Essay Example on Ronald Reagan Presidency

Published: 2022-06-06
Essay Example on Ronald Reagan Presidency
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Politics Personality Ronald Reagan
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1284 words
11 min read

The American presidency has occupied the centre of politics and change since the first government of George Washington. The burden that has always rested on shoulders of presidents has been attributed to the extensive domain of governance and the magnitude of the issues that have always faced the United States. The scale of measuring the performance and legacy of presidents that have served the United States is based on policy decisions and strategies to combat political and social problems. In this scale, Ronald Reagan is a heavyweight, and his tenure is widely seen as the most successful one in United States history. There may have been significant challenges during his tenure but how he overcame them is what defined him as a statesman, a diplomat and an icon in the face of American history. There are many instances and scenarios that Reagan proved his mettle. Indelible in the American timeline of 20th-century developments are his involvements while President.

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Domestic Agenda

Reagan's ascension to presidency came as a result of a thorough campaign on national agenda. The principal object of the national scheme of administration was the reduction of taxes levied on citizens and corporations. The tax restructuring process involved critical areas of concern: government expenditure, state revenue tax, wealth gains tax, government regulation on tax and inflation. The economic agenda was one of Reagan's fundamental interests. It was under his administration that the success of the American economy was then recorded. With a keen concentration on seeing that the critical areas of interest were resolved, the economy improved. Presently, scholars have cited Reagan's economic strategy into a distinct class of economic philosophy, Reaganomics. Having cut down inflation from 11% to just 4% and created millions of jobs, indeed no American president has ever achieved the level of economic transformation that Reagan brought about.

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 marked a new tax regime of law that brought about an easier code of regulation hence abolishing the many loopholes. Also, the tax reform act which Reagan oversaw led to the substantial reduction in the money paid by citizens as a tax. The legislative process that created the Act was widely supported by the citizens as polls showed that people were in urgent demand of tax reforms. The government spending that had exorbitantly risen in the previous regimes of various presidents was put to normalcy by Reagan, a move that stabilised the decline in tax revenue. Notably, during Reagan's tenure, there was an economic boom that ignited economic growth rise. The GDP of United States rose exorbitantly despite the significant spending on the military and defence issues. Reagan has been lauded as having been able to apply economic strategies and make financial decisions concerning spending and the national budget. Low-interest rates, stable inflation and a flourishing economy, were characteristics of the Reagan tenure. The trade capability of the United States in all its sectors prevailed, and the insurmountable economic measures maintained the trend for even successive years.

Foreign Engagement

Reagan's tenure as president happened at the time when the cold war was strife between the United States and the Soviet Union. The INF treaty concluded between Reagan and Gorbachev on behalf of their countries to reduce nuclear weapons was a crucial step towards realising the end of cold war. Had the United States retained a hardline approach to the protracted conflict, detrimental results would have been unavoidable. During his final term, it was much evidence that the level of global interaction and peace had been boosted by the engagements that Reagan led. Not only did Reagan commit to the establishment of universal order but also proactively waged against communism. In his view, Reagan firmly believed that communism was as much a botched system of governance. Reagan successfully deployed the US Special Forces to aid the mujahideen in Afghanistan to smoke out the Soviet Union forces out. Reagan's constant rhetoric and support of anti-communist opposition groups in Eastern Europe helped to weaken the communist contingent. He successfully applied economic sabotage to the Soviet Union through international lobbying

Reagan applied abundant military strategy to defuse the power of Soviets in the Cold war protraction against an aggressive Soviet regime. His open confrontation with the Soviets through the National Security Decisions Directive to diminish the soviet's access to sophisticated technology, weaken their economy, dwindling their economic resources, expand the American defence budget. This confrontational strategy is what made the Soviets bow to the humongous pressure. Gorbachev's ascension to power brought about liberal leadership that Reagan tapped into and engaged in negotiations. By the time Reagan retired as president, he had made one of the most indelible marks in history as having fought against communism and aided global recover towards the free economy. The fact that the Soviet Union fell just after Reagan retired denotes the impact of Reagan's aggression against communism and the result of his strategic measures. As a global reformist, Reagan is in his elite class of US presidency having been successful in the decline and fall of communism as well as the ceasing of the cold war and peace tensions.

The Counter-Perspective

The different perspective to Reagan's spending on defence expenditure has been on massive criticised by many quarters. Such view lays claim to the financial strain that it brought on the united states economy with particular attention to the deficits it brought about in the cumulative years if Reagan's presidency. It may be of essential questionability that Reagan despite the economic stabilisation of the US economy committed massive sums of resources to the anti-communist foreign policy when the relative threat was minimal.


When Reagan's term ended in 1989, he had managed to achieve a fete that his two predecessors had failed, which was to serve as president for two terms. Not only was Reagan successful in having his full tenure, but he brought about fundamental transformation and reform to the United States. The presidency of Reagan was timely as it was just what was needed at a particular time. During the period before his position, the United States had suffered ridicule and had been made to retreat by the Soviets in the global arena. The humiliation that the United States received made the Soviets seem more powerful and threatened the global peace and order. The presidency of Reagan is viewed as a political revolution that was well catalysed by the state of affairs in the preceding years as well as Reagan's mettle to galvanise the nation together.

The reformist agenda of the Reagan transformed the American economy and salvaged the social status of many American families. The nationalist spirit that runs through the government during the tenure was responsible for the confrontational response to the Soviet aggression and the proactive efforts against communism. Reagan's legacy is one primed on economic well-being and whereby he institutionalised tax and financial structures to catalyse economic growth. Reagan firmly defended the constitution and the legal dispensation of the United States hence overseeing the restructuring of the judiciary and overseeing the appointment of constitution-sensitive judicial officers. Reagan's revamping of the military might have cost the US massive financial outlay, but the vital military strength enjoyed by the US during 1989 was a definite testament. The final amicable agreement with the Soviet Union had become a stumbling block had to go past, but he found a means to deal with them, unlike previous presidents. Even so, many Americans then believed in the power of the presidency as a tool of reform and change, and Reagan will forever be remembered as undoubtedly the greatest president the United States ever had.

Works Cited

Pemberton, William E. Exit with Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan. Routledge, 2015.

Mervin, David. Ronald Reagan: The American Presidency. Routledge, 2014.

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