Richard Nixon

Nicole Messer

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1st Election

  • Republican
  • 1969-1973
  • VP - Spiro Agnew
  • Against Hubert Humphrey. Won 301 electoral votes to 191
  • Won popular vote but was really close. 31,710,470 to 30,898,055
  • American independent candidate was also in the running but only received 46 electoral votes

2nd Election

  • Republican
  • 1973-1974
  • VP - Gerald Ford
  • Resigned from office after watergate scandal
  • First president to resign because of possible impeachment
  • Won 520 electoral votes against McGovern (17)
  • Won 46,720,323 popular votes to 28,950,921
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Vietnam War

  • Nixon promised the public that he would reduce the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam and end the war without spilling more American blood during his first term
  • Tried to push his plan of Vietnamization.
  • However, American troops in Vietnam still remained in high numbers, but there was an honorable end to the war
  • The last of the U.S. troops left Nixon's last year, but some military advisors and marines stayed behind
  • The idea of Vietnamization spurred the Nixon Doctrine
  • Third most expensive war in American history with 40,000 killed and over 250,000 wounded
  • In response to protests, Nixon launched counteroffensives. VP Spiro Agnew attacked "wrongly informed newspapers" and protestors that were mobs of negativism
  • Nixon's administration ended up expanding the war into the neighboring countries Laos and Cambodia

Détente

  • Originated from Nixon's visits to Moscow and China
  • Great Grain Deal of 1972 - 3 year arrangement where the U.S. sold the Soviets at least $750 million worth of corn, wheat, and other cereals
  • Measures were taken in order to stem the competition in nuclear arms.
  • ABM Treaty - each nation was limited to 2 clusters of defensive missiles
  • SALT - (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) stopped the number of long range nuclear missiles for 5 years
  • Both were overdue steps in the arms race
  • Nixon's détente had a part in the ending of the Cold War
  • He joined the two greatest communist powers in the world and set up America's exit from the Vietnam War
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Watergate/Impeachment/Resignation

  • Two months after Nixon's renomination, a burglary occurred in the Democratic headquarters and 5 men were arrested for bugging the inside of the building. They were working for the Republican Committee for the Reelection of the President or CREEP.
  • This committee had been associated with many secret and unethical things involving securing money and was known for using dirty tricks
  • The watergate scandal made Grant and Harding's scandals look more respectable
  • Many white house members were forced to resign because of their involvement in criminal obstruction of justice by trying to cover things up
  • 29 people had been indicted, pleaded guilty, or had been convicted of watergate-related crimes by 1974
  • Because Dr. Daniel Ellsberg had leaked information to the press (Pentagon Papers), Nixon's aids authorized burglary of the Dr.'s psychiatrist. This was the most notorious exploit of the white house's "plumbers unit", which was created to plug up the leaks of confidential information
  • Nixon refused to hand over sections of the watergate tapes, which gave the House of Judiciary Committee enough to vindicate him. The committee ruled that it was illegal for him to withhold tapes relevant to criminal activity
  • The backlash was overwhelming whenever he tried to tell the public that he knew nothing about the Watergate issue
  • He decided to resign with honor before being impeached by the Senate and announced his resignation on August 8, 1974