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Ronald Reagan A Return to Conservatism. The Conservative Movement Typically a conservative agenda emphasized private interests over social reform 1950s.

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Presentation on theme: "Ronald Reagan A Return to Conservatism. The Conservative Movement Typically a conservative agenda emphasized private interests over social reform 1950s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ronald Reagan A Return to Conservatism

2 The Conservative Movement Typically a conservative agenda emphasized private interests over social reform 1950s - Eisenhower brought it back to the White House Conservatism returned with Nixon and Ford; reached a high point under Reagan

3 The New Right Alliance of conservative special-interest groups - group of people or organization seeking or receiving special advantages, typically through political lobbying Stressing cultural, social, and moral issues – some promoted single issues that reflected their key interests others had an overall philosophy about conservative government

4 The New Right Opposed to legal abortion, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), laws promoting minority opportunities in employment or education (seen as “reverse discrimination”) wanted a constitutional amendment to permit prayer in public schools voted against anyone who favored an increase in taxes Phyllis Schlafly – lawyer and leader of the pro-family movement, conservative supporter of Reagan

5 Conservative Coalition An alliance made up of – business leaders – frustrated middle- class voters – bitter / betrayed Democrats – fundamentalist Christian groups Typically opposed: – big government – entitlements – use of busing and affirmative action to correct segregation believed in a return to traditional moral standards

6 Moral Majority Consisted mostly of religious groups who interpreted the Bible literally and believed in absolute standards of right and wrong Condemned liberal attitudes and behaviors Argued for restoration of traditional moral values Wanted to: – reduce the nation’s high divorce rate – lower the number of out-of- wedlock births – encourage individual responsibility – revive traditional values

7 Religious Conservative Leaders Leaders on TV: Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson Guided groups like the New Right, Conservative Coalition, and Moral Majority as televangelists (evangelists or preachers)

8 Election of elected governor of California as a republican 1980 Republican Party nomination / George Bush - running mate Ran against Jimmy Carter / Walter Mondale, Democratic Party Key issues in 1980 election: – abortion, pornography, the teaching of evolution and prayer in schools – Iranian hostage situation still going on – Americans dissatisfied with Carter – moral character of America

9 Reagan’s Strengths An actor who could easily handle the media and being in the public eye He was relaxed, charming, affable He said, “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. A recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.” Greatly committed to the military and focused on economic strength of America Reagan won by a narrow margin – 51% of votes (only 52.5% of Americans voted) in popular vote, landslide in terms of electoral vote The Republicans gained both the presidency and the Senate =X39dGQmBEww&feature=related


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