New Times

" . . . government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."



   I. Ford = "The Healing Begins"
       A. Ford: honest, fair-minded, humble, pragmatic
       B. Nixon rec'd "full, free, and absolute pardon"
            1. No action for other Watergate conspirators
            2. Popularity plunged overnight from 72% to 49%
       C. Vietnam War evaders offered "conditional amnesty"
            1. Vets mad (gov't excused law-breakers from duty)
            2. Draft-dodgers resentful (inference of wrongdoing)
       D. Foreign affairs = maintain détente
            1. Kissinger retained as Sec. of State ("realpolitik")
            2. Final collapse of South Vietnam (April 1975)
            3. Mayagüez incident in Gulf of Siam (May 1975)
            4. Helsinki Accords signed by 35 nations (July 1975)
       E. Economic woes
            1. Called for voluntary restraints (WIN)
            2. Emphasized balanced fed'l budget
            3. Cut gov't spending (inc. social-welfare funds)
  II. Election of 1976
       A. Voter apathy & disillusionment (54.4% turnout)
       B. Ford 1st incumbent Pres. defeated since Hoover
       C. Carter 1st Pres. from Deep South in 100+ yrs.
 III. Carter = "Soft-Spoken Leadership"
       A. Carter: honest, pious, inflexible, politically naive
       B. Friction with Congress
       C. Energy shortage = #1 issue, according to Carter
            1. Targeted overdependence on foreign oil
            2. Department of Energy added to Cabinet
            3. National Energy Act (1978)
       D. "Stagflation" = economic anomaly
            1. Unemployment & inflation soared (both > 10%)
            2. High interest/mortgage rates (housing slump)
            3. Foreign competition & relocation of U.S. plants
            4. Rise of service sector (req'd more education)
            5. Increased automation (damage to work force)
            6. U.S. standard of living dropped from 1st to 5th
            7. Carter's plan perceived as shotgun approach
       E. Minorities
            1. Cabinet included three women
            2. Equal Rights Amendment failed to gain support
            3. Andrew Young appointed U.N. ambassador
            4. Univ. of California Regents v. Bakke (1978)
       F. Foreign affairs = humanism à la Woodrow Wilson
            1. Panama Canal treaties (1978)
            2. Triumph & peril in Middle East
                  • Egyptian-Israeli Camp David Accords (Sep 1978)
                  • OPEC jacked oil prices (June 1979)
                  • Iranian hostage crisis (Nov 1979)
            3. Collapse of détente
                  • Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (Dec 1979)
                  • Senate's "rejection" of SALT II
                  • American boycott of 1980 Summer Olympics
                  • resignation of Sec. of State Cyrus Vance
 IV. Reagan = "Resurgence of Conservatism"
       A. Reagan: confident, jovial, patriotic, firm, teflonic
       B. Reaganomics = driven by marketplace, not gov't
            1. Tax cuts, inc. income tax (25% over 3 yrs.)
            2. Reduction of social services (cut $40 billion)
            3. Increased military expenditures for nat'l defense
            4. Overall results = nat'l debt rose by $2 trillion
       C. Foreign matters = staunch revival of containment
            1. Soviet Union ("evil empire") = START & SDI
            2. Middle East → troubles in Lebanon (1983)
            3. Cent. Amer. → lone success was Grenada (1983)
            4. Iran-Contra arms deal (1986)
       D. Domestic issues = social potpourri
            1. PATCO strike (1981)
            2. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (1981)
            3. "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign (1982)
            4. Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982)


            5. Moral Majority & evangelical Christianity
            6. A Nation at Risk (1983)
            7. Regional migration to Sun Belt & West
            8. Gulf separating affluent & poor widened
            9. Frenzy of corporate mergers
  V. Election of 1984
       A. Ferraro 1st major party female V-P candidate
       B. Landslide (525-13; Mondale won Minn & DC only)
 VI. Bush = "A Kinder, Gentler America"
       A. Bush: direct/honest, well-meaning, unimaginative
       B. Domestic agenda = cloudy for Bush
            1. "Read my lips: no…new…taxes" (oops)
            2. Richmond v. J.A. Croson Company (1989)
            3. Opposed legalized abortion, gun control
            4. Favored constitutional ban on U.S. flag burning
       C. Foreign affairs = sunny for Bush
            1. Tiananmen Square uprising (Jun 1989)
            2. Panama → Operation Just Cause (Dec 1989)
            3. Gulf War → Operation Desert Shield (Jan 1991)
            4. Somalia → Operation Restore Hope (Dec 1992)
       D. Cold War = good-bye Iron Curtain
            1. Warsaw Pact countries abandoned communism
            2. Berlin Wall razed (Nov 1989)
            3. Germany reunified (Oct 1990)
            4. Soviet Union dissolved & CIS formed (Dec 1991)
            5. Bush & Yeltsin declared Cold War end (Feb 1992)
VII. Clinton = "Hillary, Gennifer, Paula, Monica, Linda…"
       A. Clinton: charismatic, intelligent, energetic, shady
       B. Elected on domestic issues, esp. economy
       C. National health-care reform
            1. Task force chaired by First Lady
            2. Rejected by Congress
       D. Republican Party's "Contract with America" (1994)
            1. Tax reductions
            2. Balanced budget
            3. Term limits for Congress
            4. Other, inc. welfare reforms
       E. Foreign policy = ambitious w/ mixed results
            1. Withdrew from Somalia after Marine casualties
            2. Poland, Hungary, Czech Rep. join NATO
            3. High tension between Palestinians & Israelis
            4. Continued ethnic fighting in former Yugoslavia
       F. Impeachment
            1. Andrew Johnson & Clinton (Tyler & Nixon close)
            2. Clinton: "I did not have sex with that woman"
            3. America: intrusive Starr vs. evasive Clinton
            4. Congress: no "high crimes and misdemeanors"



  • American Indian Movement
  • OPEC
  • Nancy Landon Kassebaum
  • Mayagüez incident
  • Helsinki Accords
  • National Energy Act
  • "stagflation"
  • Panama Canal Treaty
  • Camp David Accords
  • Anwar Sadat
  • Menachem Begin
  • Iranian hostage crisis
  • Ayatollah Khomeini
  • "misery index"
  • conservative coalition
  • Moral Majority
  • Jerry Falwell
  • Andrew Young
  • Jesse Jackson
  • entitlement programs
  • affirmative action
  • University of California v. Bakke
  • Equal Rights Amendment
  • Phyllis Schlafly
  • Maya Ying Lin
  • voodoo economics
  • "supply-side economics"
  • Economic Recovery Tax Act
  • PATCO strike
  • Walter Mondale
  • Geraldine Ferraro
  • Sandra Day O'Connor
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • "Star Wars"
  • Challenger disaster
  • Iran-Contra affair
  • Oliver North
  • Michael Dukakis
  • Webster v. Reproduction Health Care Services
  • Tiananmen Square uprising
  • Operation Just Cause
  • Manuel Antonio Noriega
  • Persian Gulf War
  • Operation Desert Storm
  • Saddam Hussein
  • H. Norman Schwarzkopf
  • Operation Restore Hope
  • Ben Nighthorse Campbell
  • Boris Yeltsin
  • Gaylord Nelson
  • Exxon Valdez
  • Contract with America
  • Twenty-seventh Amendment
  • 9/11 incident


  • Gerald Ford: Inaugural Address (1974)
  • Ronald Reagan: State of the Union Message (1984)


1.  Select any two of the following and analyze the ways in which they have affected
     the status of women in American society since 1940—changing economic
     conditions; the rebirth of an organized women's movement; the persistence of
     traditional definitions of women's roles; advances in reproductive technology.

2.  "Presidents are rarely successful in both foreign and domestic policy." Assess the
     validity of this statement, using three of the following Presidents to support your
     position—George Washington; John Adams; Thomas Jefferson; James K. Polk;
     Abraham Lincoln; Theodore Roosevelt; Woodrow Wilson; Franklin D. Roosevelt;
     Lyndon B. Johnson; Richard Nixon; Jimmy Carter.

3.  Discuss and appraise the impact of President Jimmy Carter's human rights program
     on American foreign policy.

4.  What social issues, distinct from political or economic issues, separated Democrats
     from Republicans in their respective 1980 party platforms?

5.  "The powers of the President have declined due to domestic issues and internal
     turmoil." Evaluate this statement by citing specific examples throughout American
     history, including at least one instance after 1980.

6.  "The powers of the President have grown because of war and foreign crises."
     Evaluate this statement by citing specific examples throughout American history,
     including at least one instance after 1980.


  1. President Gerald Ford's most controversial act was:
    1. granting former President Richard Nixon a "full, free, and absolute pardon" for his participation in the Watergate scandal
    2. offering "conditional amnesty" to Vietnam War draft dodgers
    3. maintaining the previous presidential administration's détente theory of Cold War foreign policy
    4. cutting social-welfare funds in order to balance the federal budget

  2. The Twenty-seventh Amendment:
    1. stipulates equal rights for women
    2. prohibits congressional pay raises from taking effect until an election seats a new session of Congress
    3. limits the President's power to send troops abroad without approval of Congress
    4. makes it illegal to burn or otherwise publicly desecrate the American flag

  3. The high point of Jimmy Carter's presidency was:
    1. implementation of SALT II despite uproar in Congress concerning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
    2. his mediation between Egypt and Israel resulting in the Camp David Accords
    3. the direct resolution of the PATCO strike with little adverse effect on consumer airline travel
    4. ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

  4. The most significant increase in immigration during the 1990s came from:
    1. Asia and southern Europe
    2. the Middle East and the Caribbean
    3. Africa and eastern Europe
    4. southeast Asia and Latin America

  5. President Ronald Reagan's goals included all of the following except:
    1. stronger national defense
    2. tax cuts
    3. crack down on acts of terrorism
    4. increase the federal government's powers

During the summer of 2000, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial unfurled the ceremonial American flag used to dedicate all four of the memorial's presidential portraits from 1930 through 1939. The giant cotton flag, measuring 39 feet wide and 67 feet long, was machine-sewn by a committee of the Rapid City Women's Club headed by Mrs. C. C. Warren and Mrs. Gutzon Borglum. The flag's 48 stars, each spanning 27 inches across, were stitched in place by the club ladies. Click on the faces to TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE further.


"Our Country"   by John Mellencamp