Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and a Conservative Era by zly32307

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									Richard Nixon, Ronald
Reagan and a Conservative

                   History 203
                  May 23, 2007
No Office Hours Thursday, May
 24. I’ll hold extra office hours
 Tuesday, May 29 from 10-12.

Remember: Monday, May 28 is
Memorial Day holiday. No class.
• I’ve made some revisions to the syllabus following the class
  session we missed two weeks ago. The syllabus is at
• The Oil Crisis paper is now due on May 30 at class time.
• Instructions for the paper on The Oil Crisis of 1973-1974 are
  now online at
• A word of advice: You have a substantial reading assignment
  on immigration and the Mexican-US border in the last weeks
  of the term. If you can complete your oil crisis paper early,
  you’ll avoid an end-of-term workload crunch.
• For the assignment on Hard Line, the book about the US-
  Mexican border, see notes here. The book is required
  reading, except for chapters 2, 7 and pp.179-196 of chapter 9,
  which are optional but recommended. You will be tested on
  the book on the final exam.
    Some Sites on Nixon and Reagan Eras
• Nixon Library and Birthplace website
• A photographic record of Nixon and Watergate
• Watergate tapes on the web
• Nixon’s China Game —PBS Website
• Document collection on US-China Relations, 1960-1998
• Maps and Data on US Presidential Elections
• Watch Ronald Reagan’s entrance into conservative
  politics, ―The Speech‖ of 1964
• View Reagan’s 1984 campaign ad, ―It’s Morning Again in
• CNN Cold War History website
  Richard Nixon and the American
• Southern California childhood and youth
• Young lawyer and Navy veteran
• Aspiring Politician
  – Anti-Communist campaigns
  – ―Tricky Dick‖
• 1952: Eisenhower chooses Nixon as GOP
  Vice Presidential Candidate
  – Slush Fund, Pat Nixon’s ―Republican Cloth
    Coat‖ and ―Checkers‖ the dog. (Watch Nixon’s
    ―Checkers‖ speech.)
"...the kids, like all kids, love the dog,
 and...regardless of what they say about it,
 we're gonna keep it.―—Nixon TV address,
September 1952
   The End of the Old Nixon…
• Nixon as Vice President, 1953-1961:
  – When Nixon was running for President in 1960, a
    reporter asked President Eisenhower what specific
    Nixon proposals his administration had adopted. Ike
    replied: ―If you give me a week I might think of one. I
    don’t remember.‖
• 1960 Presidential Defeat
• 1962: Nixon loses California governor’s race and
  tells a press conference, ―You won’t have Nixon
  to kick around any more.‖ (Hear it here.)
…And the Birth of the ―New Nixon‖
• Rebuilding Party
• Fashioning a New
• 1968: ―The Selling of
  the President‖
 The Rise of a New Conservatism
• ―Social Issues‖ Conservatism
  –   George Wallace: Racism and anti-elitism
  –   ―Crime in the Streets‖
  –   Generational conflict and family values
  –   Feminism and anti-feminism
• ―Big Government‖ under attack
  – End of the Postwar Boom: From growth to
  – The return of ―free market‖ economics
  – Revolt against regulation
George Wallace
     • As Governor of Alabama,
       Wallace blocked entrance
       of African-American
       students to the University of
     • When he ran for President
       as a 3d-party candidate in
       1968, he appealed to racial
       fears and hatreds and won
       votes in the North
1968 Presidential Election
 Nixon and the ―Southern Strategy‖
• The Rise of ―Sunbelt‖
• Race and racial
• Shifting the Supreme
• Unleashing Spiro
1972 Presidential Election
   Nixon Plays the China Card
• 1949-1972: China—An Absent Presence
  in American international relations
• Mao and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
• Ping-Pong Diplomacy 1971
• Nixon In China, February 1972
  – End of Cultural Revolution
  – Death of Mao Zedong, Rise of Deng Xiaoping
  – Deng: ―It’s glorious to be rich.‖ China’s
    capitalist takeoff.
Setting the Stage for Nixon’s China
      What Was Watergate?
• A ―third rate burglary‖ at the Watergate
  Hotel, June 17, 1972
• Nixon’s ―Campaign for the RE-Election the
  President (CREEP)
  – Re-election triumph
• Uncovering Watergate: Judge Sirica,
  Senator Ervin, Special Prosecutor
  Archibald Cox, Woodward and Bernstein
  and ―Deep Throat‖
          The Plot Thickens…
•   ―Dirty Tricks‖
•   Presidential Tapes
•   Agnew Resignation
•   A ―Smoking Gun‖
Nixon Resigns, August 9, 1974
               • Watch his resignation
       Watergate: Did It Matter?
•   Impeachment and Constitutional Crisis
•   An ―Imperial Presidency‖?
•   Cynicism about Government
•   The Media: Triumph and Failure
•   Sept. 8, 1974: President Gerald Ford
    grants Nixon ―A full, free and absolute
    pardon‖ for ―all offenses against the United
    – A Footnote to History or Part of the Problem?
 Richard Nixon: Did He Matter?
• Nixon as domestic reformer?
  – Some examples: Affirmative Action,
    Environmental Protection Administration,
    Clean Air Act
• Nixon and the end of the post-war boom
  – Oil crisis and the beginning of ―stagflation‖
• Nixon and the end of the ―New Deal
• Nixon and the redefining of the Cold War
    Reagan: The Path to Power

• From Dixon, Illinois to Hollywood, California
   – Reagan in ―Bedtime for Bonzo‖ and ―King’s Row‖
   Reagan: The Path to Power
• From Union leader to
  ―The Speech‖—1964
  – Link to ―The Speech‖
• Governor of
  California, 1966-74
• Ronald Reagan and
  Sunbelt Politics
• 1980 Campaign
    Reagan Speech: Philadelphia,
            Miss. 1980
• Early in the 1980 campaign, Reagan went to a
  county fair in Mississippi, near where three civil
  rights workers had been murdered in 1964
  during Mississippi Summer.
• ―I believe in state's rights and I believe in people
  doing as much as they can for themselves at the
  community level and at the private level. I
  believe we have distorted the balance of our
  government today by giving powers that were
  never intended to be given in the Constitution to
  that federal establishment.‖
Reaganomics: Rejecting an Age
         of Limits
• Reaganomics
   – Supply Side
   – Deficits and
     Spending Cuts
• Military Buildup:
  Defense budget
  1981: $180 billion
• 1989: $334 billion
• Recession, then
• Growing inequality

                       A ―Laffer curve‖: On the right side of the dia-
                       gram, reducing tax rates will actually
                       increase the government’s tax revenue.
 ―It’s Morning Again in America‖
• A 1984 Reagan TV commercial sums up his approach:
• ―It's morning again in America. Today more men and
  women will go to Work than ever before in our country's
  history. With interest rates at about half the record highs
  of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes,
  more than at any time in the past four years. This
  afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married,
  and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four
  years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the
  future. It's morning again in America, and under the
  leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder
  and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to
  return to where we were less than four short years ago?‖
   – View the ad: ―It’s Morning Again in America‖ For an analysis and
     images from this ad, follow this link
 Reagan and the New Cold War
• Afghanistan
• Lebanon
• Central America and the
  Iran-Contra Scandals
• Reagan and the ―Evil
   – From Brezhnev to
   – ―Star Wars‖
   – Spending the Soviets
     to Death?
   – Reagan’s Berlin
     speech, 1987—‖Mr.      Top: Leonid Brezhnev
     Gorbachev, tear down   Below: Mikhail Gorbachev
Fall of the Berlin Wall: 1989

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