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The Triumph of Conservatism, 1969–1988 Norton Media Library Chapter 26

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1 The Triumph of Conservatism, 1969–1988 Norton Media Library Chapter 26
Eric Foner

2 I. Barry Goldwater

3 II. The Rebirth of Conservatism
The Libertarians To “libertarian” conservatives, freedom meant individual autonomy, limited government, and unregulated capitalism These ideas had great appeal in the rapidly growing South and West Milton Friedman identified the free market as the necessary foundation for individual liberty

4 II. The Rebirth of Conservatism (con’t)
The New Conservatism “New conservatism” became increasingly prominent in the 1950s Proponents insisted that toleration of difference offered no substitute for the search for absolute truth The “new conservatives” understood freedom as first and foremost a moral condition The conservative movement was divided between libertarians and “new conservatives”

5 II. The Rebirth of Conservatism (con’t)
Two powerful enemies became focal points for the conservative revival The Soviet Union abroad The federal government at home The Conservative 1960s With the founding in 1960 of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), conservative students emerged as a force in politics Sharon Statement

6 II. The Rebirth of Conservatism (con’t)
Conservatism and Race The funds that poured into the Goldwater campaign from the Sun Belt’s oilmen and aerospace entrepreneurs established a new financial base for conservatism A reaction against civil rights gains offered conservatives new opportunities and threatened the stability of the Democratic coalition “Southern strategy”

7 III. President Nixon Nixon’s Domestic Policies
Having won the presidency by a very narrow margin, Nixon moved toward the political center on many issues The Nixon administration created a host of new federal agencies EPA OSHA NTSB Nixon spent lavishly on social services and environmental initiatives

8 III. President Nixon (con’t)
Nixon and Welfare Perhaps Nixon’s most startling initiative was his proposal for a Family Assistance Plan The plan would have replaced AFDC with a guaranteed annual income but failed in Congress

9 III. President Nixon (con’t)
Nixon and Race To consolidate support in the white South, Nixon nominated to the Supreme Court conservative southern jurists with records of support for segregation Both were rejected by the Senate The Nixon administration also pursued “affirmative action” programs to upgrade minority employment Philadelphia Plan Trade union of skilled workers strongly opposed the Philadelphia Plan

10 III. President Nixon (con’t)
The Burger Court Warren Burger was expected to lead the justices in a conservative direction but surprised many of his supporters In Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, busing was used as a tool to achieve integration Boston In San Antonio v. Rodriguez, a 5-4 Court majority ruled that the Constitution did not require equality of school funding

11 III. President Nixon (con’t)
The Court and Affirmative Action Many whites came to view affirmative action programs as a form of “reverse discrimination” In Bakke the Court ruled that fixed quotas was unconstitutional but that race could be used as one factor among many in college admissions decisions The Continuing Sexual Revolution To the alarm of conservatives during the 1970s the sexual revolution passed from the counterculture into the social mainstream The figure for divorces in 1975 exceeded the number of first-time marriages

12 III. President Nixon (con’t)
Women made inroads into areas from which they had long been excluded in the 1970s Title IX Equal Credit Opportunity Act More employment opportunities The gay and lesbian movement expanded greatly during the 1970s and became a major concern of the Right Nixon and Détente Conservatives viewed Nixon’s foreign policy as dangerously “soft” on communism

13 III. President Nixon (con’t)
Nixon and Henry Kissinger continued their predecessors’ policy of attempting to undermine governments deemed dangerous to American strategic or economic interests Chile In his relation with the major Communist powers, however, Nixon fundamentally altered Cold War policies Nixon visited China in 1972 Nixon then went to Moscow, signing SALT Détente

14 IV. Vietnam and Watergate
Nixon and Vietnam Nixon ran for president in 1968, declaring that he had a “secret plan” to end the war Vietnamization Antiwar protests climaxed in 1970 Kent State and Jackson State Universities Public support for the war was rapidly waning My Lai massacre War Powers Act of 1973

15 IV. Vietnam and Watergate (con’t)
The End of the Vietnam War The Paris peace agreement made possible the final withdrawal of American troops in 1973 Vietnam was a military, political, and social disaster Watergate Nixon was obsessed with secrecy and could not accept honest difference of opinion Pentagon Papers led to the “plumbers” The Watergate break-in was covered up by the White House Nixon’s tapes

16 IV. Vietnam and Watergate (con’t)
Nixon’s Fall In August 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend that Nixon be impeached for conspiracy to obstruct justice Nixon resigned Nixon’s presidency remains a classic example of the abuse of political power Frank Church led investigations against the CIA Church Committee revelations seriously undermined Americans’ confidence in their own government

17 IV. Vietnam and Watergate (con’t)
Liberals, who had despised Nixon throughout his career, celebrated his downfall Foundations of liberalism were weakened

18 V. The End of the Golden Age
The Decline of Manufacturing During the 1970s, the long period of postwar economic expansion and consumer prosperity came to an end, succeeded by slow growth and high inflation In 1971, for the first time in the twentieth century, the United States experienced a merchandise trade deficit Nixon took the United States off the gold standard

19 V. The End of the Golden Age (con’t)
Stagflation The United States experienced two oil shocks in the 1970s By 1973 the United States imported one-third of its oil America experienced “stagflation” Misery index The Beleaguered Social Compact Faced with declining profits and rising overseas competition, corporations eliminated well-paid manufacturing jobs The effects on industrial cities were devastating Growth of cities in the Sun Belt was dramatic

20 V. The End of the Golden Age (con’t)
In some manufacturing centers, political and economic leaders welcomed the opportunity to remake their cities as finance, information, and entertainment hubs Always a junior partner in the Democratic coalition, the labor movement found itself forced onto the defensive Ford as President Among his first acts as president, Ford pardoned Nixon In domestic policy, Ford’s presidency lacked significant accomplishment WIN The Helsinki Accords were signed in 1975

21 V. The End of the Golden Age (con’t)
The Carter Administration Carter ran for president as an “outsider,” making a virtue of the fact that he had never held federal office Carter had more in common with Progressives of the early twentieth century than more recent liberals Carter and the Economic Crisis Carter viewed inflation, not unemployment, as the country’s main economic problem Carter also believed that expanded use of nuclear energy could help reduce dependence on imported oil Three Mile Island

22 V. The End of the Golden Age (con’t)
Carter and Human Rights Carter insisted that foreign policy could not be separated from “questions of justice, equality, and human rights” Carter’s emphasis on pursuing peaceful solutions to international problems and his willingness to think outside the Cold War framework yielded important results Camp David Accord Panama Canal SALT II

23 V. The End of the Golden Age (con’t)
Both conservative Cold Warriors and foreign policy “realists” severely criticized Carter’s emphasis on human rights The Iran Crisis The Iranian revolution marked a shift in opposition movements in the Middle East from socialism and Arab nationalism to religious fundamentalism Afghanistan The president announced the Carter Doctrine in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

24 VI. The Rising Tide of Conservatism
The Religious Right The rise of religious fundamentalism during the 1970s expanded conservatism’s popular base Evangelical Christians had become more and more alienated from a culture that seemed to them to trivialize religion and promote immorality Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority

25 VI. The Rising Tide of Conservatism (con’t)
The ERA Battle The ERA aroused unexpected protest from those who claimed it would discredit the role of wife and homemaker To its supporters, the Amendment offered a guarantee of women’s freedom in the public sphere To its foes, freedom for women still resided in the divinely appointed roles of wife and mother Phyllis Schlafly

26 VI. The Rising Tide of Conservatism (con’t)
The Abortion Controversy Pro-life advocates believed that life begins at conception and abortion is nothing less than murder Pro-choice advocates believed that a woman’s right to control her body includes the right to a safe, legal abortion The abortion issue drew a bitter, sometimes violent line through American politics

27 VI. The Rising Tide of Conservatism (con’t)
The Tax Revolt Economic anxieties also created a growing constituency for conservative economics It inspired a critique of government Economic decline also broadened the constituency receptive to demands for lower taxes Proposition 13

28 VI. The Rising Tide of Conservatism (con’t)
The Election of 1980 Reagan appealed skillfully to “white backlash” Emphasized states’ rights Riding a wave of dissatisfaction with the country’s condition, Reagan swept into the White House Jimmy Carter’s reputation improved after he left the White House

29 VII. The Reagan Revolution
Reagan and American Freedom An excellent public speaker, Reagan’s optimism and affability appealed to large numbers of Americans Reagan made conservatism seem progressive Freedom became the watchword of the Reagan Revolution Reagan reshaped the nation’s agenda and political language more effectively than any other president since Franklin D. Roosevelt

30 VII. The Reagan Revolution (con’t)
Reaganomics Economic freedom for Reagan meant curtailing the power of union, dismantling regulations, and radically reducing taxes Reagan’s tax cuts marked a sharp retreat from the principle of progressivity “Supply-side economics” assumed that cutting taxes would inspire Americans at all income levels to work harder, since they would keep more of the money they earned

31 VII. The Reagan Revolution (con’t)
Reagan and Labor Reagan’s firing of striking air traffic controllers inspired many private employers to launch anti-union offensives “Reaganomics,” as critics dubbed the administration’s policies, initially produced the most severe recession since the 1930s

32 VII. The Reagan Revolution (con’t)
The Problem of Inequality Reagan’s policies, rising stock prices, and deindustrialization resulted in a considerable rise in economic inequality Deindustrialization and the decline of the labor movement had a particularly devastating impact on minority workers When the national unemployment rate reached 8.9 percent at the end of 1981, the figure for blacks exceeded 20 percent

33 VII. The Reagan Revolution (con’t)
The Second Gilded Age In retrospect, the 1980s, like the 1890s, would be widely remembered as a decade of misplaced values Taxpayers footed the bill for some of the consequences S & L scandal During Reagan’s presidency, the national debt rose to $2.7 trillion Conservatives and Reagan Reagan left intact core elements of the welfare state and did little to advance the social agenda of the Christian Right

34 VII. The Reagan Revolution (con’t)
Reagan and the Cold War In foreign policy, Reagan breathed new life into the rhetorical division of the world into a free West and unfree East He proposed an entirely new strategy, the Strategic Defense Initiative Reagan came into office determined to overturn the “Vietnam syndrome” Reagan generally relied on military aid rather than American troops to pursue his foreign policy objectives

35 VII. The Reagan Revolution (con’t)
The Iran-Contra Affair Reagan denied knowledge of the illegal proceedings, but the Iran-Contra affair undermined confidence that he controlled his own administration Reagan and Gorbachev In his second term, Reagan softened his anticommunist rhetoric and established good relations with Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev Glasnost and perestroika

36 VII. The Reagan Revolution (con’t)
Reagan’s Legacy Reagan’s presidency revealed the contradictions at the heart of modern conservatism By 1988 “liberal” was a term of political abuse The Election of 1988 The 1988 election seemed to show politics sinking to new lows

37 Center of Population, 1790–2000 • pg. 1025

38 The Presidential Election of 1976 • pg. 1046

39 The Presidential Election of 1980 • pg. 1054

40 The United States in the Caribbean and Central America, 1954–2004
The United States in the Caribbean and Central America, 1954–2004 • pg. 1062 The United States in the Caribbean and Central America, 1954–2004

41 Figure 26.1 • pg. 1034

42 Figure 26.2 • pg. 1045

43 Figure 26.3 • pg. 1059

44 Table 26.1 • pg. 1033

45 Table 26.2 • pg. 1043

46 fig26_01.jpg Pages : Nancy Reagan leads the cheering for her husband, President Ronald Reagan, at the 1984 Republican national convention. Reagan went on to defeat Democrat Walter Mondale, carrying forty-nine of the fifty states. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

47 fig26_02.jpg Page 1027: A 1967 rally by members of Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative group that flourished in the 1960s. Credit: UPI/Corbis-Bettmann.

48 fig26_07.jpg Page 1038: In 1971, in one of the most dramatic demonstrations of the entire era, hundreds of veterans deposited on the steps of the Capitol medals they had received while fighting in Vietnam. Credit: Leonard Freed / Magnum.

49 fig26_10.jpg Page 1044: The World Trade Center under construction in New York City during the 1970s. Credit: Associated Press, AP.

50 fig26_11.jpg Page 1047: The 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania brought a halt to the industry’s expansion. Credit: J. L. Atlas/Corbis/Sygma.

51 fig26_12.jpg Page 1048: President Jimmy Carter (center), Egyptian president Anwar Sadat (left) and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin (right) celebrating the signing of the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Credit: Associated Press, AP.

52 fig26_13.jpg Page 1049: Television gave extensive coverage to the plight of American hostages in Iran in 1979–1980, leading many Americans to view the Carter administration as weak and inept. Credit: Associated Press, AP.

53 fig26_16.jpg Page 1052 (top): Conservative Phyllis Schlafly campaigning against the Equal Rights Amendment at the Illinois State Capitol in 1978. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

54 fig26_17.jpg Page 1052 (bottom): A 1979 anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C., on the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which barred states from limiting a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

55 fig26_18.jpg Page 1053: Demonstrators at a rally supporting abortion rights. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

56 fig26_25.jpg Page 1064: President Reagan visited Moscow in 1988, cementing his close relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. They were photographed in Red Square. Credit: Associated Press, AP.

57 Go to website

58 Give Me Liberty! An American History
End chap. 26 W. W. Norton & Company Independent and Employee-Owned This concludes the Norton Media Library Slide Set for Chapter 26 Give Me Liberty! An American History by Eric Foner


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