Ronald Reagans Influence On American History
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Ronald Reagan Explained: US History Review
Because of what Ronald Reagan did, the U. The rebuilding of the American arsenal has changed what the Soviets at one time liked to call the "global correlation of forces. This should please and reassure America's friends around the world-and certainly here in China. We now are a more reliable friend and again a true superpower that can block Soviet aggression and expansion. This, of course, gives the new U. For too long America gave Moscow the advantage in negotiations. Those who were making U. As such, Americans were always willing to make concessions to Moscow; we were afraid of sticking to our position if this would mean that the negotiations would break down.
His lesson to future presidents is simple, but it requires determination and self-confidence. There are two parts to this lesson. First, you can only deal with Moscow from a position of strength; this is why it is so important that the U. Reagan, after all, delayed serious negotiations with the Soviets until near the end of his first term - until the U. You here in China know very well that you cannot deal with Moscow if you are weak; the Soviets will not be generous, will not be compassionate, will not do you kind favors. Second, Reagan was willing to allow negotiations to collapse, He did not panic when Moscow used its typical technique of bluster, threats, and intimidation.
If the Soviet delegates wanted to get up and walk away from the negotiating table, Reagan let them do it. In the past, however, Americans would have made new concessions simply to keep the Soviets from walking away; this is what happened at the and SALT talks. It was very different with Reagan. When Moscow gave Reagan the ultimatum that it would stop negotiating arms reductions with the U. He responded by deploying the missiles. Liberals in the U. They said that Reagan would destroy the entire "arms control process. They would come back to the table, he said. And he was right. They came back.
Then remember what happened at the Reykjavik summit? There Gorbachev issued his ultimatum: there could be a dramatic arms reduction only if the U. Some previous presidents probably would have bowed to this Soviet pressure. American liberals were urging Reagan to do so. But Reagan again stood firm. He said again: Let the Russians walk away; they will be back. And again he was right. To you here in China all of this may seem obvious and simplistic. You long ago learned that you have to be strong and firm when dealing with Moscow. But this has not been so obvious to American presidents and to American diplomats in the past half-century. Reagan has set a very important example for future presidents. The Reagan Doctrine is a policy of true liberation.
It recognizes that national liberation movements in the Third World can be on the side of freedom and democracy and that the U. It breaks with the s when the U. Instead, the Reagan Doctrine proclaims that the U. This is what we did in Grenada. And this is what we are doing-and our countries are working together on this in Afghanistan and Cambodia. And you should be working with us in Nicaragua. There, too, Soviet expansion should be blocked. The Reagan Doctrine is a true revolutionary policy.
It proclaims that the future belongs to democracy, not to Soviet-imposed dictatorships. And rather than being on the retreat, as they were in the s, the world's democracies are now on the offensive. This is a marvelous legacy for Reagan to leave. For two decades, we in the U. We often believed this. This, in effect, is what the Brezhnev Doctrine was proclaiming: that once a country joins the Soviet camp, it must remain forever in the Soviet camp. The most dramatic example of this, of course, was the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia 20 years ago. We often believed the Brezhnev Doctrine. It seemed that it would be impossible for a nation to leave the Soviet camp. To this, however, Ronald Reagan said nonsense.
The message here is that the Soviets are not invincible. And the reality here is that Moscow has been on the retreat. With this legacy, Reagan reversed the momentum of an entire generation. George Bush should continue challenging the Brezhnev Doctrine-and carry the challenge to Eastern Europe, to the Baltic states and even to the "republics" inside the Soviet Union itself. The Strategic Defense Initiative may turn out to be the most important Reagan policy because it could change the world.
It could end the nightmare of nuclear holocaust. SDI is a moral and humanitarian policy. After all, if government has any legitimate function it is to protect its citizens. This SDI would do. SDI also is a policy that could end Moscow's ability to intimidate and blackmail the U. We all know the little secret about the Soviet Union. It is a superpower only because of its nuclear arsenal, its ability to destroy the United States.
SDI would deny Moscow this ability. It instead would be seen for what it really is-economically and politically just a large Third World nation. Of course, Reagan merely launched SDI. The program still has very far to go. We even may discover that SDI cannot work. Most likely, however, it will work. And if it does, the shadow of nuclear nightmare that has darkened the world since will begin to lift. Can there be any better legacy than this?
Reagan's final legacy is that he reignited Americans' optimism and restored Americans' faith in the presidency. We had become very pessimistic in the s. We saw one president after another fail-Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. We started believing that America's best days were behind it. The mood in the s was tragic. It reversed two centuries of American thinking.
The history of my country, as you probably know, has been a history of confidence and optimism. We have felt that frontiers are not limits or barriers, but rather that frontiers are to be conquered. We have regarded our nation in the way that you often have viewed yours, as the Middle Kingdom, occupying the center of the universe. We have believed that the United States is a very special place, a promised land with a special mission.
And we started doubting all of this during the dreadful s. Ronald Reagan reversed and healed this. He did this by his policies, by his successes, by his personal example and optimism, and by his inspiring words. We've already discussed his policies and successes. Now we must note the example he provides as president. He was not ground down. He enjoyed being president; he was comfortable being president. This has helped Americans regain their confidence in the presidency. And then, of course, there are Ronald Reagan's words. I am not sure how they will sound to you, with your very different culture and history. But Reagan has invoked words, thoughts, and images that have touched American hearts and have recalled a special pride we long had in our country.
Frequently, Reagan talked about America as a promised land. He called America a "Zion in the wilderness," and "a city on the hill. You may remember what Reagan said at Fudan University when he visited Shanghai in He said: "We're an optimistic people. Like you, we inherited a vast land of endless skies, tall mountains, rich fields, and open prairies. It made us see the possibilities in everything. It made us hopeful.
These may be only words, but they are words that have been combined with dynamic action and successful policies. And thus, these words have been powerful and have had a powerful influence. George Bush is lucky to find himself leading a people again confident in America and again proud of America. This then is the legacy that Ronald Reagan leaves his people. It is an impressive legacy.
It is a marvelous legacy. And it will influence the direction and policies of America for years to come. View the discussion thread. Spring A Historic Turning Point Ronald Reagan's presidency was the most important in a half-century, perhaps in a century. Formula for Economic Growth Growth, as we know, is very important. New Federalism As you may know, federalism has been the political principle upon which my nation has been organized and governed.
Reagan has invoked words, thoughts, and images that have touched American hearts and have recalled a special pride we long had in our country. Restoring the balance to America's federal system is a great Reagan legacy. Privatization Privatization is a clumsy, terrible word for a rather simple and sound idea. Checking Judicial Activism I realize that the appointment of American judges is an issue to which foreigners pay little attention.
Grappling with the Bear For too long America gave Moscow the advantage in negotiations. Demise of the Brezhnev Doctrine For two decades, we in the U. Defense Technology with a Human Face The Strategic Defense Initiative may turn out to be the most important Reagan policy because it could change the world. Restoring Confidence in the Presidency Reagan's final legacy is that he reignited Americans' optimism and restored Americans' faith in the presidency. Reagan promised the "Reagan Revolution," focusing on reducing government spending, taxes, and regulation.
His philosophy was, "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem. Reagan was an advocate of laissez-faire economics. He believed that a free market and capitalism would solve the nation's woes. His policies matched the "greed is good" mood of s America. Ronald Reagan was born on Feb. He studied economics and sociology at Eureka College in Illinois, then he became a radio sports announcer and an actor, starring and appearing in 53 films.
As president of the Screen Actors Guild, he became involved in rooting out Communism in the film industry. That led to him developing more conservative political views. He became a TV host and spokesman for conservatism, then served as Governor of California from to Reagan was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate in George H. Bush was the nominee for vice president. Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter to become the 40th president of the United States. Reagan inherited an economy mired in stagflation, a combination of double-digit economic contraction and double-digit inflation.
He promised to slow the growth of government spending and to deregulate business industries. At the same time, he encouraged the Federal Reserve to combat inflation by reducing the money supply. This helped spur growth in gross domestic product for the next several years. The economy grew 4. Economic growth reduced unemployment for the next several years. It was 8. Congress passed the Job Training Partnership Act in , establishing job training programs for low-income people. The unemployment rate rose to Reagan cut the tax rate again, to Growth was a healthy 3.
It was still higher than the natural rate of unemployment. Growth remained at a similar rate at 3. Unemployment fell to 5. Reagan based Reaganomics on the theory of supply-side economics. This theory proposes that tax cuts encourage economic expansion enough to broaden the tax base over time. The increased revenue from a stronger economy is supposed to offset the initial revenue loss from the tax cuts. The and tax cuts weren't as effective because tax rates were already reasonable at that time. Reagan also offset these tax cuts with tax increases elsewhere. He raised Social Security payroll taxes and some excise taxes, and he cut several deductions. He changed the tax treatment of many new investments.
The complexity meant that the overall results of his corporate tax changes couldn't be measured. Reagan was applauded for continuing to eliminate Nixon-era price controls. They constrained the free-market equilibrium that would have prevented inflation. Reagan removed controls on oil and gas, cable television, and long-distance phone service. He further deregulated interstate bus service and ocean shipping. Reagan deregulated banking in and Congress passed the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act in The Act removed restrictions on loan-to-value ratios for savings and loan banks.
As a result, banks invested in risky real estate ventures. Reagan's deregulation and budget cuts contributed to the savings and loan crisis of The crisis ushered in the recession. Reagan did little to reduce regulations affecting health, safety, and the environment. In fact, he reduced these regulations at a slower pace than the Carter administration did.
Reagan's enthusiasm for the free market did not extend to international trade. Instead, he raised import barriers. Despite campaigning on a reduced government role, Reagan wasn't as successful with this as he was with tax cuts. He cut domestic programs, but he increased defense spending to achieve "peace through strength" in his opposition to Communism and the Soviet Union. Though the Soviet Union didn't dissolve until , he helped end the Cold War with famous quotes like, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. He did not reduce other government programs.
He expanded Medicare and increased the payroll tax to ensure the solvency of Social Security. Government spending still grew, just not as fast as under President Jimmy Carter. Under Reagan, defense spending grew faster than general spending. Reagan's first budget was for the fiscal year As the chart below reveals, he incurred substantial deficits for each year of his presidency.Ronald Reagans Influence On American History kind of fool, they asked, would call the Soviet Union an "evil empire". Women Wear Corsets In The 19th Century Communist ideals had Difference Between Acute Care And Ambulatory Care diffusing to even more states, and it Personal Narrative: Huge Merrill Hall Building with Personal Narrative: Huge Merrill Hall Building and willpower that Reagan proved the power of the United States. The Policies of Reaganomics. It made us hopeful.