Assignment due 5/4

1) Read Foner, Chapter 26
2) Respond to this post with at least one comment discussing Foner’s characterization of the “Triumph of Conservatism.”  What does “conservatism” mean in this context? How did it triumph? Why did it triumph?  Read the comments that have come before you and jump into the conversation.

32 thoughts on “Assignment due 5/4

  1. I feel that conservatism in this context would be for Nixon, as president, to bring focus back to issues on the home front whereas during the years prior much attention was on foreign affairs and wars overseas. While the “triumph” included Nixon bringing our troops home, I feel like it also included the many new agencies and services he introduced during his presidency such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Transportation Safety Board.

  2. In 1960s, when the society went through tremendous changes and tremendous turmoil, that a larger constituency began to develop for conservative ideas: businessmen who saw an opportunity to roll back the gains of labor unions and the economic regulations, many people who were frightened by turmoil in the streets, whites who were reacting against the gains of the civil rights movement. All of these became constituencies that the rising conservative movement would draw upon.

  3. Foner discusses how conservatism triumphed in American politics and society during the time when Nixon and Reagan were in office. American conservatists believed in free markets, anti-communism, lower taxes, and limited government. In 1964 during the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, there was a growing wave of conservatism, since Goldwater was in favor of conservatism. However when Goldwater was defeated during his presidential campaign, his supporters railed behind Regan who was the governor of California in 1967 and also a supporter of conservatism. Reagan was soon elected in 1981 when the economy was failing due to the Watergate Scandal that interfered with Nixon’s foreign policy, which later then brought a rising tide of support for conservatism.

  4. I would have to agree with Jonathan M., it seems like conservatism in this context really means conserving the current society. The battle for the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) showed a majority of men and women that favored the ERA but still failed to be ratified. The controversy about abortion lead to two strongly opposing sides that ultimately did not change anything. Although many hospitals and doctors stopped providing abortion procedures, women still had the legal right to abort.

  5. I agree with almost everything that has been said. I think Foner calls it a triumph because as late as 1949 people were saying that “liberalism is not only the dominant, but even the sole intellectual tradition.” However slowly during the 1950’s and 1960’s conservatism started coming back, and in the 1970s it went full throttle. Conservatism here means a couple of things including no government in the economy and the fact that freedom is a moral condition. Nixon helped these causes by helping to create the EPA, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and ending the War in Vietnam (as mentioned above). When Regan took over he also had a conservative mindset, and therefore Foner calls this period “The Triumph of Conservatism.”

  6. I believe conservatism is a step backwards of the precedents established by the more liberal administrations. Conservatives advocated for a limited government, end to abortion, and lower income taxes. Their principles are more traditional with a hint of religious roots. Foner titled this era as the “triumph” of conservatism because conservatives’ policies won over the hearts and minds of American citizens.

  7. The ongoing moral issues like abortion, sexuality, and the family problems in the 1960s drove a fierce reaction to many Americans; they believed that American freedom was out of control. They felt that it was necessary to preserve some tradition al intuitions of the society. The presidency Ronald Reagan also helped to triumph conservatism in the 1980s. Reagan’s republican model became the conservative standard for social, economic and foreign policy issues. Foner says that, “Reagan made conservatism seem progressive, rather than an attempt to turn back the tide of progress” (p.987) That’s why he had many supporters.

  8. I think during 1970 religion became the conservatism. In the time the Protestantism flourished and became the mainstream in the society. Evangelical Christians tried to use mass mailing and televised religious programming in order to protest their religious right and traditional value, because Evangelical Christians seem the society had became to trivialize religion and promote immorality. Therefore, Evangelical Christians wanted to use these technologies to influence society and polity.

  9. I agree with the above posts. Conservatism gained momentum from the 50’s -70’s. The belief of limited government involvement, lower taxes, and free markets became dominant again in the minds of the American people. It triumphed because of a reason that I agree with Min Wu with and that is that Ronald Reagan helped the people believe that society was moving forward into a new era with conservatism rather than cutting out everything society has worked hard for.

  10. Conservatism was on the rise in 60s. Foner believes that a new group of conservatives “has produced a decline in moral standards and respect for authority.” In addition to the new group of conservatives, the economic problems has made certain “conservative” policies more favorable, such as lower taxes, reduced government regulation, and cuts in social spending for spurring business.

  11. In this context, I believe “Conservatism” means the path leading toward a more government that was more limited in its involvement in everyday life. It would also institute lower taxes and spark the growth of more free markets in trade. I think the reason it triumphed was because it was an idea that hadn’t really been put into practice before. After the Vietnam War was over, America tried to go back to the way it used to be before the draft and before the thousands of deaths. This enabled the Conservative idea to gain a foothold, and it was later embraced if for no other reason, the just to get away from Vietnam era politics as quickly as possible.

  12. Foner talking about conservatism, how it triumphed in American society.This conservatism believed in free markets, anti-communism, lower taxes, and limited government.

  13. Foner discuss in Chapter 12 the triumph of conservatism during Nixon and Reagan presidency, and how it lead to changes in government. After FDR and the governments large involvement in society, there has not been a time like that before, because of all the issues and wars that the United State was involved in domestically and foriegn. It was understandable to know that there are groups who want smaller governments. Conservatism according to Foner was favorable because of economic policies, and income tax. I honestly think the triumph was all around bringing the troops home from Vietnam

  14. In Foner’s chapter, “The Triumph of Conservatism” we can see how many changes went on. Conservatism was rising during the 1960s. He discusses about Nixon and Reagan and what they did during those times to change. There was a conservative mindset between these Nixon and Reagan.

  15. In previous chapters,Foner mentions about the rebirth of conservatism in the 1950s and 1960s. In this chapter,conservatism is continued in 1970s,during that period,the idea of conservative is all about free markets, anti-communism, lower taxes, and limited government.While Foner believes the triumph of conservitism comes after the born of Equal Right Amemndment(ERA) during the 1970s and the presidency of Reagan in 1980.They makes the Americans believes that conservitism is the right idea to make American society a forward movement.

  16. Limited government involvement essentially gave birth to conservatism in the 60’s. Other things like lower taxes and free market are just additions to what influenced its triumph in American society. Understanding the difference of conservatism in the 60’s compared to how we use the word today is also important. Keeping things constant or normative to the way American society was already functioning, was what conservatism was back then. Today, this term represents views which are strict in understanding issues such as abortion and gay rights.

  17. I think conservatism in this context means that theres is to free markets, anti-communism, lower taxes, and limited government, this also lead the country’s foreign policy.Triumph included the United State withdrawal from Vietnam, opening the political relations with communist China, and beginning a détente with the Soviet Union.

  18. The election of 1980 manifested the Triumph of Conservatism when republicans won in a landslide victory with over 90% of the electoral votes. Conservatism meant curving government role and allowing Laissez Faire Economics. Where Liberals see big corporations as evil entities, conservatives see Big-Government as evil. Conservatism triumphed primarily because of a lagging economy since there was stagflation when Reagan took over as president in 1980. According to Foner “Reagan reshaped the nation’s agenda and political language more effectively than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.” I think conservatism triumphed because of the business friendly actions taken by Reagan that inevitably helped the economy to grow and become labeled as the Second Gilded Age.

  19. Conservatism is a very comprehensive term that includes within it the idea of a lack of government intervention in the economy as well as an increase of social freedoms. Nixon pushed these ideas through acts such as the EPA, ending the Vietnam war, and more. Conservatives advocated for more liberal ideas including debating issues such as sexuality, abortion, etc. It was considered a triumph because the movement gained a lot of momentum and acceptance especially due to ideas such as lower taxes, free markets, and more.

  20. Conservatism represented a group of ideas to limit government power, promote patriotism and anti-communism, focusing on interior conflicts. The retreat of Vietnam war, Equal Right Amendment and other reforms signified the change within the nation. The triumph of conservatism is just a sign for the nation to move on from its mistakes and move forward. These changes within the nation gives momentum for future reforms such as Feminism.

  21. On chapter, “The Triupth of Conservatism” Foner discusses many changes that occurs during the 1960’s and 70’s that favors Conservatives such as tax reduction that led to less government funds as well as the urge to return to a more moral and Christian society.

  22. I think the main idea of conservatism in this context are to limit government and anti-communism. Some of the triumph like “Reaganomics” ,Nixon’s foreign policy and the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam War are some significant examples.

  23. I believe Foner’s Idea of conservatism was regarding the government being less involved in the American Society. Prior to the 1960’s, the government was actively involved in foreign policies and having many changes such as rights in America. The people wanted free markets, less government involvement and tax cuts. Conservatism allowed society to slow down the momentum of changes.

  24. During Reagan’s presidency, conservatism highly impacted society with it’s ideals. Like Dominique said, I believe Reagan was smart to make people believe that conservatism was rather a step forward rather than going back on what they have accomplished in the recent decades. As a result, this is a triumph for the American people

  25. During the 1960’s there was a triumph of conservatism. Conservatism generally means to keep things the same with minimal change however conservatives know that little changes need to be made in order to find have a better future, it is the opposite of liberalism as liberals generally want change. Foner considers this period the “triumph” of conservatism as Americans during this period became more and more conservative

  26. I would add that the triumph part is largely dictated by sound state of economy during this period and by successful conservative economic policies. In particular, this period is famous for almost uninterrupted economic growth, with the exception of the beginning of 70s, when the downturn happened due to external reasons( middle east crisis and high oil prices).

  27. It represents a return to the isolationist policies of the early american governments. Its a return to america only being concerned about america and american problems

  28. I think a very straightforward way to explain this is that during Nixon and reagan’s domination in the 1970s and 1980s, they were bringing back republican domination. Republican usually practice conservatism where they focus on limited government on the country’s economy and politics. For Nixon, he pulled out the troops in Vietnam that finally improved Americans’ negative feelings toward the being pro business, they also support to lower taxes and make business boom. I think they ate the triumph of conservatism in America.

  29. Conservatism in the US during the Nixon days were concerned about focusing on the homefront. As discussed before, Nixon was concerned with bringing out troops back in order to get people to feel better on the homefront which then brought back better feelings about the US government. This helped with the government trying to bring about change in the US and having the people follow suit.

  30. Shortly after Richard Nixon left the presidency he was viewed as a villain by most of the population. They felt that he had obviously and blatantly committed a crime; and they were furious when Gerald Ford gave him a “a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.” The people felt that he was guilty, and it was proven through other personal lawsuits filed against him regarding the Watergate scandal. Nixon was financially in ruins and agreed to do a slew of interviews and even write his memoirs in order to become financially stable once again. However after the first few years it appeared that Nixon was forgiven and was once again deemed as a valuable asset, becoming an advisor to Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

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    James Earl Carter Jr., better known as “Jimmy”, is remembered mostly as being “too soft”. He came from a relatively humble background and was a naval officer and a peanut farmer before he was elected Governor of Georgia; and then eventually elected as President. His policy was more focused on ethics and morality, which caused him to shy away from conflict and not use a show of force unless he was backed into a corner. He was an advocate for the environment and is still an active environmentalist and active member of the Baptist faith (he teaches Sunday school). He is most remembered for the 1978 Camp David Accords, where he was the witness to the peace settlement between Israel and Egypt.

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  31. Ronald Reagan was one of the most appreciated Presidents in US history. Popularity polls taken after he left office show that he had “earned the highest approval ratings of any President since Franklin D. Roosevelt”. Reagan is accredited with a large amount of successes during his tenure as President, including: Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty during the Cold war (limiting the production of nuclear weapons); Ending the Cold War; the stabilization of the US economy; and the destruction of the Berlin Wall which was forever immortalized in his famous words “Tear Down This Wall”.
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