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Nixon domestic policies

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Nixon domestic policies

  1. 1. Nixon
  2. 2. Profile: Richard Millhouse Nixon – 1913: Born in California – Reputation as brilliant scholar & lawyer – WWII: Navy Lieutenant in Pacific – > war: elected to HoR; HUAC Committee – 1950: elected to Senate – Helped McCarthy w/ anti-Communist investigations – 1952: VP candidate w/ Ike; 1953-1961 VP – 1960: Republican candidate, lost to JFK – 1968: Elected President promising to exit Vietnam – 1972: Re-elected – 1973-74: Watergate controversy – 1974: Resigned office to avoid being impeached – 1994: Died
  3. 3. Nixon as a person • Very crafty…used the media to propel his political future but…. • The media ended up crucifying him over Watergate • He always resented the elite and he personality reflected that (Hiss) • The “checkers” speech – He appealed to the heart strings of America by justifying potential corruption with campaign finances by accepting the donation of a dog – Around $18,000 • Used smear tactics to get into Congress – Attacked opponents based on communist ties….led to HUAC – His role in the Alger Hiss case made him famous – Helped to propel his career • Lived in poverty…led to his desire to curtail poverty in America
  4. 4. What did Nixon Do? • Focused on foreign affairs – Opened China – Reduced nukes w/ USSR – Reduced tensions in Middle East • Promised exit from Vietnam – ‘Peace with dignity’; exited Vietnam (1973) – Ended draft • Important advances on social issues – More blacks in college, voting, in politics – Annoyed Congress by saying, ‘I’ve always thought this country could run itself domestically without a president.’ • Economic policies confused – Inflation reduced but unemployment high • Nixon cut taxes
  5. 5. Domestic Agenda Continued.. • Titled “New Federalism” – Focused on restructuring the bureaucracy by funneling money to the states – Believed that the states could spend the money better • 26th amendment • 70% of black children were segregated in the south – Offered state committees to desegregate-17% by 1970 • EPA 1970 and the National Air Quality Standards Act • Revenue sharing and Family Assistance Program • Civil Rights Legislation for women – Equal Rights Amendment – Federal Task Force on Women’s Rights • Civil Rights Legislation • Kent State, 1970
  6. 6. The Epic of Watergate • Rocked the USA in early 1970s • Single greatest threat to Constitution ever • Started small and snowballed – Phase 1: CREEP – Phase 2: Did Nixon know? – Phase 3: Battle for the tapes – Phase 4: The end
  7. 7. Phase 1: CREEP suspected • 17 June 1972: Five ‘burglars’ arrested in Democratic Party HQ in Watergate Hotel – Not stealing, but planting bugging devices – One was former CIA agent – All linked to Committee for the Re-election of the President (CREEP) • FBI investigates CREEP – Massive campaign to spy on Nixon’s opponents – CREEP raised $60 million for re-election by pressuring companies w/ gov’t contracts – John Mitchell, CREEP director, used ‘dirty tricks’ to discredit Democrats – Two Washington Post reporters, Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward, pursued own investigation – Nixon denied he or close advisors were involved The beginning of President Nixon’s 2nd inaugural address, just as the Vietnam War was ending
  8. 8. Phase 2: Did Nixon Know? • January 1973: – Watergate burglars on trial – All found guilty – One claimed White House involved • Nixon reacts: – Denied allegation – Appointed Archibald Cox as special Watergate prosecutor • Senate investigates: – May-Nov. 1973: Senator Sam Cox led televised independent Senate investigation – Clear that senior White House officials involved – Three of Nixon’s advisors resigned – One, John Dean, claimed he discusses burglary at least 35 times w/ Nixon
  9. 9. Phase 3: Battle for the Tapes • Nixon’s tapes – Senate Investigation revealed Nixon recorded all conversations in oval office since 1971 – Senate & Cox wanted tapes – Nixon refused, citing “presidential privilege” • 20 October 1973: “Saturday Night Massacre” – Nixon ordered Attorney General to fire Cox – AG refused, then resigned under pressure – New AG fired Cox – New special investigator, Leon Jaworski, also demanded tapes – Nixon released some tapes, but 18 ½ crucial minutes had been “accidentally” erased
  10. 10. Phase 4: The End • SC ordered tapes turned over – Revealed Nixon involved in initial campaign – Revealed Nixon repeatedly tried to cover up • 27 July 1974: – House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon for obstruction of justice – 66% of Americans in favor of impeachment • 8 August: – Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment – As civilian, Nixon could have been tried as criminal, but Jaworski didn’t prosecute – President Ford pardoned him – 31 of Nixon’s officials went to prison
  11. 11. The Aftermath • Congress passed laws due to scandal – Privacy Act (1974): Americans can inspect gov’t files on them – Budget Act (1974): President has to account for all $$$ spent (Nixon believed to have spent millions of gov’t money on personal properties & evaded $400,000 of taxes) – Election Campaign Act: Limited campaign contributions; eliminated foreign donations • Scandal utterly destroyed Nixon’s rep – Called “Tricky Dick”, achievements forgotten • Watergate’s deeper damage – Undermined America’s confidence in gov’t – Was Nixon exception or rule of political system? – Press turned from hiding info (JFK) to seeking scandal – Confidence & idealism of 60s replaced w/
  12. 12. Activity: What Watergate’s impact on Americans? • Study these three cartoons., Which do you think makes the following points? – Nixon is a liar – America is in crisis – Don ‘t trust politicians • You are planning a newspaper feature on the impact of Watergate. You can include just one of the cartoons. Which will you choose and why? 50 words
  13. 13. Focus Task: Verdicts on Nixon • Two flew over the cuckoo’s nest – Work in pairs – You and your partner are both inmates in an insane asylum – One of you can only remember good things about people – The other can only remember bad things – One day the two of you see a newspaper headline of Nixon’s resignation – The skeptic turns and says, “Well, it’s about time! Tricky Dick sure was a crook!” – The optimist replies, “How can you say that, after all of the good he has done! – Write 12 additional lines of dialogue

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