The growth of modern Conservatism sprang forth in the late 1940's as a result of the disenchantment, or fear of the FDR regime. FDR's attempts to pack the Supreme Court, his New Deal, later struck down for being unconstitutional and other Socialist solutions to societal woes, along with the 4 terms that smacked of an Imperial Presidency, all brought about Conservatism's growth. By the way, Democrats were scared by FDR's 4 terms as well, he was barely cold in the ground before the 22nd amendment was passed by a Democrat controlled House.
A big part of the emergence of Conservatism was the uniting of social Conservatives, Libertarians and anti-Communists, the 3 legs of the stool so to speak. Something we need to do again in our primaries and elections. These groups emerged and united, as best they could, as a result of the rapid and massive advance of government intervention under the FDR regime. Prior to FDR the Federal government was not something the average American had to deal with or fear, as they do today. Most of peoples lives involved their community and state laws without as much interference from the Federal Government. It was the encroachment of D.C. in peoples daily lives that led to the growth of the Conservatives.
The late 1940's saw the emergence of the House Un-American Activities Commission (man, we could use that organization again). This was when FDR adviser, Alger Hiss was found to be a Red and imprisoned. Interesting footnote, it was Richard Nixon who nailed Alger Hiss to the wall. In his testimony Hiss was eloquent in his denial, however, secret documents, that Nixon had access to, revealed Hiss to be a Card Carrying Commie. Hate those lying Reds, don't you?
Also, years later in the 1950's under Senator McCarthy there was the flushing out of Reds in D.C. Now, history revisionists on the Left have told us in film and press that McCarthy was evil. Funny thing is when the FBI declassified their findings 50 years later it seems the only thing Sen. McCarthy got wrong was that there were twice as many Reds in the FDR administration as originally thought. So much for the history books.
In 1951 the intellectuals began to get credit even from Liberals, those such as von Mises and Hayek, and they would influence future Conservative intellectuals such as Milton Friedman and the young man in 1951 who was about to write a book called GOD AND MAN AT YALE, none other than William F. Buckley, Jr. Buckley's book was ground breaking, exposing the Liberal bias at America's universities. It would launch his career and sell well over a million copies and is still in print today.
In 1952 Robert Taft, descendant of the previous President and true Conservative ran for the GOP nod, but lost out to moderate Eisenhower. It was the first serious challenge to the Eastern Establishment, secular humanist, controlling wing of the GOP. There was such an out cry among Conservatives fed up with the Eastern Establishment and the Leftist control of media that various and sundry periodicals sprang up.
There was of course GOD AND MAN AT YALE, as previously mentioned, Hazlitt's ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON, the ROAD TO SERFDOM by Hayek, HUMAN EVENTS magazine and the famous NATIONAL REVIEW edited by no other than Buckley which also led to his long lasting TV show, FIRING LINE.
It was at this time Conservatives Realized the Leftists were getting young minds full of much at the University level and filling them with Commie Dystopian ideals. As a reaction, the Right began their own organizations to combat the Red Menace in our own backyard, twisting the youth of the nation. It was in response to this that the INTERCOLLEGIATE SOCIETY OF INDIVIDUALISTS, ICI was formed. It was ICI that spawned all future YOUNG REPUBLICANS and other such organizations that dot campuses across America to this day. It was also the jumping off point for several best sellers from preeminent Conservative thinkers, primarily through Regnery Publishing.
More on the advancement of the Conservative movement in the 20th century, including the Grass Roots Movement which began in the early 1960's with Reagan in California and Goldwater on the national stage in our next article.