Rearmament, Rhetoric, and Realignment
Ommen, Charles R
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While there has been much study done on the hardline anti-communist policies of 1950s McCarthyism, there really is not as much research into the rest of Wisconsin’s Congressional history during the Cold War. This paper seeks to survey and study the responses of Wisconsin’s Senators and Representatives to policies and events in the last decade of the Cold War. In particular, the eight year period of 1980-1988 in which the Reagan administration went head to head with the last few leaders of the Soviet Union, leading up to the collapse of the East Bloc in 1989. Looking at newspapers and speeches of Wisconsin’s delegation in relation to the memoirs and policies of political leaders like Reagan and Gorbachev, the goal will be to determine Wisconsin’s political character at the upper levels. The paper will feature the ideas of Representatives like David Obey, Les Aspin, James Moody, and Clement Zablocki, who all served the state of Wisconsin during this time. While America’s late Cold War foreign policy towards the Soviet Union is often portrayed as a bipartisan issue, looking at Wisconsin’s congressional delegation shows that there was still a large number of differing opinions and ideas. During this era there was clearly two power bases In Washington, the Republicans in the White House, and Democrats in the Capital. Due to this split power base, Wisconsin is a state of particular interest as it was a battleground state for Reagan Republicans, moderate Democrats and liberal Democrats. Battleground states like Wisconsin demonstrate the party divide over foreign policy in this last critical decade of the Cold War.
Wisconsin--Politics and government--1945-1989
Wisconsin. Legislature. Senate--History
Wisconsin. Legislature. Representatives--History