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Legacy of Ronald Reagan

President Reagan's second term ended in January 1989. In a farewell address, he spoke about his legacy to the people of America. President Reagan said,

"The way I see it, there were two great triumphs, two things that I'm proudest of. One is the economic recovery...The other is the recovery of our morale. America is respected again in the world and looked to for leadership...

They called it the Reagan Revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense...

The lesson of all this was...as long as we always remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will be ours. And something else we learned. Once you begin a great movement, there's no telling where it will end. We meant to change a nation, and instead, we changed a world."

Many Americans agreed, then and later, with Ronald Reagan's opinion of his presidential legacy. Many others have disagreed. Virtually all Americans, however, have recognized his enormous impact on the world during the 1980s. In an era of crisis, President Reagan made bold decisions, sparking controversy that continues. Conservatives have hailed his vision of America. Liberals have denounced it. The debate about President Reagan's principles, priorities and policies goes on. More than twenty-two years after the end of his presidency, Ronald Reagan still matters very much to Americans.

 

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