Richard Nixon

Yanghwa Hong

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Election of 1968

  • Richard Nixon (Republican) ran against Hubert Humphrey (Democrat) and George G. Wallace (American Independent Party)
  • Nixon: 31,785,480 popular votes
  • Humphrey: 31,275,166 popular votes
  • Wallace: 9,05,473 popular votes
  • Nixon: 301 electoral votes
  • Humphrey: 191 electoral votes
  • Wallace: 46 electoral votes

Landslide Election of 1972

  • Nixon ran against Senator George McGovern (Democrat) from South Dakota
  • McGovern's running mate was removed because he had received psychiatric care
  • Nixon: 520 electoral votes
  • McGovern: 17 electoral votes
  • Nixon: 47,169,911 popular votes
  • McGovern: 29,170,383 popular votes
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Nixon's policies

  • "Vietnamization" was Nixon's policy of withdrawing 540,000 troops over time
  • Referred to the increasing responsibility of the South Vietnamese in fighting their war
  • Nixon Doctrine: US will honor existing commitments, but future Asian wars will have to be fought by themselves without large ground support
  • Not end the war, but to win it without loss of life
  • The unpopularity of the war was fought against by Nixon and VP Agnew through television


  • On April 24, 1970, Nixon ordered American troops to enter Cambodia.
  • Largely caused by Nixon's need to quickly end the war
  • Violence erupted throughout America by students
  • American troops withdrew on June 29, 1970

Limiting Presidential Powers

  • Congress began to oppose the war-making powers of the president
  • In November 1973, the War Powers Act was passed
  • Passed over Nixon's veto
  • Obliged the President to report to Congress within 48 hours of committing troops to conflict

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Nixon's Détente

Soviet Union & China

  • The Soviet Union and China had a heightened sense of rivalry due to conflicting interpretations of Karl Marx
  • Henry Kissinger, the national security adviser, supported Nixons views on exploiting the China-Soviet tension in order to bring the Vietnam War to an end
  • Nixon visited China in February 1972 and then to Moscow in May 1972


  • Détente: An era of relaxed tension that was a result of Nixon's visits to both communist states
  • Resulted in a variety of agreements and trade
  • Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) limited each country to only 2 clusters of defensive missiles
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) Treaty which froze the number of long range nuclear missiles
  • Lowered tensions in the Cold War and allowed for an American exit from the Vietnam War.
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  • A burglary at the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex resulted in 5 men being arrested who worked for CREEP (Republican Committee for the Re-election of the President)
  • CREEP was found to have utilized espionage and sabotage during the campaign
  • Corruption in the Nixon administration was exposed
  • Senate committee conducted a televised series of hearings

Great Tape Controversy

  • Nixon had recorded his conversations with bugging equipment, and this could be used to test his innocence
  • Nixon refused to release the taped evidence
  • Vice-President Agnew forced to resign for kickbacks and bribe
  • Gerald Ford replaced Vice-President Agnew
  • Saturday Night Massacre: Nixon ordered the firing of Archibald Cox after he issued a subpoena for the rapes and documents, but the attorney general and deputy attorney general resigned


  • The Supreme Court ruled that executive privilege did not apply to withholding tapes from prosecutors
  • The House of Judiciary Committee adopted several articles such as the obstruction of the administration of justice, abuse of power, and showing contempt of Congress regarding Nixon.
  • On August 5, 1974, Nixon released three tapes, which convicted Nixon guilty


  • Congress informed Nixon that resigning would be in his best interest
  • Nixon's resignation on August 8, 1974
  • Impeachment was proven to be viable & proved that presidents were not above the law

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