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31.5: Terms and Questions

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    Key Terms

    Contract with America
    a list of eight specific legislative reforms or initiatives that Republicans representatives promised to enact if they gained a majority in Congress in the 1994 midterm elections
    gender gap
    the statistical differences between the voting preferences of women and men, with women favoring Democratic candidates
    Green Party
    a political party founded in 1984 that advocates environmentalism and grassroots democracy
    Heritage Foundation
    a professional organization conducting research and political advocacy on behalf of its values and perspectives
    a deadly immune deficiency disorder discovered in 1981, and at first largely ignored by politicians because of its prevalence among gay men
    New Right
    a loose coalition of American conservatives, consisting primarily of wealthy businesspeople and evangelical Christians, which developed in response to social changes of the 1960s and 1970s
    Operation Desert Storm
    the U.S. name of the war waged from January to April 1991, by coalition forces against Iraq in reaction to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990
    Ronald Reagan’s economic policy, which suggested that lowering taxes on the upper income brackets would stimulate investment and economic growth
    a treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union that limited the number of nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers held by both sides
    Vietnam Syndrome
    reluctance on the part of American politicians to actively engage U.S. forces in a foreign war for fear of suffering a humiliating defeat
    war on drugs
    a nationwide political campaign to implement harsh sentences for drug crimes, which produced an explosive growth of the prison population

    Review Questions


    Before becoming a conservative Republican, Ronald Reagan was ________.

    1. a liberal Democrat
    2. a Socialist
    3. politically apathetic
    4. a Herbert Hoover Republican

    The belief that cutting taxes for the rich will eventually result in economic benefits for the poor is commonly referred to as ________.

    1. socialism
    2. pork barrel politics
    3. Keynesian economics
    4. trickle-down economics

    What were the elements of Ronald Reagan’s plan for economic reform?


    Which statement best describes Reagan’s political style?

    1. folksy and likeable
    2. conservative and inflexible
    3. liberal and pragmatic
    4. intelligent and elitist

    What rationale did Phyllis Schlafly and her STOP ERA movement cite when opposing the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment?

    1. the ERA would ultimately lead to the legalization of abortion
    2. the ERA provided insufficient civil rights protections for women
    3. mothers could not be feminists
    4. the ERA would end gender-specific privileges women enjoyed

    What were some of the primary values of the Moral Majority?


    The group the Reagan administration encouraged and supported in its fight against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua was known as the ________.

    1. anti-Somozas
    2. Shining Path
    3. Contras
    4. Red Faction

    The country that Iraq invaded to trigger the crisis that resulted in the Persian Gulf War was ________.

    1. Jordan
    2. Kuwait
    3. Saudi Arabia
    4. Iran

    What was the Iran-Contra affair about?


    Bill Clinton helped create a large free market among Canada, the United States, and Mexico with ratification of the ________ treaty.

    1. NAFTA
    2. NATO
    3. Organization of American States
    4. Alliance for Progress

    The key state in the 2000 election where the U.S. Supreme Court stopped a recount of votes was ________.

    1. Florida
    2. Texas
    3. Georgia
    4. Virginia

    What were some of the foreign policy successes of the Clinton administration?

    Critical Thinking Questions


    What were some of the long-term effects of the Reagan Revolution and the rise of conservatives?


    What events led to the end of the Cold War? What impact did the end of the Cold War have on American politics and foreign policy concerns?


    Which issues divided Americans most significantly during the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s?


    In what ways was Bill Clinton a traditional Democrat in the style of Kennedy and Johnson? In what ways was he a conservative, like Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush?


    Describe American involvement in global affairs during this period. How did American foreign policy change and evolve between 1980 and 2000, in both its focus and its approach?

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