Resurgence of Conservatism

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DBQ 15: The Resurgence of Conservatism, 1964-2005
Liberals had dominated American society for most of the 1900s. The 1960s was widely known for being the age of counterculture, social reforms, and liberals. The era witnessed many advancements like racial equality such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a strong advancement in political liberalism, and a significant increase in the power and influence of government-funded social programs as a result of Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society reforms. Beginning with the election of Nixon, however, followed a gradual return to conservatism whether religiously, politically, or economically. The resurgence of conservatism in American politics and government in the years 1964-2005, was caused in reaction to 1960s liberal political, economic, and social policies as well as the rise of religious political groups and the controversy over the Vietnam War.

The government's political and economic policies contributed to the rise of conservatism. Most notable of the federal reforms were initiated by liberal Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society schemes. His "War on Poverty" speech, delivered on March 16, 1964, called for a war on poverty to give people a second chance by spending millions on education, job training, housing, and healthcare. Johnson's intention was in some ways a conservative one. He wanted to give people a hand-up, not a hand-out and make them dependent on the money earned from taxing the more fortunate (Document A). Reflecting the liberal mood of the 1960s, voters flocked to the polls to vote for Johnson because in part by their faith in Great Society programs. Johnson received 61.1% of the popular vote and 90.3% of the electoral college vote and captured all but six southern states, traditionally Democratic "solid south", who were alienated by Johnson's advocasy for civil rights (Document B). The higher taxes involved in the Great Society programs, however, were resented by conservatives, who saw...
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