SAQs for APUSH Topic 9.2— Ronald Reagan and Conservatism

Twenty questions designed to help students review for the annual exam and that relate to how Ronald Reagan and other conservatives responded to two terms (liberals and liberalism) that APUSH students typically first encounter when learning about FDR’s response to the mass unemployment and social upheavals of the Great Depression.

  1. During the 1930s, policymakers responded to the mass unemployment and social upheavals of the Great Depression by redefining the goals and ideals of “modern American liberalism.” One bit of evidence in support of this claim is something called President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. What did President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal seek to accomplish?
  2. Briefly describe one historical event, development, or process that occurred before President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
  3. Approximately what percent of the American workforce went unemployed in the years leading up to the New Deal?
  4. During the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelts New Deal, along with the work of other liberal policymakers, transformed the U.S. into a limited welfare state? What is a limited welfare state?
  5. During the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal attempted to end the Great Depression by using government power to provide relief to the poor. Name and briefly describe one bit of evidence in support of this claim.
  6. During the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal attempted to end the Great Depression by using government power to stimulate recovery. Name and briefly describe one bit of evidence in support of this claim.
  7. During the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal attempted to end the Great Depression by using government power to reform the American economy. Name and briefly describe one bit of evidence in support of this claim.
  8. After World War II, liberal ideas found expression in President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which attempted to use federal legislation and programs to end racial discrimination. Name and briefly describe how Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society attempted to use federal legislation and programs to end racial discrimination.
  9. After World War II, liberal ideas found expression in Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which attempted to use federal legislation and programs to eliminate poverty. Name and briefly describe how Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society attempted to use federal legislation and programs to eliminate poverty.
  10. After World War II, liberal ideas found expression in Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which attempted to use federal legislation and programs to address social issues (other than the elimination of poverty and the ending of racial discrimination.) Name and briefly describe how Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society attempted to use federal legislation and programs to address social issues (other than the elimination of poverty and the ending of racial discrimination.)
  11. After World War II, liberal ideas found expression in a series of Supreme Court decisions that expanded civil rights and individual liberties. Name and briefly one Supreme Court decision
  12. After World War II, new movements for civil rights and liberal efforts to expand the role of government generated a range of political responses.
  13. In the late 1960s and 1970s, liberalism came under increasing attack from a resurgent conservative movement. Those that advocated in favor of this movement called for a robust national defense, low taxes, minimum government regulation, and traditional social values. What are “traditional social values?”
  14. In the late 1960s and 1970s, conservatives increasingly argued that liberal programs were counterproductive in fighting poverty and stimulating economic growth. Name and describe a famous speech given by Ronald Reagan in the late 1960s and 1970s that argued that liberal programs were counterproductive in fighting poverty and stimulating economic growth.
  15. What were some of the more important things Ronald Reagan said in his 1980 Republican Party nomination speech?
  16. Ronald Reagan’s victory in the presidential election of 1980 represented an important milestone, allowing conservatives to enact significant tax cuts and continue the deregulation of many industries. What was one “industry” that was “deregulated” as a result of Ronald Reagan’s victory in the presidential election of 1980?
  17. Briefly describe one similarity and one difference between Ronald Reagan’s supply-side economics and the liberal “Keynesian economics” long favored by Democrats.
  18. Briefly describe one similarity and one difference between Ronald Reagan’s “Let’s Make America Great Again” and Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal.”
  19. Briefly describe one similarity and one difference between Ronald Reagan’s “Let’s Make America Great Again” and Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.”
  20. Briefly describe one long-lasting outcome of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
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High school APUSH teacher with much in-class and online teaching experience. Also a blogger, keynote speaker, editor, podcast host, and conference presenter.