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Governing AmericaThe Revival of Political History$
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Julian E. Zelizer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150734

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150734.001.0001

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Seizing Power: Conservatives and Congress Since the 1970s

Seizing Power: Conservatives and Congress Since the 1970s

(p.259) Thirteen Seizing Power: Conservatives and Congress Since the 1970s
Governing America

Julian E. Zelizer

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how legislators associated with the conservative movement thrived in a congressional process that liberals had helped to create. It first considers how Congress was reformed in the 1970s, focusing on its transition from the committee era to the contemporary era and how the reform coalition of 1958–1974 helped end the committee era. It then compares the contemporary Congress to the committee-era Congress and how the new legislative process contributed to the fortunes of the conservative movement. It also discusses the decentralization and centralization fostered by congressional reforms, the creation of the Conservative Opportunity Society in 1983 by young mavericks in the Republican Party, congressional conservatives' disappointment with the presidency of George H. W. Bush, and the Republican congressional reforms of 1995. The chapter argues that the state endured despite the political success of American conservatism in Congress.

Keywords:   conservative movement, Congress, reform coalition, congressional reform, decentralization, centralization, Conservative Opportunity Society, Republican Party, George H. W. Bush, American conservatism

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