General Characteristics of the 1980s – The Reagan Years

“The Eighties – The Reagan Years” – This section of the Songbook primarily focuses on domestic issues in the United States during the late 1970s and 1980s. Foreign affairs and international relations during the Reagan Presidency are mostly discussed in the original part of the Songbook. Introduction – General Characteristics of the 1980s- The Reagan […]

Ronald Reagan and National Politics

Beginning in the mid-1960s, the priorities of the Democratic Party began to shift away from white working and middle class voters- many of them socially conservative, Christian and religiously observant (The Roosevelt Coalition), to a set of emerging constituencies seeking rights and privileges previously reserved to white men.  These groups included African-Americans, women’s rights activists, […]

Economic Crises of the Reagan Years: The Stock Market Crash of 1987, The Savings and Loan (S&L) Crisis of the late 1980s and Early 1990s and The Recession of 1990-92

On Monday, October 19, 1987 (known as “Black Monday”), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plunged 22.6%. The DJIA’s collapse greatly surpassed its 12.8 percent single-day drop on Black Thursday of October 28, 1929. Out of twenty-three major industrial countries, nineteen had a decline greater than 20%. Worldwide losses were estimated at $1.71 trillion. The severity of the crash […]

The New Right – Reaganism, Conservatism and Evangelicalism

The New Right or Christian Right, a conservative populist movement, had religious, political, economic and cultural components. The term refers to a set of evangelical organizations that emerged in the late 1970s: the Moral Majority (later renamed the Liberty Federation), the Religious Roundtable, and the Christian Voice.  The overriding theme of the movement was America was once […]

Social Problems during the 1980s

The most significant social problem of the 1980s was the rise of the AIDs epidemic. (This topic is discussed in detail in the original section of the Songbook.) Homelessness and drugs came in a close second to AIDs as social problems in the 1980s. (“War on Drugs”, ) Following the acid trips of the […]

The War on Drugs

The Reagan Administration began to prioritize what came to be called the “War on Drugs”, which seemed to focus on minority communities. The efforts included the passing of federal anti-drug laws (e.g. the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986), increased federal anti-drug funding, the initiation and expansion of prison and police programs, and the establishment of private […]

Economic Inequality and Homelessness

By the end of the 1980s, the U.S. was the world’s greatest superpower and very wealthy; but, paradoxically, despite growing prosperity (more people were in the stock market than in previous periods of economic growth), the increased wealth was not wide-spread. Poverty resulted in a new phenomenon of the homeless. Legions of homeless, mostly addicted […]