a conservative consensus_Essay

a conservative consensus_Essay - Professor Cowie Intro US...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
4/14/08 Professor Cowie Intro. US Labor History A Conservative Consensus The working class people of the 1950’s and 1960’s, rather than embodying the “liberal consensus”, proved that class stratification and tension were major domestic American issues that would lead to a hostile civil rights movement and thousands of youthful corpses in Vietnam. The liberal consensus was based on the assumption that domestically America was full of hope, and that the only threat to America rested oversees. The reality, which was exposed through union strikes and a morally ambiguous war in Vietnam, was different than the liberal consensus described. It is not interesting, though, to simply refute the liberal consensus. It was a blatantly mistaken concept. What is more interesting is to see why it was formed, why it was wrong, and also why at the time it seemed justified. Lastly, when looked at from the viewpoints of different generations, a more three dimensional picture can be formed of the liberal consensus. In doing so one can learn why this mistaken concept was formed, and how to avoid a similar concept from entering the minds of politicians and affluent intellectuals in the future. It seems fitting that Godfrey Hodgson claims, “It is always risky to try to draw the portrait of the ideas and beliefs of a society at any point in its evolution,” (67). 1 This concept is fitting because there was not an agreement of ideas and beliefs in America during 1950’s and the 1960’s. The leaders of the country wanted to believe that America’s affluence was evenly dispersed, and would evenly grow throughout the different economic strata within the country. These leaders also believed there existed a communist threat overseas that seemed to be the only headache of those who lived in the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
newly built suburban homes of 1950’s America. How lovely of a unifying idea it seemed to be. According to Hodgson, the television producer Fred Freed came to the conclusion in 1961 that, “…we lived in a consensus society. Those were the days of the cold war. There was an enemy outside, the communists, Nikita Khrushchev, the red Chinese…back then there was a general agreement in the United States about what was right and what was wrong about the country. Nobody really questioned the system…we had a common set of beliefs and common values.’” (71). 1 Before describing the inaccuracy of this statement, one must come to understand what led to the formation of this statement. There must have been some empirical instances that led to this liberal consensus. What sparked this liberal consensus was the belief that the Keynesian model of economics assured America economic prosperity, economic growth, and lastly a built in infrastructure for distribution of the wealth. The confidence instilled in America from this concept was unbridled in the 1950’s and the 1960’s. The economic idea was that the government spending and government monitoring of the economy could make cyclical depressions non-existent. America could
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 9

a conservative consensus_Essay - Professor Cowie Intro US...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online