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Study Notes

New Right

Level:
A-Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

The New Right is a political ideology that existed within the United States, and can broadly be defined into two eras: The First New Right from 1955-1964 and the Second New Right from 1964 through the present day. Both forms of the New Right are different from the Old Right which historically dominated the right of American Politics.

The First New Right 1955-1964

The First New Right comes into being with a strong belief in anti-communism, this being at the height of the Cold War. The ideology for the first phase is a mixture of this ant-communist belief, with traditional conservative social values and a belief in classic liberal economics. It was given a platform through William F Buckley’s magazine the National Review. The height of the first New Right came with the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, in his attempt to unseat President Lyndon Johnson.

The Second New Right 1964- Present Day

The Second New Right was born in the ashes of defeat in the 1964 Presidential election between Goldwater for the Republicans and Johnson for the Democrats. Whilst many of the beliefs were the same as the First New Right, it opted for more a more populist agenda in the hope of securing power. It placed a focus on social issues, often reinforced through its links to the Religious Right. The electoral support of the New Right brought the sweeping victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

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