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The Nixon Administration
Transcript of The Nixon Administration
Despite the media attention to the protest movement on American campuses and youth counterculture, a large segment of Americans generally supported the government and longed for an end to the violence and turmoil that seemed to plague the nation in the 1960s.
Nixon purposefully appealed to many of these frustrated citizens.~
The Nixon Administration
The Election of 1968
Nixon promised Americans “peace with honor” in Vietnam, law & order, a streamlined government, and a return to more traditional values at home.
Nixon received 43.4% of the popular vote to Humphrey's 42.7% and 301 electoral votes to Humphrey's 191. (George Wallace received 13.5%)
The Southern Strategy
Nixon's victory ended the Democratic lock on the South. Southern whites reviled Johnson's and the Democrats' support of civil rights.
Nixon secured the support of Southern politicians by promising to appoint only conservatives to the federal courts, to name a southerner to the Supreme Court, to oppose court-ordered busing, and to choose a vice presidential candidate acceptable to the South.
A Law-and-Order President
~Having promised to restore law and order, Nixon's administration specifically targeted the nations anti-war protesters, radicals, draft-evaders & street crime.
~Nixon also went on the attack against the recent Supreme Court rulings that expanded the rights of defendants.
Upon Chief Justice Warren's retirement shortly after Nixon took office, the president replaced him with Warren Burger, an outspoken conservative judge.
The Nixon appointees abhorred judicial activism & favored a strict constructionist view of the Constitution.
However, the same Court sided against him in Roe v. Wade and, most devastatingly for President Nixon, United States v. Nixon
1. T or F Richard Nixon was a Democrat.
2. T or F Nixon openly criticized the supreme court and its chief justice.
3. To refuse to release. A. Summit
4. Relaxation of tensions. B. Impounded
5. High-level diplomatic meeting. C. Detente
6. What was the event where Nixon set out to attract even more Southerners to the Republican Party?
7. Who were Nixon's opponents in the 1968 presidential election?
The New Federalism
Nixon's Republican constituency also favored dismantling a number of federal programs and giving more control to state and local governments.
~Nixon called this New Federalism & would provide the government agencies that were closest to the citizens the opportunity to address more of their issues.
~Congress passed a series of revenue-sharing bills that granted federal funds to state and local agencies to use.
~Although revenue sharing was intended to give state and local agencies more power, over time it gave the federal government new power.
The Family Assistance Plan
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) criticized as structured so that it was better for poor people to apply for benefits than to take a low-paying job.
RN proposes to replace AFDC with
the Family Assistance Plan. The plan called for providing needy families a guaranteed yearly grant of $1,600 which could be supplemented by outside earnings.
Both parties in the Senate reject the idea. Why?
The Imperial Presidency
Nixon and Kissinger
Relaxation of Cold War Tension
Nixon Visits China
U.S.-Soviet Tensions Ease
Nixon did not work well with members of Congress and the Democrats controlled both houses.RN often bypassed congressional authority and expanded the powers of the executive. He increased the authority of new cabinet positions without congressional approval; and during the Vietnam War, he ordered harbors mined and bombing raids launched without consulting Congress.
When Congress appropriated money for programs he opposed, Nixon impounded, or refused to release,the funds. The Supreme Court eventually declared the practice of impoundment unconstitutional.
RN appoints Harvard professor Henry Kissinger as National Security Advisor
Though Secretary of State William Rogers technically out ranked him, Kissinger soon took the lead in help shape Nixon's foreign policy.
Best solution to Vietnam was through a gradual withdrawal. Engagement & negotiation with Communist powers offered a better way for the United States to achieve its international goals.
With Kissinger's help, Nixon fashioned an approach called detente, or relaxation of tensions, between the United States and its two major Communist rivals, the Soviet Union and China.
RN & HK believed the United States needed to adjust to the growing role
that China, Japan, and Western Europe would soon play. This “multipolar” world of the future demanded a different approach to American foreign policy.
Explanation of Detente
"We must understand that detente is not a love fest. It is an understanding between nations that have opposite purposes , but which share common interests, including the avoidance of a nuclear war. Such an understanding can work- that is, restrain aggression and deter war- only as long as the potential aggressor is made to recognize that neither aggression nor war will be profitable."
-quoted in The Limits of Power
~Detente began with an effort to improve American-Chinese relations.
~Having long supported the policy of non-recognition of PRC, Nixon intended to reverse it.
Lifted trade & travel restrictions, withdrew the Seventh Fleet from defending Taiwan.
~In February 1972, Nixon took a historic trip to China.
~Nixon took the trip because he hoped not only to strengthen ties with the Chinese, but also to encourage the Soviets to more actively pursue diplomacy.
Nixon believed detente with China would encourage Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev to be more accommodating with the United States.
~Shortly after the public learned of U.S. negotiations with China, the Soviets proposed an American-Soviet summit in May 1972.
In Moscow two superpowers signed the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, or SALT, a plan to limit nuclear arms the two nations had been working on for years.
~One Soviet official admitted, "the United States and the Soviet Union had their best relationship of the whole Cold War period."
*1. Impounded- to refuse to release.*
*2. Detente- relaxation of tensions.*
*3. Summit- high-level diplomatic meeting.*
8. What federal program did Nixon want to reform that had to deal with the nation's welfare system?
9. Trying to reverse the Communist policy, Nixon began by lifting trade and travel restrictions and withdrawing the _______ _____ from defending Taiwan.
10. What eased tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States?
RN: “I consider my four appointments to the Supreme Court to have been among the most constructive and far reaching actions of my presidency.”
.. In the late twentieth century Presidents made sweeping claims of inherent power, neglected the collection of consent, withheld information. . . and went to war against sovereign states. In so doing, they departed from the principles, if less the practice, of the early republic.