Western New Right

The Sagebrush Rebellion was a movement against the federal government. In 1964, the Wilderness Act was passed that expanding the federal government’s responsibilities for environmental oversight. This act was also in charge of protecting lands for the public interest. The Sagebrush Rebellion was a movement in the West that looked for major changes to federal land control, use, and disposal. The protest movements attempted to reduce federal environmental controls in industrial activities. The Sagebrush Rebellion was formed to be against the Wilderness Act of 1964. Many people that aligned with this rebellion were farmers and cattle ranchers that were losing land opportunities. 

On the same side of the spectrum was the Wise Use movement. This was a social and political movement that promoted the expansion of private property rights and responsible management of the environment for the benefit of man. The followers of this movement wanted to increase access to and development of federal lands and resources. These people were strict followers of the Constitution and found the right to have ownership of private lands. They wanted to advocate for the use of national parks for recreational use. 

These two movements made a way for the New Right in the United States Government. Between 1955 and 1977 the US Senate was overpowered by Democratic Representatives from the West within the Senate. From 1977 until 2008 right around the time of these movements, the switch from a Democratic majority to a Republican Majority. President Reagan declared himself a Sagebrush Rebel. The push for advocacy with the Wise Use and Sagebrush Rebellion Movement helped transition from an overwhelming amount of democrats to republicans talking over. This helped the shaping into the New Right.

One thought on “Western New Right

  1. I really enjoyed reading your discussion post! I feel like you gave a very good summary on both the Sagebrush Rebellion and the Wise Use movement. I thought it was interesting that you brought in how President Ronald Raegan declared himself a rebel against the Sagebrush Rebellion. I would not have guessed that he would have been a rebel, and so I am glad that you brought that out!


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