The rise of conservatism in the USA Essay

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Pages: 7

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,
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Nixon’s victory brought a more conservative political agenda for the next twenty years. It was the end of the liberal sixties and the demands for a less divisive society.

Kennedy’s 1960 campaign promise “ to get America moving again “ referred to the American economy. He wanted economic growth at an annual rate of 4-6 percent and unemployment at 4 percent. Kennedy knew that the economy was in big trouble so he sent congress an economic growth and recovery package consisting of twelve measures. The increase in the minimum wage from $1.00 to $1.25 per hour and an extension of the minimum wage to a larger pool of workers, an increase in unemployment compensation plus increased aid to children of unemployed workers, increase social security benefits to a larger pool of people, emergency relief for feed grain farmers, area redevelopment, vocational training for displaced workers, and federal funding for home building and slum eradication meant that the government spent more money but it also meant more taxes to finance all of this. A lot of social reforms made the conservatism react. The right did not agree with all the social reforms that were aimed to the poor because according to the right, people had to work with no help of the state to get better lives. Laws were passed to extend the Food Stamp Program, to expand consumer protection, to improve safety standards, to train health professionals, to assist handicapped Americans, and to further urban programs.