The Age of Reagan.
Most of us have lived much of our lives in the “Age of Reagan,” a period which dates from 1980 and which 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.” 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 which 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 THREE of the following topics, with regard to how both Reagan and his successors handled or contributed to them:
a. The economy
b. The federal debt
c. Federal regulation
d. Social welfare
e. Public health
f. Race relations
g. Gender equality
h. Foreign affairs
To summarize your response, answer the following questions:
a. How revolutionary was the Reagan Revolution and how was it revolutionary?
b. In what ways was it beneficial to the American nation and in what ways was it detrimental?
c. Did the positives outweigh the negatives or vice versa?
d. Did the Reagan Revolution make the American nation more united or more divided?
e. What cultural issues caused the most friction during the Age of Reagan?
f. Is the Age of Reagan still underway?
When writing your response, draw from material in the following video:
a. Powerplay: End of the empire
Also, draw from at least THREE of the documents listed below:
a. “Equal rights are not special”: Advocates call for an end to anti-gay employment discrimination
b. Experimenting with our liberties
c. “A time bomb inside of you”: Social service organizations advocate an improved federal response to AIDS
d. Address to Congress
e. Address to the Republican national convention
f. A crisis of confidence
g. Oklahoma bombing memorial prayer service address
h. Address at the NAACP on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education
i. Testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee
j. “There’s been no real creative response”: Ted Houghton on homelessness in New York City
k. Address to the Democratic national convention
l. Address to British Parliament
m. Roe v. Wade majority decision
Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.
Week 5 Discussion 2
The Lived Experience of Ordinary People.
Especially since the 1960s, historians have sought to understand history not just as a series of major events presided over by generals and statesmen, but also as the lived experience of ordinary people. For this last discussion, begin by reflecting on your own past with an eye toward how American society has changed over the course of your life. In your response, focus less on major political or international events than on the ways day-to-day life in America is different today from what it was when you were younger. You might consider such factors as the cost of goods and services, the forms of entertainment, means of communication, and so forth. Next, identify what you believe to be the most pressing problem facing America today, providing evidence from recent news sources to show that the problem is real and pressing. There are numerous issues you might consider, such as international security, personal and public debt, heightening racial tensions, economic downturns, and so forth; but provide concrete information to back your choice. Finally, describe how Americans at different times during the past 150 years have addressed problems similar to the one you identified, and assess whether those past solutions would be applicable today. Draw from material in your textbook or from scholarly outside sources, or both, when addressing this prompt. Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.
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