Home » Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States. He served from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989. He was born February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois to John Edward Reagan and Nelle Wilson Reagan. President Reagan came from rather meager beginnings, not very typical of the presidents before him. He married Jane Wyman on June 25, 1940 and got divorced in 1948. About four years later Ronald Reagan found the “love of his life” Nancy Davis. They married on March 1, 1952. President Reagan went on to have three children, Maureen Elizabeth Reagan, Patricia Ann Reagan, Ronald Prescott Reagan and they adopted Michael Edward Reagan.

President Reagan also went by the nicknames “The Gipper ” and “The Great Communicator. ” He Graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and became an actor. As he grew older Reagan became a registered republican and served public office. He never thought of himself as a politician but he became the Governor of California in 1966 and was in office for eight years until 1974. In 1976 Ronald Reagan ran for the office of the presidency. The candidates he was up against were Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Reagan had a very slim chance at beating them and lost miserably. In 1980 Reagan ran again for the office of the presidency.

Once again Reagan faced Jimmy Carter. This time a different outcome emerged. Reagan was victorious. The same was true in the 1984 election as Reagan defeated Walter Mondale. For all eight years of his presidency George Bush was his Vice President. On March 30, shot in an assassination attempt by John W. Hinkley, Jr. outside of the Washington, D. C. Hilton Hotel. In November 1994, Reagan revealed to the world what his doctors, and those closest to him, had suspected for some time. The former president was suffering from the memory destroying illness Alzheimer’s disease.

During the early 1980’s the United States was suffering one of its worst economic periods in its history. Many people were out of jobs and their families were suffering. Ronald Reagan stepped into office with one major goal. He wanted to rid the nation of its economic recession and bring this country to prosperity. The new president proposed his plan of “Reaganomics. ” He wanted to cut taxes for the rich and allow them to set up new businesses or continue to prosper in their current business. This may sound shocking and it did set the middle class into an uproar but Reagan had a plan.

He hoped that as the rich made business the money would ” trickle down” to the people in the form of new jobs. Reagan also realized that the cold war was bringing on the economic difficulties and he wanted to put an end to it. He felt that he needed to strengthen relations with the then Soviet Union and stop government spending on national defense. He began to gain support from the American people because they realized that Reagan was willing to work hard for the well being of this country. His approval ratings soared even higher as the economy rebounded strongly from the recession of 1981-82.

More Americans were working than ever before. New businesses were being started up and Wall Street was strong with a great deal of activity. Still, worried voices pointed to a ballooning federal deficit, as a sign that tax cuts and increased defense spending was a “recipe for disaster. ” And while “Reaganomics” was helping to produce more and more millionaires, the difference between rich and poor grew greater and greater. Reagan challenged his fellow citizens to “dream heroic dreams,” but made no mention of making sacrifices for the benefit of future generations.

In times of tragedy, such as when the space shuttle Challenger exploded Reagan’s soothing words gave comfort to a grieving nation. Reagan’s ability to escape accountability for the mistakes and misdeeds of himself and of those around him led to his new nickname the Teflon president, nothing would stick to him. Time and again polls indicated that Americans did not always share Reagan’s views on many issues, and often questioned his ability for the job, they never the less supported his single-minded determination to achieve the goals he held most dear.

Reagan’s views on the things occurring abroad could not accommodate the existence of international Communism. Reagan made it clear that he considered the Soviet Union the “focus of evil in the modern world. ” “Peace through strength”, in Reagan’s view, was the only effective means of dealing with a system determined for world domination. Cold War tensions began to relax in the mid-1980s as the reform-minded Mikhail Gorbachev emerged as Soviet leader. By 1988, Reagan and Gorbachev had hammered out agreements that drastically reduced the nuclear stockpiles of each nation.

On his last trip aboard as president, Reagan visited Gorbachev in Moscow, in the land he once declared “an evil empire. ” Reagan’s relationship with congress was strong. The two parties agreed consistently to provide the country with legislation to better the nation. A majority of the legislation passed was to strengthen the weak economy and also to try and end cold was tension between the United States and the USSR. Many political analysts contribute the current success in the year 2000 to Reagan’s theory of trickle down economics.

Many people compare the measures Reagan took to strengthen the economy to the actions of FDR. Although his problem was a great deal less complex Reagan was willing to take any action necessary to provide the nation with a better way of life. During Ronald Reagan’s eight-year stint in office many supreme courts cases appeared on their dockets. Some of these cases are Three Affiliated Tribes v. Wold Engineering, (1984), Batson v. Kentucky (1986), Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser, Bob Jones Univ. v. United States, (1983) Bolger v. Youngs Drugs Prods. Corp. , (1983), Bowers v.

Hardwick, (1986) and Bowsher v. Synar, (1986) one of the larger cases heard during Reagan’s term in office was Ford v. Wainwright, (1986). In 1974, petitioner was convicted of murder in a Florida State court and sentenced to death. There is no suggestion that he was incompetent at the time of the offense, at trial, or at sentencing. But subsequently he began to manifest changes in behavior, indicating a mental disorder. This led to extensive separate examinations by two psychiatrists at his counsel’s request, one of whom concluded that petitioner was not competent to suffer execution.

Counsel then invoked a Florida statute governing the determination of a condemned prisoner’s competency. Following the statutory procedures, the Governor appointed three psychiatrists, who together interviewed petitioner for 30 minutes in the presence of eight other people, including petitioner’s counsel, the State’s attorneys, and correctional officials. The Governor’s order directed that the attorneys should not participate in the examination in any adversarial manner.

Each psychiatrist filed a separate report with the Governor, to whom the statute delegates the final decision. The reports reached conflicting diagnoses, but were in accord on the question of petitioner’s competency. Petitioner’s counsel then attempted to submit to the Governor other written materials, including the reports of the two psychiatrists who had previously examined petitioner, but the Governor’s office refused to inform counsel whether the submission would be considered. The Governor subsequently signed a death warrant without explanation or statement.

After unsuccessfully seeking a hearing in state court to determine anew petitioner’s competency, his counsel filed a habeas corpus proceeding in Federal District Court, seeking an evidentiary hearing, but the court denied the petition without a hearing, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. (http://www2. law. cornell. edu/) This case set a precedent because people facing trials that could lead to death are screened for mental illness. This is clearly important because more and more people are being determined to suffer from mental ailments that lead to them committing crimes of a very dangerous and serious degree.

Ronald Reagan clearly was a successful president. He worked well with a divided congress to pass legislation in order to make the lives of Americans better. He was also successful because he smoothened relations between the US and the Soviet Union. By the end of Reagan reign he befriended the USSR. Ronald Reagan was not an imperial president because he rarely over stepped the presidential boundaries established by the constitution. The only actions Reagan ever took without the consent of congress w re the bombings of Grenada and the incident with Kadaffi, a prolific terrorist.

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