Chapter 33: The Conservative Tide

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1 Chapter 33: The Conservative Tide President Ronald Reagan s election marks a rightward shift in domestic and foreign policy. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cold War ends and the U.S. confronts a host of domestic problems. The Conservative Tide Section 1: A Conservative Movement Emerges Section 2: Conservative Policies Under Reagan and Bush Section 3: Social Concerns in the 1980s Section 4: Foreign Policy After the Cold War 33.1: A Conservative Movement Emerges Conservatism reaches a high point with the election in 1980 of President Ronald Reagan and Vice-President George Bush. I. The Conservative Movement Builds A. Conservative Issues 1. Entitlement programs provide guaranteed benefits to specific groups 2. High cost of programs, stories of fraud upset taxpayers 3. Many skeptic of civil rights rulings like busing over long distances B. The New Right 1. New Right collection of grass-roots groups promoting single issues 2. Affirmative action special consideration for women, minorities a. -many say it s reverse discrimination, favoring one group over others C. The Conservative Coalition 1. Business, religious, other groups form conservative coalition 2. Conservative periodicals, think tanks discuss, develop policies 3. Goals are small government, family values, patriotism, business D. The Moral Majority

2 s religious revival uses TV, radio; strong among fundamentalists 2. Jerry Falwell s Moral Majority Christians for traditional morals II. Conservatives Win Political Power A. Reagan s Qualifications 1. Reagan served 2 terms as governor of California B. Ronald Reagan wins 1980 Republican nomination 1. -George H. W. Bush is running mate C. The 1980 Presidential Election 1. Reagan runs on conservative issues, weak economy, Iran crisis 2. Called Great Communicator: can simplify issues, give clear answers 3. Gets 51% popular vote, 44 states in electoral race, Senate majority 33.2: Conservative Policies Under Reagan and Bush Presidents Reagan and Bush pursue a conservative agenda that includes tax cuts, budget cuts, and increased defense spending. I. Reaganomics Takes Over A. Reagan s Economic Policies 1. Reagan encourages private investment by cutting federal government 2. Reaganomics: budget cuts, tax cuts, increased defense spending 3. Budget Cuts a. Maintains entitlement programs that benefit middle class 4. Cuts programs that benefit poor, urban population B. Tax Cuts 1. Supply-side economics holds that lower taxes result in: investment, greater productivity, more supply, lower prices 2. Congress decreases taxes by 25% over 3 years C. Increased Defense Spending 1. Defense Dept. budget almost doubles; offsets cuts in social programs 2. Reagan asks scientists for Strategic Defense Initiative D. Recession and Recovery

3 1. July 1981 Nov. 1982, worst recession since Great Depression 2. Early 1983 consumer spending fuels economic upturn-more consumer confidence, decrease in inflation, unemployment , market crashes, then recovers, continues up E. The National Debt Climbs 1. Spending outstrips revenues; new 1982 taxes do not balance budget 2. National debt doubles by end of Reagan s first term II. Judicial Power Shifts to the Right A. Supreme Court Appointments 1. Reagan appoints Sandra Day O Connor first woman justice 2. Other Reagan/Bush appointments make Court more conservative a. Clarence Thomas confirmed after sexual harassment hearings 3. Court places restrictions on civil rights, abortion III. Deregulating the Economy A. Reducing the Size of Government B. Reagan reduces government by deregulation less industry regulation Increases competition, results in lower prices C. Cuts budget of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- fights pollution, conserves natural resources D. Interior Dept. permits more oil drilling, lumbering, coal mining - sells millions of acres of public lands IV. Conservative Victories in 1984 and 1988 A. The Reagan Coalition 1. Reagan forges large coalition of diverse groups - businesspeople, Southerners, Westerners, Reagan Democrats B. The 1984 Presidential Election 1. Democrat Walter Mondale chooses Geraldine Ferraro as running mate -first woman on major party s presidential ticket 2. Reagan, Bush win by land C. The 1988 Presidential Election 1. Most Americans economically comfortable -attribute comfort to Reagan, Bush 2. Republican candidate George Bush stresses conservatism -promises no new taxes

4 3. Gets 53% popular vote, 426 electoral votes -electoral victory seen as conservative mandate 33.3: Social Concerns in the 1980s Beneath the surge of prosperity that marks the conservative era of the 1980s lay serious social problems. I. Health, Education, and Cities in Crisis A. Health Issues 1. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) caused by virus -destroys immune system, makes body prone to infections, cancer s, epidemic grows; increasing concern over prevention, cure B. Abortion s, battle over abortion intensifies - opponents are pro-life; supporters are pro-choice , Supreme Court rules states may place restrictions on abortion C. Drug Abuse 1. Reagan administration prosecutes drug users, dealers 2. First Lady Nancy Reagan has Just say no! to drugs campaign D. Education commission: U.S. students lag behind students in other nations 2. Bush initiative calls for using public $ for school choice E. The Urban Crisis 1. Cities deteriorate as whites move to suburbs; businesses follow riots in LA after officers taped beating Rodney King acquitted II. The Equal Rights Struggle A. Political Losses and Gains 1. ERA not ratified by 1982; Reagan names 2 women to cabinet in , increased number of women elected to Congress B. Inequality 1. Women earn less than men; 31% female heads of household poor

5 2. Pay equity pay reflects education, physical effort, responsibility 3. Women seek pay equity, family benefits; some employers comply 4. Reagan cuts budget for daycare, similar programs III. The Fight for Rights Continues A. African Americans 1. By mid-1980s, many cities have African-American mayors 2. Numerous communities elect blacks to local, state office, Congress 3. L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia is first African-American governor 4. Reverend Jesse Jackson runs for Democratic presidential nomination 5. Middle-class blacks hold professional, managerial positions 6. Supreme Court limits affirmative action B. Gains for Latinos 1. Latinos fastest growing minority; some states elect Latino governors a. Reagan appoints Lauro Cavazos as secretary of education b. Bush names Dr. Antonia Coello Novello surgeon general c. From 1968 bilingual education available; mid- 1980s opposition rising C. Native Americans Speak Out 1. Reagan cuts aid to Native Americans for health, education, services 2. Many tribes open casinos to bring in additional funds D. An Expanding Asian-American Population 1. Asian Americans second-fastest growing minority 2. Cited as example of success; also have high unemployment, poverty E. The Gay Rights Movement Advances 1. Movement suffers setbacks from conservative opposition, AIDS 2. Late 1980s new surge of activism, calls for end to discrimination 3. Some states, communities outlaw discrimination

6 33.4: Foreign Policy After the Cold War The end of the Cold War, marked by the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, leads to a redirection of many U.S. goals and policies. I. The Cold War Ends A. Gorbachev Initiates Reform 1. Mikhail Gorbachev general secretary of Soviet Communist Party 2. Soviet economy stressed; Reagan s defense spending adds pressure 3. glasnost allows criticism, some freedom of press 4. perestroika some private enterprise, move to democracy 5. Wants better relations with U.S. to cut U.S.S.R. military spending -arms-control INF Treaty (Intermediate- Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) B. The Soviet Union Declines , 14 republics declare independence; Gorbachev forced to resign 2. Commonwealth of Independent States forms; 1993 START II signed C. The Collapse of Communist Regimes 1. Gorbachev reduces Soviet control of Eastern Europe, urges democracy , Berlin Wall torn down; 1990, 2 Germanys reunited 3. Czechoslovakia, Baltic states, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania democratic 4. Ethnic civil war breaks out in Yugoslavia D. Communism Continues in China s, China loosens business restrictions, stops price controls 2. Students demand free speech, voice in government , demonstrations in Beijing s Tiananmen Square, other cities 4. Premier Li Peng orders military to crush protesters - unarmed students killed II. Central American and Caribbean Policy A. Nicaragua 1. Sandinistas rebel group, takes over Nicaragua; Carter sends them aid

7 2. Reagan calls them communists; helps Contras opposition forces , Contra supporter Violeta de Chamorro elected president B. Grenada Reagan sends troops; pro-cuba government replaced with pro-u.s. C. Panama 1. Bush sends troops to arrest dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega 2. Noriega convicted of drug trafficking in U.S., sentenced to 40 years III. Middle East Trouble Spots A. The Iran-Contra Scandal , terrorists loyal to Iran take Americans hostage in Lebanon 2. Reagan says no negotiating with terrorists; sells arms for hostages a. Staff divert some profits to Contras; violate Boland Amendment , Congressional committees hold joint TV hearings , several staffers indicted; 1992, Bush pardons Reagan officials B. The Persian Gulf War 1. Iran-Iraq War leaves Saddam with great war debt , invades Kuwait to take its oil, threatens U.S. oil supply a. Bush, Secretary of State James Baker organize international coalition , Desert Storm liberates Kuwait from Iraq a. Victory parades greet returning soldiers b. <400 coalition casualties; 100k Iraqi deaths IV. Bush s Domestic Policies A. Bush hurt by rising deficit, recession of Forced to raise taxes despite campaign promise , approval rating drops to 49%

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