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am25 - The Americans(Reconstruction to the 21st Century...

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1 The Americans (Reconstruction to the 21st Century) Chapter 25: TELESCOPING THE TIMES The Conservative Tide CHAPTER OVERVIEW A growing conservatism brings Ronald Reagan and George Bush to the presidency. Their policies change the American economy, while other forces transform American society and changes reshape the world. Section 1: A Conservative Movement Emerges MAIN IDEA Conservatism reached a high point with the election in 1980 of President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush. American history has been marked by swings between liberal and conservative policies. In liberal times—such as the New Deal and the Great Society—activist government tried to reform society. In conservative times—such as the 1920s and 1950s—concern for freedom led many to oppose governmental involvement. Such a swing in the 1970s led conservatives to take control of the government in 1980. More and more Americans were unhappy with high inflation and felt their taxes were too high. Groups arose across the country opposed to government involvement in economic, cultural, or social life. The New Right was born. Starting in the mid-1960s, this movement grew. Conservatives aimed to reduce the power of the federal government, cutting benefit programs, and drawing a more narrow definition of civil rights. They criticized affirmative action policies, viewing them as reverse discrimination. Many voters joined a religious movement led by television preachers called the Moral Majority that criticized a decline in national morality. These conservatives found a strong presidential candidate in Ronald Reagan. An effective speaker with a winning personality, Reagan was a strong campaigner. With President Carter hobbled by high inflation and the Iranian hostage crisis, Reagan won the 1980 election. He touted the conservative beliefs in less government, lower taxes, and
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2 traditional values. The conservative tide also swept Republicans into control of the Senate.
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