Changes That Shaped American Politics in the 70’s and 80’s

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Changes that Shaped American Politics in the 70’s and 80’s Loraine J Jackson Everest University Abstract For many individuals in the United States, the late 1970s were a troubled and disturbing time. The Watergate scandal, the Vietnam War, ambiguity in the Middle East and the economic crisis in the Nation had weakened the confidence of Americans in their government and in their fellow residents as well. Many Americans supported a new conservatism in social, economic and political life during the 1980s, distinguished by policies of President Ronald Reagan. Politically, the United States experienced numerous changes during the 1970’s. There were liberal Democratic administrations for most of the 1960’s followed by a conservative…show more content…
Reagan and the Cold War The Cold War was a period when the Soviet Union and the United States began negotiations which would eventually see the end of the Cold War. Still, in the early 80’s the Cold War offered little open diplomacy between the Americans and the Soviets. As such, both were content to increase their nuclear stockpiles and augment their armed forces budgets if necessary. Therefore, anti-nuclear movements and demonstrations were a typical feature of the early 1980’s (The Cold War in the 1980's, 2010). The international achievement of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or (INF), was an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union that each would destroy an entire class of weapons as part of this nuclear disarmament treaty (Abbot, 2011). Organized Labor Struggle There was a downside to the economic recovery which came in the form of Republican offensive against labor unions. One such event was the firing of more than 10,000 air traffic controllers for their violations of a no-strike clause in hiring agreements (Abbot, 2011). There was also a decline in union membership as well as blue collar positions. When union membership waned, unions had difficulty managing with the changing economy. Corporations took the opportunity to mandate wage rollbacks and compromises on working

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