Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the emergence of political and policy polarization in the post–World War II period. In the early Cold War years, a bipartisan foreign policy was evident in the Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy administrations. In domestic policy, Democrats and Republicans argued over the extent of the New Deal welfare and regulatory state, but there was little sentiment for returning to a laissez-faire weak state. Both parties were divided along regional lines, with Democrats composed of northeastern and southern regional factions, while Republicans divided generally along Northeast and Midwest factional lines. The 1960s, however, marked a turning point in general realignment, as Sunbelt states deserted the Democratic Party and turned largely Republican. Voter and party leadership became increasingly polarized beginning in the 1980s and would grow in intensity.

Keywords: factionalism, polarization, conservatism, liberalism, Cold War, Vietnam War, civil rights, New Left, New Democrat, New Right

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.