The rise of conservatism in the USA

Topics: Conservatism, Unemployment, Right-wing politics Pages: 4 (1538 words) Published: November 18, 2013
In which ways did the Fifties and Sixties in the USA set the scene for the rise of conservatism in the Seventies and into the Reagan era? Was the rise of the right inevitable? Please explain your point of view.

The 1950s in America are often described as a time of complacency. By contrast, the 1960s and 1970s were a time of great change. But the economy of the 70s was not stable because of the Oil crisis and presidents did not seem to find a solution to get the economy work again. For the right, the federal government had been spending too much money on the social programs. Conservatism believes that the best way to run a society is to maintain social and political framework and that the government should be as limited as possible, intervening only to keep maintenance and order of the society. Its principles are freedom of the individual with no interference of the federal government, economic freedom and political international status. For many Americans, the economic, social and political trends of the previous two decades (crime and racial polarization in many urban centers, economic downturn and inflation of the Carter years) engendered a mood of disillusionment. It also strengthened a renewed suspicion of government and its ability to deal effectively with the country's deep-rooted social and political problems. The conservatism of the 60s, 70s, and 80s was indeed a reactionary phenomenon from the liberal politics. It resulted in the election and the ruling of the New Right in the 1980s.

The conformity of the fifties had become collective action in the sixties. It had enhanced freedom for Black Americans, for women and for many of the poorest in society. But it was at a cost. At a cost of violence against blacker marchers, against and by university protesters, against and by anti-war demonstrators. The deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy seemed the end of any chance to have organized and peaceful political change to achieve a fairer...
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