Old Left

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The Old Left was a group of liberals that dominated US politics during the Fifth Party System and preceded the New Left of the Sixth Party System. Leading Old Left figures include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Adlai Stevenson, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Lyndon Baines Johnson. They were fiscally progressive, supported the welfare state, and were more likely to support less restrictions on immigration than the Old Right, their rivals of the day. Unlike the New Left, however, they endorsed interventionism and free trade, both of which are neoliberal policies. Additionally, when social issues started to become more important during the 1960s, they did not seem to emphasize support for them as much as the New Left either. This lead to some, known as neoconservatives, joining the Republican Party during the 1960s and supporting the Vietnam War.

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