Ronald Reagan's Presidency

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Ronald Reagan's Presidency Truly, when Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the world was changing; his presidency would be one that would set the tone for the coming decades. Reagan had high expectations for his term in office; his "first, second, and third priorities" were his economic plans. His presidency was a remarkable one, but scholars were and continue to be critical of his "hands-off," macro-management of the government. President Reagan surrounded himself with some of the brightest minds in the country: James Baker III, George Shultz .. Often, these are the people who initiated these policy changes, while Reagan is the one who sold them to the country. But for all that he didn't participate in, Reagan had an extreme passion for foreign politics, despite being warned against it and the beginning of his term to focus on the economy and its continued downward slide. His passion showed in his dealings with the Soviet Union, especially after the rise. He was instrumental in the reduction of arms of the world's superpowers and key in the resurgence, in the United States, of military spending. But, when it came to foreign policy, Reagan had very different views than his predecessors. Reagan did not believe in detente, he did not believe in appeasement, and he did not believe in the isolationist movement that had populated American thought for the better part of the 20th century. He believed that the United States had to defeat the Soviet Union on the grounds that communism was immoral and resulted in a freedomless society. The thawing of Soviet-American relations in the later Reagan years was due to a change in Soviet policy and Soviet leadership and not a drastic change in American policy under Reagan. Re... ... middle of paper ... ...ogies, and through powerful rhetoric, what Reagan really needed was luck. His tactics really had no effect on the Soviet government under Brezhnev, nor under Andropov. But, when Gorbachev came to power everything changed. Political analyst Stuart Spencer supports this opinion, "It didn't work with Brezhnev because he was an old man; it didn't work with Andropov because he was sick. But Reagan was lucky-- he was always a lucky politician. Along came Gorbachev." Essentially what had changed was that Gorbachev was more in touch with the actual inner workings of the Soviet Union. "They [knew] it was a bad scene. . they were quite different people than their predecessors . . . we saw in that an opportunity," George Shultz notes. The opportunity was there and Reagan captured it. The thaw in relations led to the end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union.
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