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The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, 1981-89

1. The Economy

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about Reagan's handling of the economy, focusing in particular on: (i) the problems faced by the economy at the beginning of the decade, including high inflation and low productivity; (ii) Reagan's move from Keynesian economic policy to supply-side economics; (iii) the influence of the Federal Reserve on economic performance; (iv) the short- and medium-term impact of the Reagan's economic policy; (v) the impact of Reagan's policy on the US budget deficit, and the impact of the budget deficit on other economic measures, e.g. unemployment; (vi) Reagan's deregulation of the economy, and the short- and medium- term impact of these changes; (vii) the impact of the deindustrialisation and financialization of the economy, on the value of the dollar, the trade deficit, and unemployment; and (viii) Reagan's economic legacy in conservative memory/mythology.

Course

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.

Lecturer

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

APA style

Morgan, I. (2021, March 05). The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, 1981-89 - The Economy [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-ronald-reagan-1981-89-morgan/the-economy-9a82e8c7-acca-4cb5-b53c-78de5c502b6d

MLA style

Morgan, Iwan. "The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, 1981-89 – The Economy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-ronald-reagan-1981-89-morgan/the-economy-9a82e8c7-acca-4cb5-b53c-78de5c502b6d