patriotism fell on fertile ground in broad sections of the population who were deeply insecure by domestic political scandals, foreign political defeats, social changes in values and economic stagnation.
In terms of economic policy, the Reagan administration relied on a revival of individualism and the pursuit of profit as well as a departure from the New Deal and the utopia of the Great Society. Reagan's neoliberal policy was aimed at deregulation, the privatization of public tasks, the regression of the state bureaucracy and the dismantling of central state regulatory powers. Taxes were cut, while social spending was cut drastically at the same time.
Politics of contradictionsThe two-term presidency of Ronald Reagan from January 1981 to January 1989 belongs because of its contradiction between unleashed capitalism and economic liberalism on the one hand and religious fundamentalism and conservatism of values on the other, as well as its contribution to significant global political changes such as the dissolution of the bipolar world order in connection with the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification among the most interesting phases in 20th century American history.
Although Reagan's foreign policy initially dangerously increased international tensions, in his second term in office the president was able to end the Cold War together with the Soviet state and party leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Its economic policy, known as "Reagonomics", gave American capitalism new dynamism, but left its successors with serious problems due to high budget deficits and an explosive increase in national debt.
Détente before Reagan's term endsEven before Reagan took office, the détente policy of the 1970s had reached a zero point. The Cuban combat troops in Angola and Ethiopia, the Soviet support for a coup by the Marxist military in Afghanistan and the invasion of Vietnamese armed forces in Cambodia were classified by the Western powers as Moscow's gambles aimed at winning strategically important regions for the communist camp.
Initially, this statement was seen as a typical expression of Reagan's rhetorical exuberance. Within a short time, however, the policies promoted by Gorbachev took on the character of a peaceful revolutionary upheaval, which finally led to the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and the end of the bipolar world order.
- Which word verb means to get better
- Windows 10 is good for video editing
- What are your resolutions for 2019
- What is your opinion on the head transplant
- Why did the war of independence fail?
- Why was the IPA introduced?
- Has humanity stopped its development
- Should I choose Brazilian keratin?
- Did anyone worship Apep in ancient Egypt?
- Which is better x or y
- How do I remove mentions on Facebook
- Do you love happiness
- What is the history of pets
- What is the erecting lens technique
- What does an Art Advisory do
- Why does America greet America with the palm down?
- What is TEDx vs TED
- What is the full form of the father
- Is coconut oil bad for your skin?
- Must capitalism be reformed
- When is John Cena's birthday?
- Likes Bob Dylan President Obama
- Where can I get HTML5 banners created
- How did you contribute to ecological sustainability