The Nixon Presidency
Born in California in 1913
Attended Whittier College
and Duke University Law
During World War II, Nixon
served as a Navy lieutenant
commander in the Pacific.
On leaving the service, he
was elected to Congress
from his California district.
In 1950, he won a Senate
Vice Presidency and
Election of 1960
Vice President under
Nominate by the
republican party to run
against Kennedy in 1960
because of his success
– Lost by a narrow margin
– Everyone assumed that was
the end of his career
Election of 1968
Nixon was nominated, again in 1968
– the end of the draft
– new anticrime laws
– broad environmental program
Creation in 1970 of the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA)
Clean Air Act of 1970
Clean Water Act of 1972
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of
Superfund, a 1980 law aimed at cleaning toxic
– anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty, which
limited each nation to two clusters of
– SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks)
– As he had promised, he appointed Justices of
conservative philosophy to the Supreme Court
Election of 1972
-Nixon won by one of the biggest landslides ever
Domestic Policy In domestic affairs,
inflation was President
Nixon's most persistent
Initially, he tried to cut
federal expenditures; but
the annual budget deficits
of his administration
grew to become the
largest in history up to
In 1971 and 1973 the
the dollar in an attempt to
achieve a balance of trade.
Despite his well-known aversion to government controls, Nixon
initiated (Aug. 15, 1971) his New Economic Policy, which included
unprecedented peacetime controls on wages and prices.
Some of his most acclaimed achievements came in
his quest for world stability.
– During visits in 1972 to Beijing and Moscow, he reduced
tensions with China and the U.S.S.R.
– His summit meetings with Russian leader Leonid I. Brezhnev
produced a treaty to limit strategic nuclear weapons.
– In January 1973, he announced an accord with North
Vietnam to end American involvement in Indochina.
– In 1974, his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, negotiated
disengagement agreements between Israel and its
opponents, Egypt and Syria.
As an agreement was at hand already in the last months of the
Johnson administration, Nixon and Kissinger both believed in
ending the war in six months or at least one year from taking
Nixon followed a two track approach: North and South Vietnam
had to decide on the political future of Vietnam, the U.S. would
talk about military options with the South.
– So first the U.S. talked about an agreement on military issues.
– In an eight point plan from May 1969, Nixon proposed an
American withdrawal six month after the North Vietnamese
forces pulled out of the South.
– It also implied free elections for the South.
– But this plan, as many others, was rejected by the North.
Issued Nixon Doctrine in 1971, allowing him to pull out of
Within a few months, his administration was embattled over the so-
called "Watergate" scandal
– Stemming from a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National
Committee during the 1972 campaign.
– The break-in was traced to officials of the Committee to Re-elect the
– A number of administration officials resigned; some were later convicted of
offenses connected with efforts to cover up the affair.
– Nixon denied any personal involvement, but the courts forced him to yield
tape recordings which indicated that he had, in fact, tried to divert the
– Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign (due to unrelated scandals
in Maryland, and was replaced by Gerald Ford
Faced with what seemed almost certain impeachment, Nixon
announced on August 8, 1974, that he would resign