The rise of new conservatism was partly an outgrowth of the libertarian movement that began in the 1950s. Supporters of this believed that unfettered capitalism and individual autonomy were at the very heart of American notions of liberty. They felt that the regulatory state that resulted from the New Deal was a threat to this. By the 1960s, many young conservatives were concerned about the growing nature of the federal government. The Great Society programs of President Johnson were seen as a continuation of the overreach of big government. This perceived threat led many to turn towards a more conservative viewpoint.
Race relations also led many to a shift towards conservatism. Under President Johnson, the Democrats became the party of promoting civil rights in the country. This led to segregationist white southerners abandoning the Democratic Party.
Much of new conservatism was a reactionary movement against the changing social norms of the time. Many Americans felt threatened by the...
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