Show Summary Details

p. 202. Do Americans Like their Government Big—or Small?locked

  • Gil Troy

Abstract

‘Do Americans like their government big — or small?’ explores historical American attitudes to big government. Reagan interpreted his 1980 election win as a mandate for revolution, but the public were not ready for his changes. America was born through rebellion against British power, and debates about the size of government raged in the country's early years. During the Civil War, regulation of big business was relaxed, but Progressive presidents expanded federal power to assist individuals over corporations. Even when in power, Republicans could not remove these welfare reforms, and the conservative voice seemed marginalized. However, conservatives, including Ronald Reagan, still existed, and still questioned big government.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions 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.