TO THE EIGHTIES:
the eighties gambling and lotteries became more and more legalized
in America and soon these industries became big businesses as
well and also sources of tax dollars for many state and local
governments. The stock market which had boomed for five years
finally crashed in 1987 starting a new economic slow-down that
would ultimately destroy the presidency of George Bush who succeeded
President Reagan in 1989. Also many savings and loan institutions
collapsed during the end of the Eighties and American tax payers
were forced to bail out these bankrupt thrift institutions.
Many stock-traders on Wall Street were convicted of insider
trading and sent to jail as the decade ended and corporate scandals
dealing with many kinds of stock and bond fraud made Americans
weary of the greed disease that had been released with President
was not at ease. A more conservative movement called the New
Christian Right began to demand a movement back to the past.
The New Christian Right wanted the Bible to be taught at public
schools and also wanted individual and group prayer in public
schools to be protected by amendments in the American constitution.
The New Christian Right was also against further improvements
for women in the social and economic spheres of American life.
But American women had made big strides during the Eighties.
More women worked outside the home than ever before. An American
woman was chosen as a vice-presidential candidate and the first
American woman to the supreme court was nominated during President
Reagan's administration. Also the first American woman astronaut
finally flew into space.
New Christian Right was also violently against Gay rights and
considered the AIDS epidemic an act of God against homosexuals.
Abortion was also attacked by the New Christian Right as a sin
against God and bitter battles between pro-choice and pro-life
groups created greater and greater political conflict between
religious and secular groups in America.
during the Eighties, the New Age movement also continued to
grow. This movement was neither religious nor secular. Many
Americans in this movement however considered themselves spiritual.
It was a new form of life definition for many Americans. As
traditional religions weakened many Americans continued to look
for private solutions to inner questions. Meditation, self-improvement,
and new kinds of healing were being explored in greater and
greater numbers by a sizable portion of the American population.
Bookstores, radio stations, publications and new organizations
catering to the New Agers sprang up in greater and greater numbers.
By the Nineties a new economy was forming as well for this new
and growing group. New Age music and healing services that connected
the mind and body became popular.
by little three groups were forming in America and how they
would cooperate with each other in the future was still an unknown.
We shall come to this subject in greater detail a little later.