Aim: What goals were
achieved during the second
term of President Reagan?
5. Continuing a Conservative
The sweeping victory of Ronald
Reagan had been due to the different
groups he was able to pull together
into a conservative coalition or
temporary alliance of people, parties
Their support made it possible for
Reagan to change the direction of
government during his first term in
However, Reagan had a setback
when in 1982, many Americans
replaced Republicans with
As the election of 1984 drew near,
the question was whether or not
those who supported Reagan in 1980
would do the same in 1984.
Election of 1980
The states in blue supported Ronald Reagan, the red voted for Carter.
US Congress Elections 1982
Party Total Seats Seat Popular
(change) percentage Vote
Democratic 269 +27 61.8% 54.1%
Independents 0 -1 0.0% 0.3%
Republican 166 -26 38.1% 43.4%
Totals 435 +0 100.0% 100.0%
5.1 Reagan Supporters
One of Reagan’s biggest group of
supporters were business leaders.
Even though Reagan raised taxes in 1982,
many business leaders gave him the
benefit of the doubt and were pleased with
many of his programs.
Many people who opposed Reagan
accused him of favoring business and the
well-to-do at the expense of labor and the
Another group of Reagan supporters were
made up of religious conservatives who
believed that American society became
too liberal and materialistic.
Many of these leaders believed that the
US should return to patriotism and
Led by leaders like Reverend Jerry Falwell
and Billy Graham, they formed a political
action group called the Moral Majority.
The Moral Majority
Reverend Jerry Falwell Reverend Billy Graham
Members of the Moral Majority hoped to make
changes in America.
They wanted to have prayer in school
classrooms, stop the use of federal money for
abortion and cut down on the sex and violence on
They formed a powerful group to push their ideas
in Congress and worked to defeat liberals in
Reagan also counted on groups that voted
Republican in 1980 including blue-collar workers,
southerners, white ethnic groups and the elderly.
All of these groups were needed to help Reagan
win in 1984.
5.2 The Democrats
The Democrats also hoped to form
their own coalition.
The Democrats attacked Reagan for
cutting social and educational
programs while putting billions into
Reagan was also accused of driving
up the deficit, backing military
governments and neglecting human
rights in the US and in the world.
Eight Democrats decided to run for
President in 1984 but by the
convention that number dwindled to
The three major candidates were
Walter Mondale (Vice President
under Jimmy Carter), Senator Gary
Hart and the Reverend Jesse
Jackson, a civil rights leader and the
first black male to try for a party
Reverend Jesse Jackson
Each candidate appealed to different
groups of the Democratic Party.
Gary Hart attracted young, educated
Jackson directed his attention towards the
poor and minorities which made up the
Mondale, who won the nomination,
appealed to the large majority of
From the beginning, Reagan led
Mondale in all the major polls.
In order to gain support, Mondale
named Representative Geraldine
Ferraro as his vice presidential
Ferraro was the first woman to be
nominated for the vice-presidency.
Mondale also put forth a plan to
reduce the deficit by raising taxes.
Walter Mondale and Geraldine
Ronald Reagan and George Bush
5.3 Election of 1984
Walter Mondale’s tactics failed to cut
into Reagan’s lead.
The Republicans raised questions
about Geraldine Ferraro’s
qualifications to become vice
The Republicans also spoke out
against Walter Mondale’s tax plan,
stating the Democrats of being the
“tax and spend” party.
The Reagan campaign, however, was
upbeat. They stated the changes that
were brought about under Reagan.
Reagan had brought inflation under
control, cut taxes and lowered
Reagan had also cut down
unemployment and increased
In the Election of 1984, Reagan
received 59% of the vote and 525
electoral votes, breaking the record
established by Franklin Roosevelt.
The Democrats retained control over
the House of Representatives even
though the Republicans gained 14
seats. The Republicans kept control
over the US Senate.
The Election of 1984
Reagan Wins Re-election!!!
5.4 Domestic Affairs
President Reagan’s domestic goals
for his second term were basically
the same as his first term---reduce
the scope of the federal government,
lower income taxes and build up the
By the beginning of the second term,
Reagan could boast that his policies
were improving the economy.
Reagan created sixteen million new
job which lowered the
Reagan could state that family
incomes were rising. By 1987, the
increase from 1980 was 6.4 percent.
Even though things were improving,
American families were no better off
than they were in 1980.
The wealthiest Americans income
were raised while members of the
middle class received small income
tax reductions while their take-home
actually dropped due to rising Social
The economic boom of the 1980s led
people to take financial risks.
Some people borrowed money to buy
expensive real estate, banks loaned
money to people without checking their
ability to pay, brokers issued high-interest
bonds called junk bonds which promised
rich returns from risky investments.
Large companies bought up small
companies in the hope of selling them off
at higher prices down the road.
Despite the appearance of financial
good times, some people worried.
One worry was the federal deficit.
Income from taxes was going down
while spending on military weapons
and other federal projects were
Month after month, the US Treasury
borrowed billions to meet
The trade deficit was another worry.
The money that Americans paid out
for goods from foreign nations, such
as Japan, far exceeded the money
coming in from the sale of American
More Tax Changes
President Reagan also hoped to reduce
taxes for many more Americans by
simplifying the tax system.
Another tax reduction would give more
money to spend and boost the overall
The result was the Income Tax of 1986.
Many Americans welcomed the new law.
Many business leaders complained that it
shifted the tax burden from individuals to
Reducing the Federal Deficit
In an effort to reduce the federal
deficit, Reagan signed the Gramm-
Rudman Act in 1985.
This law set up yearly deficit-
reduction targets, amounts by which
they hoped the deficit would go down
By meeting these targets, the
government was supposed to reduce
the deficit to zero by 1991.
Many people disliked the Gramm-Rudman
Act because it seemed to take funds away
from important social programs.
Some members of Congress favored
trimming the deficit with higher taxes
rather than cutting back on aid to people
A number of analysts believed, however,
that if the plan worked, it would keep the
In the end, the Gramm-Rudman deficit-
reduction targets were not met and the
nation continued adding to its debt.
Phil Gramm and Warren Rudman
Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX)
Senator Warren Rudman (R-NH)
Changing the Judiciary
President Reagan used his power to
appoint Supreme Court justices to
help ensure that his programs stayed
in effect for a long time.
Reagan did not like liberal judges,
known as judicial activists, who tried
to bring about changes through
Reagan wanted conservative judges,
who tended to follow the letter of the
Reagan appointed William Rehnquist to
become Chief Justice of the Supreme
Reagan replaced Rehnquist when he
appointed Antonin Scalia.
When Lewis Powell resigned, Reagan
appointed Anthony Kennedy.
When Reagan left in 1989, he turned the
Supreme Court in a conservative direction.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia
Associate Justice Anthony
5.5 Foreign Affairs
President Reagan retained his strong
interest in foreign affairs throughout
his second term in office.
Reagan used military might, financial
investment and political pressure to
try to stop Soviet pressure in various
parts of the world.
Trouble in the Philippines
By the mid-1980s, many people feared
that the leader of the Philippines,
Ferdinand Marcos, had become so and old
and dictatorial that the people of the
Philippines would be willing to accept a
Marcos, planning to show that he had the
people’s support, had a special election in
Marcos was opposed by Corazon Aquino,
the widow of a political opponent of
Marcos who was recently murdered.
The Election of 1986
After the voting, which sparked some violence,
Aquino and her followers claimed election fraud
and organized a national protest.
Reagan persuaded President Marcos to step down
peacefully and then supported Aquino when she
Reagan’s action prevented further blodshed,
supported a democratic government and
prevented a communist takeover in Asia.
The support allowed the US to keep an important
naval base in the Philippines.
The End of Ferdinand Marcos
Between 1980 and 1985, terrorism killed 300
Americans around the globe causing alarm in the
By the start of his second term, Reagan promised
to retaliate (strike back) against terrorists
whenever he could.
In October 1985, four Arabs hijacked the Achille
Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea.
The hijackers killed an American named Leon
Klinghoffer and tried to seek safety in Libya.
US troops arrested and jailed the terrorists.
In December 1985, terrorist attacks
killed 19 people and injured 112 (5
Americans), at airports in Rome and
Acting on reports that Libyan leader
Muammar al-Qaddafi sponsored the
attacks, Reagan cut off economic ties
between the United States and
On March 24, 1986, Libya shot
missiles at American planes
accompany the US Navy’s 6th Fleet.
Following the plan of retaliation, the
planes fired back.
Reagan also sent American aircraft
on a heavy bombing raid to destroy
targets inside of Libya as retaliation
for a terrorist attack.
President Reagan made it clear that the
United States would retaliate when it was
clear that a nation was responsible for a
There were times, however, where no
action at all was possible.
In Lebanon, hostages were taken by Shiite
Muslim terrorists. Since there was no
government to blame, the United States
asked Iran to help free the hostages.
The Iran-Contra Affair
During 1985, Reagan’s aides also allowed
American arms to reach Iran secretly and
Iran needed the weapons because they
were in a war against the neighbor Iraq.
The sale was kept secret because Reagan
knew Iran was a nation that aided
terrorists, so he did not want word to get
out about this deal because of his position
Reagan believed that by supplying
arms to Iran, their government
would be able to persuade terror
groups to release American
After one hostage was freed, the US
government authorized the sale of
weapons to Iran.
The American in charge of the sale was US
Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North who was
an aide to Admiral John Poindexter, the
President’s National Security Adviser.
North then used the $12,000,000 from the
sale of the weapons to help fund the
Contras in Nicaragua fighting against the
This too was a violation of our policy
because the US was seen as not aiding the
The public became aware of the arms
sales from Iran and aid to the Contras in
A special prosecutor and presidential
committee were named to investigate the
A committee of Senators and
Representatives began a series of public
meetings to see if any laws were broken.
In 1987, millions of people watched the
Iran-Contra Hearings on nationwide
President Reagan claimed to have known
nothing about giving aid to the Contras.
Reagan also stated that his subordinates
had not informed him of their actions.
This event weakened Reagan’s influence
with Congress and his reputation with the
The Iran-Contra Affair
Reagan and Public Opinion
Changes in Soviet Leadership
The leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid
Brezhnev died in 1982.
His successors were elderly men who had
very short terms in office.
Reagan had found it extremely difficult to
negotiate with the Soviets because of the
changes in power.
The situation improved when Mikhail
Gorbachev became the leader of the
Gorbachev was younger and more flexible than
Gorbachev proposed broad programs to
modernize the stagnant economy and relax the
rigid political system.
Reagan met Gorbachev in November 1985.
The two leaders failed to break the nuclear
deadlock but did agree to make an effort at arms
When Reagan heard about this leader, he
gradually softened his tone about the Soviet
Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald
In October 1986, Reagan met again with
Gorbachev, this time in Iceland.
The purpose of the meeting was to pursue
an arms agreement.
The meeting failed because of two
(1) Reagan did not understand how much
European nations feared Soviet superiority
in non-nuclear weapons.
(2) Gorbachev did not like the fact Reagan
refused to give up development of the
Star Wars program.
In mid-1988, Reagan and Gorbachev had
a more friendly summit in Moscow.
Newspapers printed photographs of the
two men strolling around Red Square,
visiting Lenin’s tomb and chatting with
Reagan did not abolish the Star Wars
program but the two nations signed a
treaty ending the development of
Preparing to Retire
By the time Reagan returned from
Moscow, public opinion indicated his
approval rating was at 70%.
This was due to two reasons:
(1) Americans forgot about the Iran-
(2) Americans welcomed the
improved relations between the US
and the Soviets.
Reagan was not eligible to run for
President but his influence and
popularity would boost the
Republican presidential candidate in