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American ConservatismNOMOS LVI$
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Sanford Levinson, Melissa Williams, and Joel Parker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479812370

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479812370.001.0001

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A History of Inherent Contradictions: The Origins and End of American Conservatism

A History of Inherent Contradictions: The Origins and End of American Conservatism

(p.13) 1 A History of Inherent Contradictions: The Origins and End of American Conservatism
American Conservatism

James R. Kurth

NYU Press

This chapter provides a historical background of American conservatism, considering the evolving interaction between its economic, socio-religious, and security-oriented aspects. American conservatism is different from conservatism in other countries, even those that were the original source of many other American ideas and ideals—the countries of Europe. In many respects, the history of American conservatism has been the working out of certain inherent contradictions and fatal flaws, beginning with the origins of a distinctive and unusual kind of conservatism in eighteenth-century America, through its full development during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to the great debacle of this original conservatism during the Great Depression of the 1930s, to the reinvention and transformation of American conservatism during the Great Stagflation of the 1970s, and finally to the recent collapse of this reinvented conservatism during the Great Recession, which began in 2007 and continues into the 2010s.

Keywords:   American conservatism, conservatism, Great Depression, Great Stagflation, Great Recession

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