The rise of conservatism in the USA Essay

1546 Words Nov 8th, 2013 7 Pages
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,
…show more content…
The sixties seemed to challenge basic American assumptions; the value of hard work and of traditional family values. “Middle” America formed 55% of the population, earning between $5000 and $15000 p.a. They lived between the city slums and the affluent suburbs, and were usually up to their eyes in debt. They wanted the law to protect them and their property. They believed in good manners, in respect for authority and the flag. The changes of the sixties left many of them confused and angry. They were not sure who to blame for social unrest. They were the silent minority that Nixon appealed to in his election campaign, and they helped him to victory. They were the resentment and reaction byproduct of social unrest. They worked to ensure their property and found it unfair that the government gave money to the people that did not work as much as they did. They wanted law and order. They wanted a state that provided security, response to the insecurity they felt in face of the students movement and the liberal culture. They felt ignored by the democrat government because they did not benefit from the financial help, house and health security.
Both the political parties had to cope with the growing of pressure groups and those best able to use the media to attract attention to their causes. The refusal of Johnson to stand for re-election together with the assassination of Robert Kennedy
Open Document