How far has Reagan Revitalised the Presidency

  • Created by: A-bee
  • Created on: 08-05-18 20:48
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  • The Extent to which the Presidency and US Politics were Revitalised
    • The Presidency
      • After Nixon, Ford and Carter many citizens felt helpless and didn't trust government - Reagan promised change.
      • Set his image in his first years. His foreign affair successes helped hide slow down on change.
      • Followers less able to play the role
        • Bush didn't get reelected despite having a higher approval rate, 68-61.
        • Clinton's average approval rating: 55
      • Presidential Involvement in Legislation
        • some legislation blocked by congress, e.g. cut back on busing children from poorer areas into integrated schools.
        • advised against some legislation - prepared to listen, e.g. he wanted to introduce daily prayer in schools but was advised it would never get passed.
        • followers
          • Bush was less pragmatic and flexible, poor communicator and had less support in congress 45 republicans in the senate (Reagan had 54 )
          • increased presidential involvement did not last long
          • Clinton also struggled to get legislation past congress after his first big healthcare legislation failed.
    • US Politics
      • Did not bring a long period of Republican control. By 1988 Democrats - majority in the House and senate (lost 1996)
      • 'New Right' Thinking
        • First term - united a significant number of politicians, R and D, in a conservative coalition. Allowed him to push his early legislation.
        • The coalition was reacting against the liberal 70s - objected 'welfare dependent' and 'lazy' poor; rising numbers of strikes and demonstrations, increasing lack of law and order; and support of gay, women's and civil rights by the government.
        • Split between support for these ideas generally and accepting Reagan's more extreme policies.
        • Congress blocked a lot of legislation on 'social' issues and 'big government' handovers of control.
      • Revitalised Politicians
        • Republicans did not change, saw the shift as a swing of opinion, not reaction against Democrat's mistakes.
        • Democrats were split, e.g. Jesse Jackson ran to be their presidential candidate but wasn't chosen in 1984 and their candidate lost, same for 1988.
          • Forced to regroup 1984, Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). 'New Democrat' accepted lower taxes and low federal intervention.
            • abolish 'welfare' - 'support', Clinton 1992. 'New Covenant', bring change - like Reagan.
      • Other changes to the political environment
        • business back in government
          • sponsorship in sport and supporting presidential campaigns.
          • candidates with more time on TV had a competitive edge.
        • Christian Right
          • Became more outspoken on abortion, teen pregnancy, and what should be taught in schools.
          • Reagan was advised against legislation and told to make it clear that it was his personal view - willing to adapt.
      • Public Interest and Involvement
        • First presidential debate: 1960 - 70 million viewers, figures dropped 1970s - 60 million, Reagan-Carter debate 80 million.
        • Following years: 1984 - 67.5 million, 1988 - 65 million and 1996 only 36 million.


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