Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential Election. Many Americans wanted a change.
During his time as President, Reagan spent a lot of money in military spending. This resulted in a major debt. He was extremely opposed to Communism and often referred to the USSR as the "Evil Empire."
The AIDS outbreak of the 1980s caused many Americans to live in fear. There was not enough research to know where AIDS came from and how it could be transmitted. This was originally thought to be the "Gay Man's Disease" but eventually started to affect straight men and women as well.
Abortion was a controversial topic even in the 1980s. A lot of disagreement arose from the historic Roe v Wade case of 1973, which decided that women had the right to choose whether or not to terminate their pregnancy.
The Just Say NO Campaign was a response to the heavy use of drugs in the United States. Prominent leaders such as Nancy Reagan spoke around the country, encouraging kids to stay away from drugs.
"Reaganomics" became the term to refer to Ronald Reagan's economic policies. One of Reagan's most known policies and ideas is the trickle down theory. This policy would put tax breaks on the United State's wealthiest taxpayers. This would allow money to "trickle down" through the classes, and divide the money. The trickle down theory was not accepted by everyone. People did not believe that the money was flowing through the lower classes.