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About this Lecture
In this module, we explore Reagan’s thinking about government, focusing in particular on: (i) Reagan’s speech, ‘A Time for Choosing’, in which he outlines some of his ideas on the benefits of small government; (ii) his achievements as Governor of California between 1966-74; (iii) his failure to beat the sitting President, Gerald Ford, to the Republican presidential nomination in 1976; (iv) the change in the number of civilian federal employees during Reagan’s presidency; (v) the change in the number of government regulations (as measured by pages in the Federal Register) during Reagan’s presidency; (vi) the change in discretionary spending during Reagan’s presidency; and (vii) the ways in which historians have assessed Reagan’s approach to government, including James Broussard’s Ronald Reagan: Champion of Conservative America (2015).
In this course, Dr James Cooper (York St John University) explores the presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981-89). After a brief introduction in which we think about Reagan’s legacy today, the subsequent five modules explore five key questions relating to his presidency: (1) How successful were Reagan’s economic policies? To what extent were the benefits spread fairly across American society?; (2) To what extent did Reagan reduce ‘big government’?; (3) What was the nature and extent of social change during Reagan’s presidency?; (4) To what extent did Reagan ‘revitalise’ the presidency and US politics in general?; and (5) How successful was Reagan’s foreign policy?
James Cooper is Senior Lecturer at York St John University, specialising in American history and Anglo-American relations. His recent publications include Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan: A Very Political Special Relationship (2012) and The Politics of Diplomacy: U.S. Presidents and the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1967-98 (2017).
Cite this Lecture
Cooper, J. (2019, November 17). The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, 1981-89 - Government [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-ronald-reagan-1981-89/government
Cooper, J. "The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, 1981-89 – Government." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Nov 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-ronald-reagan-1981-89/government