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Why was Reagan's presidency so significant?

Ronald Reagan's presidency marked a significant shift in American politics. He challenged the role of government, suggesting it was a problem rather than a helper. This was a big change from previous presidents' views. Reagan also played a key role in ending the Cold War through his tough stance and willingness to negotiate with the Soviet Union.

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Video transcript

- [Narrator] Why Ronald Reagan's presidency so significant? - Ronald Reagan plays an important role in the modern presidency for two big things that he did. One on the domestic front, he broke considerably with the kind of way of doing things in Washington. He basically in response to the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the Great Society from Lyndon Johnson, President Reagan came in and said no longer is government your friend in American life. The government is actually the problem. This is the message of his inaugural address. And he broke with the idea that the federal government through the application of its resources, could help American life, which was a very stark ideological break with the way the American government had been going since the mid 40s. And then on foreign policy, his increased defense spending and his very strong position against the Soviet Union coupled with a willingness to actually negotiate with the Soviet Union, which got him a lot of grief from conservatives in his party, that both hard line and ability to negotiate helped usher in the end of the Cold War.