Explain the rise of the New Right in 1970s America.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I had to edit the original question posed.  I sense that the rise of the New Right in 1970s was caused by different events that were framed as part of a larger narrative.  Different elements in American society had been explained as a threat to the Christian conception of the good.  Certainly, this was the case in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, emphasizing that the Constitutional right to choose extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion.  The rise of women's rights and the presence of women in the workplace had helped to transform the family unit, something that many Christian leaders abhorred.  The preponderance of permissiveness with regards to sexuality and sexual expression helped to fuel the rise of the right wing Christian fundamentalism.  These elements were fused together  by leaders like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.  Such leaders created a bloc of voters and citizens that helped to fuel the New Right.  The battle cry was a desire to restore an order that they had seen absent from American society.  Its rise resonated most clearly in opposition to what had been going in America throughout the 1970s, culminating in the election of President Reagan at the end of the decade.


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