Richard M. Nixon
First Election of Nixon (1968)
-Determined to finish the Vietnam war
-Ran against Wallace (third party - American Independent). Gained the largest amount of votes for a third party.
-Also ran against Humphrey (Democrat)
-Mostly rural voters that were for Nixon
-Votes were closer than comfortable for Nixon. Wallace won 9,906,473 popular votes and 46 electoral votes. He officially won 5 states.
-Nixon won 301 electoral votes and 31,785,480 popular votes. This was 43.4% of the popular votes.
-Humphrey won a very close 42.7% of the popular votes at 31,275,166 and 191 electoral votes.
- Nixon introduces his plan, Vietnamization
- First order of business was to quite the public regarding Vietnam. To do so, he withdrew 54,000 US troops in South Vietnam over a long period of time and gave the South Vietnamese people money, weapons, training, and military advice to get them fighting for themselves
- This was the first step for Vietnamization
- Nixon Doctrine started, which said the US would honor their allegiances already proclaimed but in the future, they would not fight for Asian countries with their troops
- Nixon wanted to win the Vietnam war without spilling more American blood
- Even with all this, Americans were angry with the involvement in the war
- To go against this, Nixon launched a television appeal to those not adamantly against the war
- Vietnam ended being the third most costly foreign war in America's existence
- Nixon ends up extending the war by attacking Cambodia, without consulting even Congress first
- This enraged many students and antiwar rioters
- Nixon withdrew the troops June 29, 1970 after two months of being in Cambodia
- Congress appeased the youth by: passing the 26 amendment which changed the voting age to 18, lowered the drafting period from 8 years to 1 year, and reduced the draft calls.
- The War Powers Act was passed by Congress in November 1973.
- Stated that the president had to tell congress within 48 hours of deploying troops and had to gain Congress approval if they were to stay for more than 90 days.
Policy of Détente
Policy of Détente
- Nixon started an era of détente, or relaxed tension, with communist powers USSR and China.
- Pres. Nixon issued the great grain deal of 1972, where the US would sell the USSR $750 million of wheat, corn, and other cereals.
- Also issued the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty
- Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)
- Both of these slowed the use and creation of arms
- Despite, both the US and USSR secretly did their own work on constructing weaponry
- Détente did help solve some conflict regarding the Cold War, but not enough to keep much damage from being done
- Senator George McGovern ran for democrats
- However, his running mate, Thomas Eagleton, was found to have gone through psychiatric care and ruined McGovern's candidacy
- Nixon won the election by a landslide. 520 electoral votes to 17 for McGovern and 42,169,911 popular votes to 29,170,383
- The Watergate break-in occurred very soon after Nixon's reelection and harmed Nixon's reputation
- Men working for the Republican Committee for the Re-election of the President (CREEP) had been bugging the Democrat headquarters
- This was only part of the scandals representing Nixon
- By 1974, 29 people had been indicted or convicted of Watergate-related crimes
- With the Watergate scandal and Nixon denying it (although having no proof), further doubt was placed on Nixon's credibility when VP Agnew resigned October 1973 for taking bribes from Maryland contractors while governor and Vice President
- Nixon was then in fear of being impeached so Congress created the 25th amendment, which stated that Gerald Ford would replace Agnew.
- Archibald Cox was appointed "special prosecutor" by Nixon in May and ordered Nixon to court and presented tapes and other documents from the White house which caused Nixon to appear as a liar and a cheat
- Aug 5, 1974 Nixon took the final step towards his removal of office by presenting three subpoenaed tapes that gave proof that he was involved in Watergate.
- Nixon was facing near certain impeachment and instead resigned to conserve what little dignity he had left.