Essay about Conservative Coalition

Essay about Conservative Coalition

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Throughout the course of history, there have been multiple times when bipartisanship has played an important role. However, one of the most noticeable times of a bipartisan coalition that lasted more than fifty years would be that of the conservative coalition. From the 1930s until the 1990s, the conservative coalition played a major role in determining the policies of Congress and the nation. It was formed as a reaction to the progressive pursuits of the president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and other progressive members of the government (Patterson 1966, 757). After its extended reign in Congress, it eventually disappeared into history during the congressional revolutions of the 1980s and 1990s. Therefore, Congress rose to power for a number of varied reasons that were opposed to the progressive policies of the liberal Democrats and eventually morphed into the Republican Party of the mid-1990s.
When attempting to determine what allowed the creation of this body of bipartisan legislators, one must first turn to the period that preceded the coalition’s rise to prominence. According to George Galloway, he states that the conservative coalition actually draws its roots from the period between 1910 and World War II (Shelley 1983, 11). During this period, there was a change in the system. Party loyalty to the Democratic Party’s platform was at an exceptional high because of the New Deal’s response to the Great Depression. However, this political unity did not survive past this period in history (Cooper and Brady 1984, 339). The reason behind this faltering majority was because this “Roosevelt coalition” was monolithic instead of a polarized coalition (Cooper and Brady 1984, 339). Therefore, it could not survive the changing issues ...


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...The Journal of American History 52 (March): 757-772.
Patterson, James T. Congressional Conservativism and the New Deal: The Growth of the Conservative Coalition in Congress, 1933-1939. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Paulson, Arthur. 2007. Electoral Realignment and the Outlook for American Democracy. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
Rohde, David W., Norman J. Ornstein, and Robert L. Peabody. 1984. “Political Change and Legislative Norms in the U.S. Senate, 1957-1974.” In Studies of Congress, ed. Glenn R. Parker. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Shelley II, Mack C. 1983. The Permanent Majority: The Conservative Coalition in the United States Congress. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press.
Sundquist, James L. 1983. Dynamics of the Party System: Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.

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