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Sep 28

Reagan's Constitutionalism and Its Lessons for Today

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When Ronald Reagan took the Presidential oath of Office in 1981, the country faced a multitude of crises. Inflation was in the double digits, economic growth was nonexistent, and the Soviet Union was increasing its power abroad, and many wondered if the American presidency could survive the modern world. It was during this period of 1980-1989 that Ronald Reagan created the conditions for economic prosperity and defeated the Soviet Union. Most significantly, Reagan revived serious constitutionalism in American politics. How did a 1985 speech to The American Bar Association by Attorney General Edwin Meese III change the debate on the Constitution? How did Reagan's constitutionalism our ideas of constitutional government today?

Steven F. Hayward is the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute. He is the author of a two-volume narrative history of Ronald Reagan and his effect on American political life, The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980, and The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution, 1980-1989, published this fall by CrownForum. Hayward writes on a wide range of public policy issues. He is the coauthor of the annual Index of Leading Environmental Indicators; the producer and host of "An Inconvenient Truth . . . or Convenient Fiction?," a rebuttal to Al Gore's documentary; and the author of many books on environmental topics. Hayward holds a B.S. from Lewis and Clark College and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School.

The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution, 1980-1989, will be available for purchase and to be signed by the author.

More About the Speakers

Steven F. Hayward
F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow,
American Enterprise Institute,
and Senior Fellow,
Pacific Research Institute

Hosted By

Edwin Meese III Edwin Meese III

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus Read More