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The New Conservatism. Societies Change Over Time. Conservatives and Liberals disagree on the role of government. Many Americans turned to conservatism as a reaction to the government’s influence over the economy. Many Americans blamed liberal policies for societal problems.

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societies change over time
Societies Change Over Time.
  • Conservatives and Liberals disagree on the role of government.
  • Many Americans turned to conservatism as a reaction to the government’s influence over the economy.
  • Many Americans blamed liberal policies for societal problems.
  • Geographical regions tend to support either liberal or conservative ideals
    • Rural = Conservative
    • Urban = Liberal
    • South/Southwest (Sunbelt) = Conservative
    • Northeast = Liberal
many americans began to turn to conservative ideals in response to the cold war
Many Americans began to turn to conservative ideals in response to the Cold War.
  • Conservatives: distrust of government, government should not regulate the economy or businesses, Laissez-Faire, Social Darwinist, religious (protestant christian), government should regulate social behavior.
  • Liberals: government should regulate the economy and businesses, Keynsian Economics, government should help the poor, workers should unionize, secular, progressive, government should not regulate social behavior.
some believed liberal economic policies did not reflect american values
Some believed liberal economic policies did not reflect American values.
  • Social welfare programs go against the “rugged individualism” and Horatio Alger ideals.
  • New Deal and Great Society programs seem to push America toward Socialism.
others thought that liberal policies were to blame for the spread of soviet power
Others thought that liberal policies were to blame for the spread of Soviet power.
  • Some felt that FDR’s and Truman’s actions at the start of the Cold War were weak and allowed the expansion of communism around the world.
slide6

Many people with deep religious faith viewed the war against communism as a battle between good and evil and supported conservative politicians.

  • The Soviets (kind-of) outlawed religious freedom.
  • Liberals are on the left-side of the political spectrum (with, but not the same as, communism)
  • Liberals tend to be more secular (less religious)
  • Therefore…
  • To many very religious people, conservatism seemed better than liberalism.
slide7
Conservative ideals appealed to many Americans who were tired of the protests, riots, and economic problems that had plagued the nation.
  • Conservative-minded people tend to not accept social change as easily as liberals.
  • The civil rights movement had brought about much in the way of change.
  • New groups were pushing for their rights too (women, homosexuals, etc…) and their protests seemed to be “over the line” to conservatives.
  • Race riots in Detroit, Watts, Philadelphia… seemed, to conservatives, to be the result of liberal policies.
  • Conservatives feel that social welfare causes the poor to not bother trying.
these factors combined to create a resurgence of conservatism
These factors combined to create a resurgence of conservatism.
  • William F. Buckley: founder of The National Review
  • Barry Goldwater: 1964 Republican Presidential candidate
  • John Birch Society (VERY right-wing group)
  • The “solid (Republican) South”: thanks to the Democrats being the party of civil rights.
  • The Religious Right and the “Moral Majority”
  • “Televangelists” (evangelical Christians on TV)