Ronald Wilson Reagan was born February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois to Edward and Nelle Reagan (History.com Staff, 2009). Reagan grew up with his entire life spent in Illinois and attended Eureka College (History.com Staff, 2009). As a young adult Reagan had Democratic views, campaigning for Democratic candidates.
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As time passed his views became more conservative and by the 1960’s he was officially a Republican (History.com Staff, 2009). In the mid 1960’s, Reagan set out for his first race in public office, running for the Governor of California. He was elected governor from 1967 to 1975, serving two terms (History.com Staff, 2009). Shortly after, Reagan was elected the 40th United States President in 1981, winning against President Jimmy Carter (History.com Staff, 2009). Reagan ended up serving two terms as President, ending his presidency in 1989. During this time, he was often referred to as the Great Communicator (History.com Staff, 2009). The major events that impacted Reagan’s presidency were his ability to cut taxes (known as Reaganomics) to reduce the impact the federal government had on American’s pocketbooks, increase defense spending by building up U.S. weapons and troops, and he negotiated a nuclear arms reduction agreement which resulted in a quicker end to the Cold War (History.com Staff, 2009).
Ronald Reagan was known to be a man of optimism, amiability, graciousness, and a remarkable politician. He was able to connect with the average middle-class citizen, which was not an ability all presidents and leaders had. His ability to do this eventually earned him the title of the Great Communicator (Procon.org, 2018). He had previous experience with radio, television, film, advertising and public relations. It was an era in which politics focused on media and images, attracting more public appeal (Raphael, 2009). In the end, this was great for Reagan’s own character and image. It gave him the ability to exploit his political authority. In his inaugural speech, he focused on government being the problem rather than the solution. This was somewhat appealing or pleasing to the people of the United States. He presented the concept of a new revival to the America’s and picking up what was left behind from the previous administration. And while he was a republican, Reagan was popular with conservatives as he lacked the political baggage of a being part of a discredited Washington establishment (Cannon, 2018). He had a comprehensive vision with clear direction. He believed in law and order, he had a willingness about him, and he was open to compromise knowing that he would not abandon his ideas of certainty and confidence.
Prior to Reagan stepping into the political spotlight and announcing his candidacy for president, people did not understand his principles, power,
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