Richard Nixon

Maggie Hohfeler


Election of 1968

  • Eugene McArthy and Robert Kennedy ran for the Democratic nomination
  • Hubert H. Humphrey won the Democratic nomination
  • Republican candidate- Richard Nixon; VP- Spiro Agnew
  • Progressive- George Wallace; pro-segregation and pro-war
  • When the Democrats met to discuss the nomination, a violent protest broke out about antiwar. They clashed with the police.
  • On the night of the California primary, June 5, 1968, an Arab immigrant killed Kennedy because he was mad at his support of Israel
  • Nixon won the election of 1968

Election of 1972

  • Democratic nomination- George McGovern
  • Republican nomination- Richard Nixon
  • Nixon won- partially because 12 days before, Kissinger announced that peace was at hand in Vietnam


  • Nixon's view towards the war- not an end to the war but winning it by other means, without more American blood
  • "Vietnamization"- Nixon's policy of removing 540,000 US troops in South Vietnam. With US money, weapons, training, and advice, then the South Vietnamese could gradually take over the war effort.
  • Nixon Doctrine- With much discontent over the war, Nixon issued this doctrine saying that the US would honor current defense commitments, but in the future others would have to fight without large support and troops from the US
  • North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had been using Cambodia as a place to move troops, weapons and supplies
  • April 29, 1970- President Nixon orded American forces to join with the South Vietnamese and clean out the neutral Cambodia (widening the war)
  • Protests turned violent and Nixon withdrew troops June 29, 1970
  • Bitterness between pro-peace and pro-war increased
  • Senate repealed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, restraining Nixon
  • Also restrained Nixon through the War Powers Act, which said that any president has the power to go to war under certain circumstances, but has only 90 days to bring the matter before Congress


  • Soviet Union and China were bitter rivals
  • Nixon wanted to play off one of them to enlist the aid of both of them in pressuring the North Vietnamese into peace
  • Dr. Henry Kissinger- began meeting secretly with North Vietnamese officials in Paris to negotiate a end to the war
  • 1972- Nixon made a visit to China, and paved the way for good relations between China and the US; also visited Moscow who was ready to deal
  • These visits ushered in an era of detente- relaxed peace between the Soviet Union and US, and between Soviets and Chinese
  • Antiballistic Missile treaty- limited the US and the Soviet Union to two clusters of missiles
  • SALT- Strategic Arms Limitation Talks: limited the numbers of antiballistic missiles and weaponry for US and Soviet Union because it was getting too competitive

Watergate, Impeachment, Resignation

Watergate Scandal

  • 5 members of CREEP (Committee for the Reelection of the President) were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee's executive quarters at the Watergate Hotel
  • Nixon said he had no advance knowledge of the break in
  • During the trial, had tape recordings of his office proving otherwise and hid them
  • Eventually gave them upend was impeached on 3 terms: taking part in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice, repeatedly failing to carry out his constitutional oath, and unconstitutional defiance of committee subpoenas
  • Resigned on August 9, 1974