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4. Political Change
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the political changes that took place in the Reagan administration, focusing in particular on: (i) the end of the liberal ascendency that had held sway since the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and 1940s; (ii) the Republicans' success in winning the presidency (winning three consecutive elections in 1980, 1984 and 1988) but failure to gain control of both house of Congress; (iii) the opportunity provided to Reagan to tip the political leaning of the Supreme Court towards conservatism, but his failure to do so; and (iv) Reagan's political consolidation of the south for the Republican party, and the impact this has on party politics in the United States.
In this course, Professor Iwan Morgan (University College, London) explores the presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981-89). In the first module, we think about Reagan's handling of the economy, focusing in particular on the shift away from the economic orthodoxy of the past fifty years to adopt supply-side economics and monetarism. After that, we think about Reagan's attempts to reduce government spending, before turning in the third module to consider his impact on American culture and society. In the fourth module, we think about the broad political changes that took place during Reagan's administration, before turning in the fifth and final module to consider the extent to which Reagan restored the prestige of an office that had been diminished by Vietnam, Watergate, and the underwhelming administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
Iwan Morgan is Professor of US Studies at the Institute of the Americas, University College London, and also holds an honorary position as Commonwealth Fund Chair of American History in the UCL Department of History.
Professor Morgan is a distinguished fellow of the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford. He was awarded the British Association of American Studies Honorary Fellowship in 2014 in recognition of his contributions to the discipline over the course of his career; his work The Age of Deficits (Kansas University Press, 2009), won the American Politics Group's 2010 Richard Neustadt Book Prize.
Professor Morgan has published widely in various fields of modern US political history and in political economy. Much of his work has a presidential focus. He is director of the United States Presidency Centre. He was also chair of the executive committee of the Historians of the Twentieth Century United States from 2007 to 2013. He was a member of the executive committee of the British Association of American Studies in 2009-2012.
Cite this Lecture
Morgan, I. (2021, March 05). The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, 1981-89 - Political Change [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-ronald-reagan-1981-89-morgan/political-change
Morgan, Iwan. "The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, 1981-89 – Political Change." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-ronald-reagan-1981-89-morgan/political-change