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HST210 – The Conservative Ascendency.docx

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Department
History
Course
HST 210
Professor
Jenny Carson
Semester
Winter

Description
HST210 – US History 1877 to Present Lecture #17 – The Conservative Ascendency Causes of the 1970s Recession - people didn't trust the government - Government deficits crippled the economy (1980 federal debt: 908 billion). o government spent more money than it was taking in o huge military spending o large part of budget going to interest on the federal debt o military spending diverted money from domestic programs that could have strengthened the economy o cheaper good from abroad flooding into the US market - US’s declining share of the world market (exports) undermines postwar prosperity. o by the seventies, countries like germany and japan are beginning to outproduce the US, reducing their share of the world market  1955, merchandise exports form the US comprised 32 percent of the world market  by 1970, it had dropped to 18 percent 1970s Recession - Competition from cheap foreign imports undermines American manufacturing. - With the 1973 oil embargo by OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), gas prices quadrupled. o other prices rose with the price of oil o it affected the cost of everything - after egypt and syria attacked israel in 1973, opec announced an embargo on oil shipments to israel's allies, including the US o underlined how dependent the US was on foreign oil supplies (mostly owing form the middle east) Deindustrialization - Decline in a region’s or country’s manufacturing base (which relocates to low-wage regions or countries). - Deindustrialization devastates the US Midwest and Northeast. - Manufacturing jobs are replaced by service jobs, many of which are low-paying, non- union jobs. o workers wages are not keeping up with inflation, workers are earning less than earlier generations by the 1980s Rise of the Sunbelt - Political and economic power shifts from the older industrial cities of the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West (good for the GOP). - Some US and foreign employers relocate to the South where there are few unions and labor protections. - Some workers follow the jobs South. - Retirees move South taking with them their retirement packages and Social Security checks. - Defense spending vitalizes the region (lots of federal money!). o military bases in the south, they want to be close to them - Massive immigration boosts the population of the South. - Air conditioning; tourism; agribusiness and Silicon Valley. - population in the south increases significantly = more political power o more seats in the house of representatives - since 1964, every US president has been born in the South or lived in the south for some period of time (except for Obama) o good news of the GOP o white south voting republican bc the democrats supporting civil rights movement 1976 - Jimmy Carter (Democrat), defeats Gerald Ford (Nixon’s successor) o ford gave nixon a pardon - Multilateralist committed to promoting human rights globally (Camp David Accords) o wanted to work with other nations o reduced US aid to dictatorships o tried to defend tensions between Israel and arab neighbours o helped broker a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt > prevent an Israeli- Arab war - ran campaign as a washington outsider - very little political experience o served 1 term as georgia governor Soviet-Afghan War - Soviets invade Afghanistan to prop up its Communist government against attacks from Islamic fundamentalist and nationalist rebels (the Mujahideen) - led to a 9 year war - US viewed conflict as integral part of the Cold War US Aid - Under Carter and his successors Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior, the CIA provided assistance to the anti-Soviet forces (the Mujahideen) through the Pakistani secret services - Mujahideen also get support from foreign Arab fighters, including Saudi Osama bin Laden - the communists' weak hold over the country led to the withdrawal of soviet troops, ending the war and leaving the country in ruins o US decides not to stick around and help with reconstruction - The Islamic Fundamentalist Taliban regime gains control of Afghanistan and engages in gross human rights violations o criminals publicly executed o women's education banned o western influences outlawed o Taliban provided safe haven for Bin Laden Iran - Iran is ruled by the unpopular Shah Reza Pahlavi, an ally of the U.S. o in power since the 1950s o US helped install him o dictator o suppressed opposition o used money from Iran's oil fields to enrich himself/his family while the majority of Iran lived in poverty o unpopular for being an ally to the US - 1979, a conservative Islamic movement, led by the (exiled) cleric Ayatollah Khomeini, topples the Shah. o the Shah comes to the US for cancer treatment o Iranians enraged o students seize American embassy and take 52 prisoners hostage o Carter reaches an agreement for the release of the hostages after more than a year (the Shah has died) - Khomeini is installed as the leader of the newly-established Islamic Republic. ARGO - six americans escaped and are taken in by the Canadian Embassy in Tehran - Embassy officials hid the Americans for 3 months - Tony Mendes gets them to pose as film officials - Canadians did 90% of the work getting them out, but movie gives full credit to Americans Reagan - Former “law-and-order”governor of California. o got people off welfare o cut government programs o clamped down on student protestors - Appealed to traditional patriotism and promised to restore traditional values and America’s power abroad. o promises to restore america's power abroad - Reagan’s election ushers in a new era of conservative politics. - in the 1980 elections, republicans pick up 12 senate seat o defeated some of the best known liberal democrats in the country Conservative Movement Goals - Limited government at home and aggressive, militaristic foreign policy abroad. o low taxes o little government regulation of business - Believe the market should be allowed to operate unimpeded by government regulation. - Want to eliminate or reduce social programs and policies of the New Deal while increasing defense spending. Evangelicals - Socially conservative Christians – stress the importance of conversion and Christian activism. o its your job to go out there an export your values o its important to engage in outreach opportunities - Evangelicals become politically active to achieve their goals for society (criminalization of abortion, prayer in school etc.). o abortion had be legalized in 1973 o tough laws against homosexuality & pornography - Falwell’s Moral Majority raises money for and lobbies conservative pol
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