Richard M. Nixon

By Karl Bailey

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The Election of Nixon

Election of 1968

Richard M. Nixon

Party - Republican

Running Mate - Spiro Agnew

Popular Vote - 31,785,480

Electoral Vote - 301

Hubert Humphrey

Party - Democratic

Running Mate - Edmund Muskie

Popular Vote - 31,275,166

Electoral Vote - 191

George C. Wallace

Party - American Independent

Running Mate - Curtis LeMay

Popular Vote - 9,906,473

Electoral Vote - 46

  • Nixon won because of division in Democrats, and war time protests
  • Did not carry any major cities
  • Wallace had largest third party popular vote in US history

Election of 1972

Richard M. Nixon

Party - Republican

Running Mate - Spiro Agnew

Popular Vote - 47,169,911

Electoral Vote - 520

George McGovern

Party - Democratic

Running Mate - Thomas Eagleton

Popular Vote - 29,170,383

Electoral Vote - 17

  • Nixon won every state except for Massachusetts and Washington D.C.

Vietnam War


  • Vietnamization was Nixon's first course of action as president
  • Pulled 540,000 American troops out of South Vietnam over time
  • U.S. assistance left (weapons, money, training, etc...) helped South Vietnam fight for themselves
  • Beginning of Nixon Doctrine, said that U.S. would honor commitments, but without use of large American ground forces


  • Nixon ordered attack on Cambodia on April 29, 1970
  • Included bombings of Cambodia
  • Cambodia was neutral neighbor of Vietnam that was used as route for North Vietnam troops to rest and travel through to South Vietnam
  • Caused upset in America
  • Troops were recalled after only two months

War Powers Act

  • After word of continued bombings got out Congress tries to oppose Nixon's war-time powers
  • Led to the War Powers Act
  • Required that Nixon report to Congress every time he uses troops in foreign conflicts, within 48 hours
  • Resulted in end to bombings in Cambodia in 1973

Détente in China and the USSR

Détente with the Soviet Union and China

  • Tensions increase between China and Soviet Union over Marxism
  • Nixon manages to improve U.S. relations with China after visiting Beijing
  • Plays improved relations to his advantage to win over USSR
  • Begins era of "détente" (relaxed tension) between the nations
  • Anti Ballistics missile treaty limited countries to only two clusters of defensive missiles
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) froze the number of long range nuclear missiles of the nations to five years
  • Overall helped to settle down the Cold War

The End of Nixon

Watergate Scandel

  • June 17, 1972, five men arrested during Watergate break-in
  • Found with bugging equipment
  • Found to be working for CREEP (Republican Committee for Re-election of the President)
  • CREEP used unlawful means to sabotage Democrats in Election of 1972
  • Use of CIA and FBI by Nixon's aides to harass political enemies

Nixon's Impeachment

  • Tapes revealed to have recorded Nixon's conversations
  • Nixon refuses to hand over tapes to Congress, denying their existence
  • Supreme Court ruled that Nixon had to hand over the tapes, as not doing so was obstruction of justice
  • Nixon released the three most convicting tapes to the public

Resignation of Nixon

  • Nixon informed by Republican leaders in Congress that he should resign in order to serve his nation best
  • Nixon's Resignation allowed him to keep what little dignity he had left and let him retain presidential benefits