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New Right

Outspoken conservative movement of the 1980s that emphaszed such "social issues" as opposition to abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment, pornography, homosexuality, and affirmative action

Moral Majority

Evangelical Christian organization that aroused its members to fervent support of Reagan and the Republican party in the 1980s

Supply-Side Economics

The economic theory of "Reaganomics" that emphasized cutting taxes and government spending in order to stimulate investment, productivity, and economic growth by private enterprise

Sagebrush Rebellion

The protest movement, supported by Reagan Interior Secretary Watt, that attempted to reduce federal environmental controls on industrial activities in the West

Boll Weevils

Conservative southern Democrats who supported Reagan's economic policies in Congress


Polish labor union crushed by the communist-imposed martial-law regime in 1983


The leftist revolutionary rulers of Nicaragua, strongly opposed by the Regan administration

Star Wars

Popular name for Reagan's proposed space-based nuclear defense system, officially called the Strategic Defense Initiative

Berlin Wall

Physical symbol of the Cold War and divided Europe that came down in 1989


Nation whose invasion by Iraq in 1990 led to the Persian Gulf War

Contract with America

Conservative campaign platform that led to a sweeping Republican victory int he 1994 mid-term elections

WTO (World Trade Organization)

International trade organization that prompted strong protests from anti-global trade forces in Seattle, Washington in 1999

Whitewater Land Corporation

Clinton Arkansas investment deal that spurred a federal special prosecutor and led to widespread investigations of his administration

Columbine H.S.

Colorado high school where a deadly shooting in 1999 stirred a national movement against guns and gun violence

Green Party

Third party led by environmentalist Ralph Nader that took votes from Democratic presidential nominee Albert Gore in 2000 election.

Jimmy Carter

Well-meaning but luckless president whose reelection attempt was swamped by the 19809 Reagan landslide

Edward Kennedy

Liberal Democratic senator w hose opposition to Carter helped divide the Democrats in 1980

Ronald Reagan

Political darling of Republican conservatives who won landslide election victories in 19890 and 1984

Oliver North

Marine colonel involved in the Iran-contra affair

Sandra Day O'Connor

Brilliant legal scholar appointed by Reagan as the first woman justice on the Supreme Court

Mikhail Gorbachev

Soviet leader whose summit meetings with Reagan achieved an arm-control breakthrough in 1987

George Bush, Sr.

Long-time Republican political figure who defeated Dukakis for the presidency in 1988

Albert Gore

Clinton's vice president who won popular vote but lost electoral vote in 2000 presidential election

Saddam Hussein

Iraqi dictator defeated by the U.S. and its allies in the Persian Gulf War

George Walker Bush

Son of a former president who narrowly defeated Albert Gore in the disputed 2000 presidential election

Clarence Thomas

Supreme Court Justice who was narrowly confirmed despite charges of sexual harassment

William Clinton

First baby boomer president and the second U.S. president to be impeached and acquitted

H. Ross Perot

Texas billionaire who won many votes as independent candidate in 1992 and 1996

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Prominent child care advocate and health care reformer in Clinton administration; won U.S. senate seat in 2000

Newt Gingrich

Promoter of the "Contract with America" and the first Republican speaker in 40 years.

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