Presidency Of Ronald Reagan
The United States presidency of Ronald Reagan, also known as the Reagan administration, was a Republican administration headed by Ronald Reagan from January 20, 1981, to January 20, 1989.
Domestically, the administration favored reducing government programs and introduced the largest across-the-board tax cuts in American history. The economic policies enacted in 1981, known as "Reaganomics", were an example of supply-side economics. Reagan aimed to encourage entrepreneurship and limit the growth of social spending, as well as the reduction of regulation and inflation. Economic growth saw a strong recovery in the 1980s, helping Reagan to win a landslide re-election. The national debt increased significantly, however.
Regarding foreign policy, the administration was steadfastly anti-communist, calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and ending 1970s détente. Reagan accelerated the massive buildup of the military started by his predecessor, including an invasion of Grenada, the first major overseas action by U.S. troops since the end of the Vietnam War. The "Reagan Doctrine" controversially granted aid to paramilitary forces seeking to overthrow communist governments, particularly in war-torn Central America and Afghanistan. Reagan also promoted new technologies such as missile defense systems in order to confront the Soviets and their allies. In diplomacy, Reagan forged a strong alliance with UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and he met with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev four times, aiming to shrink the superpowers' nuclear arsenals.
Reagan's presidency has been termed the "Reagan Revolution", or the Age of Reagan in recognition of the political realignment both within and beyond the U.S. in favor of his brand of conservatism and his faith in free markets. The Reagan administration worked toward the collapse of Soviet Communism, and it did collapse just as he left office. Victory in the Cold War led to a unipolar world with the U.S. as the world's sole superpower. While the damaging Iran-Contra affair engulfed several Reagan aides during his second term, Reagan himself left office with a 63 percent approval rating, one of the higher approval ratings of departing presidents. After years of unstinting praise from the right, and unrelenting criticism from the left, historian David Henry finds that by 2009 a consensus had emerged among scholars that Reagan revived conservatism and turned the nation to the right by demonstrating a "pragmatic conservatism" that promoted ideology within the constraints imposed by the divided political system. Furthermore, says Henry, the consensus viewpoint agrees that he revived faith in the presidency and American self-confidence, and contributed critically to ending the Cold War.
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