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Paving the Way for ReaganThe Influence of Conservative Media on US Foreign Policy$
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Laurence R. Jurdem

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813175843

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813175843.001.0001

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A Loss of National Pride

A Loss of National Pride

The Panama Canal, 1965–1979

(p.115) 5 A Loss of National Pride
Paving the Way for Reagan

Laurence R. Jurdem

University Press of Kentucky

In a similar manner to the United Nations, the Panama Canal was an image that represented a powerful reminder of America’s great historical legacy. However, a large number of Americans believed the international waterway symbolized much more. Those that supported the American Right saw President Jimmy Carter’s decision to return the canal in 1977 as another example of the decline of American power in the world. Conservatives were upset that the United States was acquiescing to the demands of another emerging Third World nation that, like those within the General Assembly, appeared unwilling to appreciate America’s past generosity. The loss of the canal also reverberated with the US defeat in Vietnam. In the wake of the loss of American military prestige, conservatives were irate that a significant reminder of the country’s industrial greatness was now on the verge of being given away.

Keywords:   Panama Canal, conservatives, American power, Third World, legacy, prestige

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