Richard M. Nixon

Election of Nixon

Election of 1968

  • Democratic candidate Hubert H. Humphrey v. Democratic candidate Richard M. Nixon
  • 3rd party candidate George C. Wallace ran for the American Independent party
  • Nixon's VP candidate was Spiro T. Agnew
  • Won by 301 electoral votes and a 43.4 % majority of the popular vote(31,784,480)
Election of 1972

  • Nixon won in a landslide
  • Democratic candidate George McGovern v. Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon
  • Won 520 electoral votes to McGovern's 17
  • Won 47,169,911 votes to McGovern's 29,170,383 votes

Vietnam War under Nixon

  • Drained US of tax dollars that should've gone towards education, scientific and manufacturing capacities, and led to inflation
  • Vietnamization- Nixon's foreign policy of withdrawing 540,000 US troops out of South Vietnam
  • Nixon Doctrine- claimed that the US would uphold current defense agreements but that in the future, other nations would have to fight their own wars without support of such large amounts of American troops
  • January 1970- Vietnam war had become the longest and third most costly foreign war in the nation's history
  • Extremely unpopular among US civilians and soldiers alike
  • Nixon ordered attack on Cambodia on April 29th, 1970 without consulting congress
  • Student protests led to violence and death at college campuses
  • Withdrew troops from Cambodia 2 months later
  • Senate tried to limit Nixon's power by repealing the Tonkin gulf resolution
  • Students were briefly pleased by a reduction in draft calls, period of draftability from 8 to 1 year, and at the lowering of the voting age to 18 in 1971
  • Spring 1971- massive protests and release of government blunders during the war fighter riled protesters
  • War Powers Act of 1973- required the President to report to Congress within 48 hours after committing troops to a foreign conflict or increasing the amount of American forces in a foreign countries
  • Was passed by congress despite Nixon's veto

Policy of détente

  • Tensions between Russia and China were thought to be useful for the US to pressure N. Vietnam into peace
  • Nixon personally visited these two nations to improve relations
  • Led to détente, or "relaxed tension" with these communist powers
  • Led to many agreements with these nations including- the grain deal with the Soviets in which the US agreed to sell the Soviets $750 million worth of grain, the anti ballistic missile treaty(ABM) to limit each country's amount of nukes, SALT, strategic arms limitation talks to freeze numbers of long range nuclear missiles for 5 years
  • Despite agreement, both US and Soviets continued developing MIRVS(multiple independents targeted reentry vehicles)

Watergate: Nixon's Impeachment and Resignation

  • June 17, 1972 Watergate- scandal at which men were arrested bugging an apartment complex in Washington
  • Members of CREEP- the Republican Committee for the Re-election of the President- raised millions illegally and sabotaged and used espionage to attack democrats, political opponents, and those on the White House "enemy list"
  • Led to reveal that many White House employees were linked to a series of scandals and cover ups, led to many resignations
  • Nixon denied knowing about or being part of any of this, was secretly having his office tapped without his knowledge and refused to release the tapes
  • "Saturday Night Massacre"- special prosecutor Archibald Cox issued a subpoena for the retrieval of the tapes, Nixon refused, tried to have him fired, but the attorney general and deputy attorney general refused and resigned instead
  • July 24, 1974- Supreme Court ruled that Nixon had to release all the tapes, he finally conceded
  • House Judiciary Committee moved to impeach Nixon, Nixon tried to improve the situation by releasing 3 tapes fully, further stained his reputation, and republicans, senate, and house all sought to impeach him
  • August 8th, 1974- having no other option Nixon resigned, admitting some wrong judgement calls