Ronald Reagan, as an individual and in his posthumous legacy, has been one of the most important figures in late twentieth century American politics. The legacy reflects not just his own actions, but also those of his supporters. His rise to the presidency symbolized a larger conservative resurgence.

Before beginning this discussion, be sure to read the Module Notes, Chapter 29 “The Triumph of the Right” in The American Yawp; and the article The Mixed Legacies of Ronald Reagan by Hugh Heclo. In particular, look on page 557 to the criteria that Heclo establishes for assessing a legacy:

  • “A legacy may entail something intended as well as unintended
  • It may involve conserving what we have as well as creating something new
  • It may consist of certain material conditions as well as the perception of those conditions
  • It may develop from what is accomplished, what is unsuccessfully attempted, or from what is simply left undone”

Using the secondary sources above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 350 words:

  • What do you think are the most defining features of the “Reagan Legacy” on American politics?
  • How does American society of the 1980s and afterward still reflect this legacy?
  • Be sure to include additional factors that you think help inform an assessment of Ronald Reagan’s role in American politics.


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