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The Conservative Resurgence. Ch. 23. Ideas of Liberalism. Democrats Believed… Federal gov should play a large role in improving American lives Social programs should help poor, elderly, unemployed Rights should protect minorities and women Greater gov regulation of industry

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ideas of liberalism
Ideas of Liberalism
  • Democrats
  • Believed…
    • Federal gov should play a large role in improving American lives
    • Social programs should help poor, elderly, unemployed
    • Rights should protect minorities and women
    • Greater gov regulation of industry
    • Cooperate with international organizations
ideas of conservatives
Ideas of Conservatives


Large central gov endangered economic growth and individual choice

Criticized the liberal solution of “throwing money” at social problems

Wanted to reduce taxes and limit gov regulation of industry

Didn’t want to abandon traditional values

Questioned the détente and SALT II treaty

liberalism loses its appeal
Liberalism Loses its Appeal

Counterculture alienated many Americans

Watergate, oil crises, and the Iran Hostage crisis weakened the public’s faith in the federal gov

Industries declined and the economy stagnated

the new right
The New Right
  • New Right- the name for the resurgent conservative movement
  • Disliked…
    • Unfunded mandates-required programs but not paid for by the gov
    • Welfare programs- rewarded lack of effort
    • Affirmative action
  • Supported Moral Majority- political organization working to fulfill religious goals
reagan wins the presidency
Reagan Wins the Presidency
  • Wins 1970 election
  • Supply-side economics (Reaganomics)
    • If taxes are reduced, people will work more and have more money to spend causing the economy to grow
  • Economic Recovery Act of 1981
    • reduced taxes by 25% over 3 years
  • Deregulation
    • Removal of government control over industry
    • Airline, telecommunications, banking
  • Despite policies recession hit and unemployment grew
tear down this wall
Tear Down This Wall

June 12, 1987

Brandenburg Gate, West Berlin

Reagan’s speech acknowledged the new Soviet leader Gorbachev’s efforts at reform in the Soviet Union

But not satisfied

Challenged Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall and show a real commitment at reform

Formally torn down in 1990

iran contra scandal
Iran-Contra Scandal
  • 1985
  • US sold weapons to Iran in exchange for Iran’s promise to pressure terrorist groups in Lebanon to release some American hostages
    • Didn’t work
    • Contradicted the US policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists
  • Money from the sales was used to fund the Contras in Nicaragua
    • Sending funds to the Contras was banned 2 years earlier
  • News of the sandal came out in 1986
    • Reagan accepted responsibility
    • Several administration officials and top aid, Oliver North, were convicted, but many convictions were later overturned
the end of the cold war
The End of the Cold War
  • Reagan supported a massive US military buildup
  • Reagan wanted to weaken the Soviet Union by supporting anticommunist rebellions
  • US funded and trained anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan
    • 1988- Soviet forces began to withdraw from Afghanistan
  • US feared the Sandinista gov in Nicaragua provided the Soviets with a “safe house”
    • US backed the Contras, anticommunist counterrevolutionaries
fall of communism
Fall of Communism

Fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized the end of communism in Europe

1991- communist party lost power

Soviet Union separated into 15 independent republics

the persian gulf war
The Persian Gulf War


Aug. 1990- Iraq invaded Kuwait

Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s leader, wanted to take over Kuwait’s oil deposits and would control 20% of oil produced in the world

US didn’t want Hussein to seek to gain control of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves

Pres. Bush worked to build an international coalition and backed a UN resolution demanding Iraqi troops withdraw

operation desert storm
Operation Desert Storm
  • 700,000 American, British, French, Egyptian, and Saudi Arabian troops assembled in Saudi Arabia
  • Bush hoped military presence would convince Hussein to withdraw
  • Bush received authority from Congress to use force if necessary
  • Operation Desert Storm
    • American-led attack on Iraqi forces
    • Jan. 1991
operation desert storm cont d
Operation Desert Storm cont’d
  • General Colin Powell developed and executed a strategy
    • 5 weeks of aerial bombardment on Iraqi forces
    • Iraq launched missiles on coalition forces and Israel (did little damage)
    • Coalition troops stormed into Kuwait
    • Iraqi troops fled and surrendered
  • War ended 5 days later when Iraq agreed to a cease-fire
  • Hussein and his regime survived the war