The Iran hostage crisis

A Political Impasse and the Hostage Crisis in Iran

A political impasse existed between Iran and the United States during the hostage situation in Iran. Over fifty Americans, including American diplomats, were held captive during this Crisis by a group of Muslim Iranian students. When this Crisis occurred in November 1979, Jimmy Carter was the American president. President Carter had previously permitted the overthrown Shah Mohammad Reza to receive cancer care in the US. Later, The Shah traveled to Egypt, where he passed away from illness. (Murrin, Hamalainen, & Johnson, 2015).

The Impact on President Carter's Reelection and the Rise of Ronald Reagan

The capture of the American employees and diplomats influenced the public support of President Carter's reelection. President Carter was criticized for blaming the American people for the crisis that was in place. In 1980, the Americans were ready for new leadership. A conservative Republican known as Ronald Reagan was one of the candidates who ran for the presidency. Reagan took advantage of the current state that was in America to be able to win against Jimmy Carter. The hostage crisis in Iran made the American citizens feel like America was now losing its power to the world. America was losing its prestige to the world. President Jimmy Carter's attempts to rescue the hostages did not succeed, leaving eight of the American servicemen dead. During this time, six American diplomats had escaped and had been saved by the Canadians (Norton, Kamensky, & Sheriff, 2014).

The Release of Hostages and the Rise of the New Right

In 1981 when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the new president of the United States, hostages who had been captured by the Iranian students were released. This was after 444 days of captivity. The election of President Reagan saw the rise of a new conservative movement that was referred to as the New Right. The New Right was a combination of religious leaders, conservatives who felt environmental and labor regulations were affecting American firms' place in the competitive global market. During this time, strong Christians were being troubled with the level of immorality that had been experienced in the 1970s. This included homosexuality, social crime, the decline in family values, and the Equal Right Amendment (Perlstein, 2015).

The Ideals and Goals of the New Right

The New Right comprised conservative activists who raised concerns on these issues. The New Right promoted school prayers and enacted very strict punishments for crimes. Social immoral acts such as abortion and homosexuality were prohibited. Religious groups that would enhance and promote family values were formed. An example being the Moral Majority group, which was formed by Evangelist Jerry Falwell. These groups were also to help raise money for conservative politicians who were trying to get back America to where it was. Conservatives campaigned for the growth of business, lowering taxes, and free enterprise. This was to prevent the American government from interfering with the economy. The New Right also hoped to restore the superpower nation status that the United States had. This status quo had been lost under the reign of President Jimmy Carter (Norton, Kamensky, & Sheriff, 2014).

The Rise of Conservatism in America

Conservatives in America were well positioned, and most of the American citizens boldly supported the conservatives' ideas. The ideas of the conservatives included strong national defense and the protection of traditional values. The conservatives' increase had many sources including Christians who were concerned about political crime and sexual immorality. Conservatives hoped to return religion to where it was supposed to be (Houghton, 2009).

Opposition to Abortion and Reagan's Domestic Programs

Conservatives also opposed the 1973 Supreme Court decision that had legalized abortion. They equated abortion to murder and felt like it was undermining the female gender. During the reign of President Reagan, conservatives had the upper hand in matters affecting the American government. Reagan being an icon to the traditional idea he greatly supported his fellow conservatives (Murrin, Hamalainen, & Johnson, 2015).

Reagan's Economic Policies

President Ronald Reagan believed that the American National government had now grown too large and required to be downsized. In his budget, some cuts reduced medical care in the United States and job training programs. President Reagan believed in deregulation, which helped expand the business industry. This was achieved because deregulation reduced the power and impact that the government agencies had on business. He required eradicating many regulations that affected the American consumers and their place of work. He felt that those regulations were expensive and slowed down the rate of economic growth in America (Perlstein, 2015).

The Theory of Supply-Side Economics and Reagan's Legacy

Reagan's domestic program was rooted in the strong idea he had that the American nation would prosper economically if the power and authority of the private economic sector were set free. The theory of supply-side economics that was the basis of the American economy held the idea that a large supply of goods and services that would be made possible by measures to increase business investment was the easy way of growing the American economy. Reagan supported this theory. During his tenure as the United States of America President, Ronald Reagan also managed to pass major components that aimed at improving the American economy. He ensured increased spending on defense issues 'and equipping the nation's military so as to match with that of modernized countries (Houghton, 2009).


Houghton, D. P. (2009). US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Murrin, J. M., Hamalainen, P., & Johnson, P. E. (2015). Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People.

Norton, M. B., Kamensky, J., & Sheriff, C. (2014). A People and a Nation: A History of the United States.

Perlstein, R. (2015). The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.

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