The 1980s: A Decade of Change

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In the 1980s, the U.S. was changed in many ways. The U.S. had a great hockey win in the Olympics and intense new fashion that strongly influenced the youth. Controversial political issues also made headlines. The three most significant events were when President Reagan was elected, the U.S. Challenger exploded, and the Iran-Contra Affair. Politics The Iran-Contra Affair was a secret arrangement in the 1980s to provide funds to the Nicaraguan contra rebels from profits gained by selling arms to Iran. “In 1979, a political group called the Sandinistas led a revolution in Nicaragua and took control of the government” and President Reagan strongly voiced his disdain for the Sandinistas (Kornbluh 1). Reagan directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to begin aiding the contras, Nicaraguan rebels who were fighting to overthrow the Sandinistas. In 1983, the United States Congress limited the CIA in aiding Nicaragua. In October 1984, Congress cut off all aid to the contras. Reagan and his administration sought ways to continue aiding the contras after the congressional ban. At first, they secretly raised funds from several foreign countries and wealthy Americans to help finance the contras. “In 1985, the administration initiated a secret arms-for-hostages operation designed to free seven Americans held hostage by terrorists in Lebanon,” and members of the administration arranged for the CIA to secretly purchase arms from the Department of Defense (Kornbluh 2). Private individuals bought the arms from the CIA and sold them to Iran in return for its promises of help in the hostage release, but the sales led to the release of only three hostages, and three more Americans were taken hostage during the same period. Admini... ... middle of paper ... ...ockey win in the Olympics were great boosts in the 1980s. The most important factor in this decade was the Iran-Contra Affair. Another trend was the intense new fashion that strongly influenced the youth. In conclusion, the 1980s was one of the most influential and important decades in American history. Works Cited Hamilton, Neil. “Ronald Reagan.” Presidents: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Facts on File Inc., 2005. American History Online. Facts on File Inc. Web. 10 Jan. 2014. Camardella, Michele L. America in the 1980s. New York: Facts On File, 2006. Print. Batchelor, Bob, and Scott Stoddart. The 1980s. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2007. Print. Pride and Prosperity, the 80s. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life, 1999. Print. Eskenazi, Gerald. "U.S. Hockey Squad Captures Gold Medal." SIRS Decades. SIRS Knowledge Source, 25 Feb. 1980. Web. 10 Jan. 2014.

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