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How Did the War Influence American Domestic Policy

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Throughout the 1970s the nation was going through the Cold War and beginning the start of an economic crisis. In 1971, the nation was hit with Stagflation due to the rise of unemployment and inflation. Johnson’s policy to fund the war and social programs through deficit spending caused high inflation. Also, in 1973, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries cut off oil from the United States making oil prices quadruple in 1974 adding to inflation. President Nixon left the nation in pieces after the Watergate Scandal where his paranoia took over after he covered up a break-in. After Nixon, Jimmy Carter took the presidency and his first action was pardoning Richard Nixon leaving a cloud that floods the nation. In 1975, North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam thus impacting the US negatively because they were unable to stop communism. Also during Carter’s presidency, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. In that same year, Iran took 66 hostages and later freed 14 black women for sympathy. The 52 hostages were kept in Iran for 444 days. The nation was in great turmoil and needed an outsider to step up to the presidency. Ronald Reagan was the perfect candidate to run for president. He was previously an actor and appealed to the nation because he was an outsider. His charisma and optimism gave him a landslide victory thus proving the support he had. Ronald Reagan’s presidency from 1981-1989 was most impactful because of his stabilizing domestic policy, radical foreign policy, and his ability to talk to the people all allowing him to get the United States out of the cold war and fix the United States crumbling economy.

Ronald Reagan’s presidency was impactful because of his domestic policy including Reaganomics and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 which were revolutionary ideas in order to fix our nation’s economic state by solving stagflation. Reaganomics was Reagan’s revolutionary economic platform that includes 4 policies. One of his policies was budget cuts by reducing the welfare program but he was unable to accomplish this policy. His second policy was supply-side economics (tax cuts) which is the idea that a reduction of tax rates will lead to increases in jobs, savings, and investments, and therefore to an increase in government revenue. He also increased defense spending and reduced regulation through deregulation by changing some of Nixon’s ideas. For example, he got rid of the controls on gas and oil. By solving stagflation, Reagan was able to decrease the high inflation and high unemployment. Reagan was impactful because not only did he address and solve stagflation but he knew the urgency of inflation and the impact it already had. Reagan in 1981, said in his “Address to the Nation on the Economy”, that inflation reduced the value of money along with increasing prices (3). He knew that stagflation was flooding the nation and if he wanted to have a successful presidency he would need to fix it. He is impactful because he addressed the falling economy and was able to pick it back up again. Reagan also passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 in order to grow the economy by reducing the federal income tax rate. The public responded positively to this act and it was one of his most celebrated policies. This act closed some loopholes involving the tax code but it did not stop people from finding new loopholes. Although, this act affected industries in unequal ways. For example, the real estate market was taxed heavier thus beginning the decline of the real estate industry. However, it did help improve the relationship of the public because it attempted to increase the fairness of the economy. ADD MORE Ronald Reagan forever impacted the economy with his new policies that solved the United States issue of stagflation.

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Ronald Reagan’s immigration policy, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, set precedent for future leaders by solving the unauthorized immigrant issue thus adding to his impactful presidency. ADD SENTENCE TOWARDS EVIDENCE. This law tightened the enforcement of unauthorized immigrants because of the increasing amount of illegal immigrants coming to the United States. It also promised these unauthorized immigrants legal status eventually which was a milestone in immigration history. ADD SUPPORT + RESEARCH

Ronald Reagan’s presidency was most impactful because of his foreign policy including the SDI, Reagan vs. Gorbachev, and the INF treaty all ending the Cold War. Reagan’s most impactful “policy” was the Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan used this policy heavily although it was not physically possible, he used it to get leverage over the soviets. This idea of “Star Wars” was similar to Theodore Roosevelt’s idea of “speak softly and carry a big stick” however it was the opposite. He spoke a lot about the idea that he can shoot lasers to knock down Soviet missiles which caused fear throughout the Soviet nation. The reason why this idea is different from Roosevelt’s is that he did not have a “big stick”, the Strategic Defense Initiative was not possible at all and he had no weapon built. “Star Wars” was one of his most impactful foreign policies because it was one of the reasons the Geneva meeting was unsuccessful. Reagan had many different views on ending the cold war but he knew he had to change his relationship with Gorbachev, which is why they met in Geneva. His policies before he decided to form a relationship with Gorbachev were if the United State kept increasing defense spending the USSR would match it and their economy will eventually crash. However, the war was getting longer and more expensive and Reagan wanted to meet with the Soviet Union in 1984. He said, “FIND THIS person don’t make wars, governments do”. The Soviet economy fell in shambles and Gorbachev decided to run things differently and allowed for glasnost and SPELLINGperechoka. Reagan also changed his views on foreign policy when Gorbachev took control in 1984-1985 from guns blazing to detente-like policies fundamentally changing the relationship. They decided to meet in Geneva, Switzerland on November 19th, 1986 which is the first meeting in 6 years between a United States president and a Soviet leader. ADD RESEARCH. This meeting was clearly significant in their relationship but Reagan did not want to let his Strategic Defense Initiative go slowing down any treaties that were in discussion. Eventually, in 1987, the two nations signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. This treaty eliminated some weapon systems and allowed for onside inspections of enemies’ military installations. This is extremely important as it decreases the tensions of the cold war because there is no longer an arms race. ADD RESEARCH. The symbolic end to the Cold War was the demolishing of the allowing for everyone in Berlin to be reunited thus ending this tense war. Reagan’s policies of enhancing his relationship with the Soviet Union ended the war and created many treaties and policies to protect the nation.

The most impactful presidency was Ronald Reagan’s from 1981-1989 because of his balancing domestic policy, revolutionary foreign policy, and his ability to talk to the people all allowing him to get the United States out of war and fix the United States crumbling economy. Reagan showed economic growth throughout the nation however the debt increased by 186%. By increasing defense spending he increased the federal budget deficit also adding to this debt. However, he did reduce the marginal income tax rate from 70% to 28%. Reagan left George H. W. Bush with a gap between the rich and poor thus adding a huge economic burden to Bush’s presidency.

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How Did the War Influence American Domestic Policy. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
“How Did the War Influence American Domestic Policy.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
How Did the War Influence American Domestic Policy. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Jun. 2023].
How Did the War Influence American Domestic Policy [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Jun 6]. Available from:
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