The Conservative Resurgence

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What are three reasons for the rise of conservatism in the late 20th century?

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There were a number of factors that led to a significant rise in the American conservative movement in the latter part of the 20th Century. One had to do with the increasing dissatisfaction with many of the liberal projects promoted by President Johnson as part of the welfare programs of his Great Society. By the 1970s, it had become clear to many that the federal government was unable to solve many of America's domestic issues through these programs. This caused many to move in a more conservative direction when addressing issues such as poverty, housing, and racial injustice.

The rise in conservatism can also be partially explained as a response to the Democratic Party's rather pacifist foreign policy. With the Vietnam War raging and the country's Communist foes seemingly gaining in strength, there were many Americans who saw the Democrats as too weak to put a stop to these problems. Many favored the stronger approach towards countering communism championed by the conservatives in...

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on February 6, 2020