Table of Contents
I. Frustrations
II. Conservatism
III. Reagan
IV. Sources


I. Frustrations
Frustrations of the early 1970s, the defeat in Vietnam, the Watergate crisis, the problems of the American economy, inflicted serious blows on the confident nationalism and
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
muscular liberalism that had shaped so much of the postwar era. Americans wondered weather the future might be considerably bleaker than the past, weather the age of a growing economy and growing expectations might be over. The presidency of Jimmy Carter sometimes reflected these assumptions.
II. Conservatism
At the end of the decade however the idea of an "age of limits" met a powerful and ultimately decisive challenge. That combined a conservative rejection of some of the heady visions of the 1960s with a reinforced commitment to economic growth, international power, and American virtue. The effort to combat the defeatism of the 1970s took many forms and could be seen in intellectual life, popular culture, and, of course politics. Throughout the 1970s a powerful, grassroots conservative movement grew rapidly in many parts of the United States. This Movement brought together those who wanted a more conservative economic policy with those who were concerned with cultural questions such as, religion and sexuality.
III.Reagan
The most potent symbol of this growing movement was Ronald Reagan who was elected president in 1980 and who, for the next eight years, became a symbol of a new kind of confident conservatism that would soon have enormous influence in the United States and in many other parts of the world. Reagan helped re legitimize a belief trusting government economic policies. He also gathered support for a new American Commitment to the Cold War and a more active American role in the world. His presidency was less notable for broad legislative accomplishments than for the power of the ideas it expressed. Reagan's personal popularity was an important part of his
success, but so was an impressive economic revival that helped win support for his ideas.
IV. Sources
American History, Brinkley