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Conflicts in the US Between 1970s-2000s

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Conflicts in the US Between 1970s-2000s

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In 1970’s America experienced changes that had a shift on the political belief in the country. The Conservatives emerged stronger although this was not a new idea in the US. John Adams has often been named as the father of conservatives. Conservatives felt that the government were required to provide necessary freedom in order to pursue goals. The conservatives believed that there was a certain way America had to be ruled. Liberals on the other hand were open to ideas that conservatives considered unorthodox Traditional America was built on values that mainly stemmed from the biblical teachings The ideology of liberals was that government ought to help people solve problems other than helping themselves. Effects of conservatism was maintaining of great American traditions that have helped in uniting the country (Schulman, pg. 68-102). They support moral absolutism, free trade, anti-communism, defense of western cultures from perceived threats of socialism and authoritarianism. Aside from change in political ideologies, there were many changes and conflict that occurred in America between the year 1970-2000s that would shape the history of America.

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The first notable events would be the countrywide protests that were ongoing in America pressuring the government to end the war between the United States and the Northern Vietnamese forces. Vietnam War has often been referred to as the “living room war” in the united states because all media outlets provided adequate coverage even for people at home to understand the war. Richard Nixon during his campaign actually promised Americans that he would end the war immediately he assumed power. The war cause death of thousands of American troops. The war would come to an end in January 1973, when the warring nations signed Paris Peace Accords and by 1975, south and north Vietnam had united as a communist government. Vietnam was the first war that actually influenced domestic politics and also changed public perception of most Americans towards the government.

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There was a conflict between the rise of liberals who posed threats to the conservative Americans. When Barry Goldwater who was a republican also referred to as Mr. Conservative was defeated many thought conservatisms would come to an end. However, this was not the case as conservatism ideas still prospered. Many historians attributed this to the rise of the black civil right movement who wanted better treatment. The liberals (democrats) championed for abolition of Jim Crow laws in the south, most southerners were unhappy and joined the republican party. Many viewed liberalism was no longer going to give the white mass of Americans the road to prosperity that they wanted and they thus had to look for other ways to do this. Christian conservatives also did fell threatened by liberals when the supreme court ruled that teachers could not conduct prayers or read the bible. To date, there are still differences between the conservatives and the liberal. The conservatives tend to believe that a healthy give-and-take in business and our economy will lead us to the same equal opportunity and equality for all, believing that bad business models will fail and good ones will succeed. Liberalism on the other hand has opened America into embracing new things that they did not believe before. This included advocating of social security to provide financial safety to retired people. They have also often supported policies that ae favorable to immigrants (Graham, pg. 1029).

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Another conflict that contributed to the American history was the Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 Iraq tried to annex Kuwait. US feared that Hussein would attack Saudi Arabia which was considered a close ally to the US. President Bush condemned the invasion and claimed if nothing was done it would encourage such kinds of aggressions. In January 1991, the US army started pushing Iraqi military out of Kuwait (Gerbner pg.123). This would lead to a lot of problems between the United States and the Middle East the persist even today. 911 attack that happened in the US on September 11 was linked to the American invasion of Iraqi. Morning of September 11 2001, four airliners were hijacked by terrorist affiliated to Al-Qaida group. Two of the planes collided with twin towers in World Trade center while another on the pentagon in Washington. This is considered the deadliest attack in Americas history. This war refocused American attention to long term, fighting on terrorism.

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Civil rights movement continued also to become stronger in the 1970s. The blacks continued their fight in ensuring that they get better treatment including representation in both the House of Representatives as well as the senate. The gay communities also started rallying their member into being acknowledged and received in the societies and challenging laws such as prohibition of same sex marriage that they saw was discriminatory to them. Gay was also often classified as a mental illness and the community was pressuring the American Psychiatric Association to stop doing so (Locke). Feminism also became quite popular where women like Betty Friedan were challenging the societies view on women as homemakers. Women wanted better treatment including being given same employment opportunities as women.

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The conflicts that occurred between 1970s-2000s either in terms of ideas or physical war had an impact on the US economy. The economy was no longer as strong as it was as the post WW2 economy. There was stunted growth, rate of unemployment and increased and countries such as Japan and Russia were now thriving and posing threat to the United States. Reagan however tried to revive the economy by coming up with policies such as tax cuts which was not received well by many. By the time he left office unemployment rates had reduced by 5% and stock market had recovered from the crash. In the modern world a common problem that seems to still persist is the ideological differences between conservatives and can be seen even with slogan run by president Trump “Make America Great” as many believe this is not the America left by founding fathers. War between the Middle east countries including Iraqi and Afghanistan still continues and pose a threat to the US domestic security as most terroristic attacks are carried out with the grounds of US invasion of Iraq (Le Billion, pg. 109-137). Despite everything United States has come from far and most historic happening have helped Americans to build a better nation.

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Works Cited

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Graham, Jesse, Jonathan Haidt, and Brian A. Nosek. “Liberals and conservatives rely on different sets of moral foundations.” Journal of personality and social psychology 96.5 (2009): 1029

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Gerbner, George. “Persian Gulf War.” DOCUMENT RESUME: 123.

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Le Billon, Philippe, and Fouad El Khatib. “From free oil to ‘freedom oil’: Terrorism, war and US geopolitics in the Persian Gulf.” Geopolitics 9.1 (2004): 109-137.

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Locke, Joseph L., and Ben Wright, editors. The American Yawp: A Massively Collaborative Open U.S History Textbook, Since. Vol. 2, STANFORD University Press, 2019

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Schulman, Bruce J., and Julian E. Zelizer, eds. Rightward bound: Making America conservative in the 1970s. Harvard University Press, 2008.

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