Research Essay on Reagan Era

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When Marty McFly tells Dr. Emmit Brown in 1955 that the President in 1985 will be Ronald Reagan, Doc replies in disbelief “Ronald Reagan, the actor? Then who’s Vice President then, Jerry Lewis?” Now this skepticism wasn’t completely uncalled for; before his political career Ronald Reagan was a famous actor and Doc probably had the same reaction of anyone else in that time period. However, Reagan the politician was much different than Reagan the actor. During the years of his administration the United States made massive gains in both the economy and in foreign affairs. He has been referred to by some as one of the most important and influential political leaders in modern American history and rightfully so. The principle of “Reaganomics” and the results of his effort to end the feud between the Soviet Union and the United States of America, summarized by his famous line of “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”, have helped shape the world into what it is today.

When the Reagan Administration took office in 1981 they brought with it one of the most anticommunist policies that the United States had seen to date. However, by the end of his second term in office, Reagan had changed his views and realized that the conflict between the two world super powers could possibly be just a “mutual misperception.” There was three meetings held between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in which there were attempts to better the U.S.-Soviet relationship. The first summit, the Geneva Summit, was held in November of 1985 and it resulted in provided benefits for both sides. First, and most importantly, Reagan and Gorbachev “had come to like and respect each other,” which allowed for a successful endeavor. The second summit was the Reykjavik Summit, held in October of 1986. To many of the participants this meeting is considered a failure even though there was serious discussions about eliminating a major portion of both countries nuclear arsenal.1 The third summit, held in...
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