President Nixon

Catherine Cain: Chapter 40

Election of Nixon

Election of 1968

  • Republican- Nixon- WON

  • Democrat- Hubert H. Humphrey

  • American Independent- George C. Wallace

Issues of the Day: Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Assassinations (Robert Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King)

Nixon won w/ 301 electoral votes and 31, 710, 470 popular votes

Humphrey lost with 191 electoral votes & 30, 898,055 popular votes

Election of 1972

  • Republican- Nixon - WON

    • VP- Gerald Ford

  • Democrat- George McGovern (senator)

    • Campaign- Pulling out Vietnam 90 days

Nixon won by a HUGE majority- 520 electoral votes & 46,740,323 popular votes

Issues of the Day: Vietnam War, International Relations (Detente with USSR, Visit to China), Watergate

Vice-Presidential Succession: Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, and was replaced by Vice-President Gerald R. Ford

Vietnam War

Nixon's US foreign policy: "Vietnamization," -

  • W/ draw 540,000 U.S. troops South Vietnam over extended period

  • South Vietnamese-- W/ US $$$$, weapons, training, & advice, --> gradually take over the war.

Nixon Doctrine

  • US honor existing defense commitments BUT in future-- Asians & others fight own wars w/ o support of large #s of US troops

November 3, 1969--- Nixon delivered TV speech to "silent majority,"-- who presumably supported war; he hoped to gain supporters


  • April 29, 1970-- Nixon widened war he ordered US forces to join w/ South Vietnamese @ neutral Cambodia (to clean out enemy)

  • US fell into turmoil protests turn violent

  • June 29, 1970-- Nixon w/ drew troops from Cambodia

    • Even though bitterness between "hawks" & "doves" increased

Secret Bombing of Cambodia

  • US public discovered that secret bombing raids on N Vietnamese forces in Cambodia taken place since March of 1969

    • --> public question trust of gov--Nixon end bombing-- June 1973.

  • Cambodia-- soon taken over by dictator Pol Pot- (who l8r committed genocide of ^ 2 million people in a few years)

War Powers Act

  • November 1973-- Congress passed

    • requiring president report all commitments of U.S. troops to foreign exchanges w/ in 48 hours

    • A new feeling of "New Isolationism" that discouraged U.S. troops in other countries began to take hold, yet Nixon stood strong

Policy of détente

Nixon's Détente w/ Beijing (Peking) & Moscow

  • 2 communist powers-- USSR & China: clashing interpretations of Marxism

  • Nixon saw tension to ----> US opportunity play off one against other & to enlist aid of both pressuring North Vietnam into peace

  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger reinforced Nixon

    • 1969- Kissinger begun meeting secretly w/ n Vietnamese officials in Paris to negotiate end to war in Vietnam

1972--Nixon visit to China & paved way for improved relations between them & US

May 1972-- Nixon traveled to Moscow

  • Nixon's visits --> an era of détente, or relaxed tensions between the USSR & China

  • Great Grain Deal of 1972 -- 3-year arrangement which US agreed sell the USSR @ least $750 million worth of wheat, corn, & other cereals

Watergate, Nixon's impeachment, & resignation


  • June 17, 1972--- 5 men working for Republican Committee for Re-election of President caught breaking into Watergate Hotel & bugging rooms

  • --> great scandal where many members of president's administration resigned

  • Hearings occurred---

    • headed by Senator Sam Erving.

    • John Dean III testified of all corruption, illegal activities, & scandal

Conversations involving watergate scandal discovered on tapes

  • Nixon refused given them --> congress

    • Although denied participation in scandal

  • 1973--- VP Spiro Agnew forced to resign due to tax evasion

    • In accordance with the newly-passed 25th Amendment (1967), Nixon submitted to Congress, for approval as the new vice president, Gerald Ford

  • October 20, 1973 ("Saturday Night Massacre") --- Archibald Cox ( prosecutor of case who issued subpoena of tapes) fired

    • Both attorney general & deputy general resigned bc they did not want to fire Cox

Timeline End of Nixon as a President

  • July 24, 1974-- Supreme Court ruled Nixon submit all tapes to Congress

  • July 1974-- House approved 1st article of impeachment 4 obstruction of justice

  • August 5, 1974-- Nixon released 3 tapes held most damaging information-same 3 tapes that had been "missing."

  • August 8, 1974- Nixon resigned--> (realized would be convicted if impeached- wanted to keep privileges of a president)