President Richard Nixon

The Election of 1968

  • Richard Nixon is the Republican nominee
  • Hurbert Humphrey is the Democratic nominee
  • Nixon's campaign: he promised to bring back law and order to the nation which was destroyed by fights and riots
  • strongest third party effort: George Wallace who pushed for segregation in the schools
  • this was appealing for the South
  • Nixon always was the frontrunner as he had better organization than the rest
  • Nixon had a 'southern strategy' = appeal to the conservative south
  • Nixon gained 31,783,783 popular votes and 301 electoral votes
  • Huber Humprey had 31,271,839 popular votes and 191 electoral votes
  • it was very close election
  • President Nixon came out as the winner: inaugurate on January 20, 1969

The Election of 1972

  • the Republican candidate is President Nixon
  • the Democratic candidate was Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign
  • Nixon strengthened the economy and well had many successful foreign accounters through his term
  • for example, he came near to ending the Vietnam war and then he established good relations with China
  • McGovern;s platform = immediately ending the Vietnam War and raising the minimum income
  • people believed that his foreign policy was too extreme = viewed as a radical
  • Nixon ; 47,168,710 popular votes and 520 electoral votes
  • McGovern: 29,173,222 popular votes, and 17 electoral votes
  • Nixon won by a landslide

Conflict in Vietnam


  • withdraw 540,000 U.S. troops from South Vietnam for a long period of time
  • the plan was that that the South VIetnamese, now equipped with the necessary weapons, money, and training, could battle it out
  • Nixon Doctrine: claimed that United States U.S. would honor its defense alliances but in the future the Asians would have to be able to sustain their own war without huge aid from the Americans
  • Nixon wanted the war to end but without losing many American soldiers
  • still many anti-war protesters existed
  • in response, Nixon gave a speech on November 3, 1969
  • third mostly cost foreign war


  • North Vietnamese were using Cambodia as a holding for troops, weapons, and supplies
  • on April 29, 1970: Nixon order troops to clean Cambodia of these bases along with the South Vietnamese troops
  • riots went through America due to this invasion
  • finally withdrew forces on June 29, 1970
  • bitterness between the hawks and doves in America
  • mass rallies and marches in the spring of 1971
  • July 1973: the people of America learnt that the U.S. Air Force conducted many bombing raids on the North Vietnam position in Cambodia

War Powers Act:

  • result of opposition of the expansion of presidential war-making powers bt Johnson and Nixon
  • November 1973
  • required president to report to Congress within 48 hours of sending troops to aid a foreign conflict or increasing the units already stationed at foreign sites
  • ending troops in Cambodia = became "New Isolationism"


  • Dr Henry A. Kissinger, former Harvard Professor, was meeting in secret with North VIetnam in order to end the war
  • he was also paving the way to Beijing and Moscow for the president = road out of the war
  • February 1971: Nixon goes to China
  • May 1972: Nixon then goes to Russia
  • detente = era of relaxed tension with the two communist powers :China and Soviet Union
  • many agreements
  • for example: The Great Grain Deal of 1972: U.S. would sell $750 million worth in wheat, corn, and cereals
  • calm down the nuclear race
  • for example the anti-ballistic missile treaty, SALT = freeze the numbers of nuclear missiles in 5 years
  • Nixon set the stage for U.S. to leave the War

The Decline of Nixon


  • June 17, 1972: there was a burglary in the Democratic headquarters
  • the five arrested men were working for CREEP = Republican Committee for the Reelection of the president
  • height of corruption
  • provoked an illegal usage of the FBI and CIA
  • Nixon commissioned a burglary of secret files in order to get rid of secret documents
  • news came out that Nixon was recording conversations
  • Nixon was aided to try and cover up his mistakes
  • = ruled that he had committed a crime of obstructing justice


  • Spring of 1974: Nixon agreed to post some of his tapes
  • July 24,1974: The SUpreme court claims that he has no right to withhold any tapes
  • House of Judiciary Committee = went ahead in the impeachment process
  • July 1974: the first article is adopted = obstruction of the administration of justice
  • August 5, 1974: made three tapes public ; showcased how he was a big part in the scandal while he had previously told everyone that he did not know about the scandal
  • nation makes it obvious that the best thing for America is for Nixon to resign
  • if he resigned = could also keep his retirement money

Exit from Office:

  • August 8, 1974: announced his resignation from office on national television
  • showcased good self-discipline and self-government
  • first to resign from presidency