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World Politics

During the 1980's there were many events that still shape our political policies today. The most memorable event that occurred during the 1980's was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. This happened in 1989 and was urged by the U.S. President Ronald Regan. The Berlin Wall was one of the greatest symbols of communism because it separated the democratic West Berlin with the communist East Berlin. When it was torn down it signaled the end of the communist bloc. There were also many dictatorships that were taken down during this time period including Chile & Brazil. Mikhail Gorbachev took over the USSR in 1985 and made many reforms that allowed citizens to express their political disinterest. This, too, led to the end of the communist bloc.

berlin wall
 
 

U.S. Politics

Politics in the 1980's was all about Communism V. Democracy. Ronald Regan was elected president in 1980. His policies were about dismantling the Communist block continuing to better America. During one of his speeches at the Berlin Wall he challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!" This is one of his most famous speeches and the ironic thing is that he was advised not to say it beforehand however he still went ahead and said it. One program that he initiated was the "Just Say No" program that helped to stop the growing drug problem in the United States. Cocaine was becoming popular among the younger

   
 

gorbachev & regan

Ronald Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev signing the INF treaty.

generation and celebrities and Crack was popular in the inner cities because of how relatively inexpensive it was. Ronald Regan also bolstered the American Military in order to show up the Soviet Union, however he also wanted to decrease nuclear weapons in the U.S. and the Soviet Union. During the 1980's there were many dictatorships that were broken down and turned into democracies including Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil. In 1987 the U.S. and the Soviet Union successfully came together and signed a treaty to decrease their amount of missiles by eliminating "intermediate range" missiles which is classified as missiles that have a range of 300-3400 miles.    
               
 

The economy was an important policy of President Ronald Regan. Reganomics, as it is fondly named, was about the trickle down effect. There were four main parts to Reganomics:

   
 

reganomics

Ronald Regan giving a televised address on his economic ideas.

  1. Reduce Growth of Government spending.
  2. Reduce Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.
  3. Control the money supply to reduce inflation.
  4. Reduce Government regulation.

He had to reduce government spending because this would create more room to decrease taxes. Because he could decrease Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax this created more money for people to spend therefore stimulating the economy. He also had to be able to make sure that inflation did not happen because if it did then it would send the economy into a tailspin.

   
       

Iran-Contra Affair

In 1986 there was a political scandal that arose that involved the U.S. selling arms to Iran while Iran was under an arms embargo. The scandal became known as the Iran-contra Affair. The U.S. was selling the weapons and then reimbursing the Israeli government with weapons. The deal with the Contra's was that they would help to free the six hostages that Hezbollah was holding. Lt. Colonel Oliver North who was on the National Security Council made large modifications so that proceeds from the selling of the weapons were reverted to contra's in Nicaragua. President Regan was in favor of the contras but it is not sure whether or not he approved the redirection of the sales. All of those that were involved and later indicted were pardoned by President George H. W. Bush in the last days of his presidency.

olivernorth