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From Nixon To Reagan Essay

1499 words - 6 pages

Every President has faced and inherited different historical situations which all have varying constraints and opportunities. Therefore, ranking and rating Presidents are not very practical and do not necessarily tell us about their personal qualities with administrative achievements. All we really want to know which President did the best job in office and how they stack up against each other taking the historical situations into a great deal of consideration.The era from President Nixon to President Reagan could very well be the most significant era that shaped the United States existence; politically and economically, for many years to come.President Nixon took office after eight years of ...view middle of the document...

He lashed out at demonstrators, attacked the press for distorted coverage and sought to silence his opponents.That strategy backfired in the Watergate affair. Facing Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress during his first term, Nixon wanted to win an overwhelming re-election victory in 1972 that would bring Republican congressional majorities and end the legislative stalemate. The Committee to re-elect the President launched a massive fund-raising campaign to collect money before contributions had to be reported under a new law.Early in 1972, Nixon's team proposed to tap the telephones of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C. The attempt failed. When the burglars, carrying money and documents that could ultimately be traced to The White House, were arrested, the administration decided to cover up its involvement. Six days after the discovery of the break-in, Nixon told the Central Intelligence Agency to order the Federal Bureau of Investigation to cease its investigation on the grounds that national security was at stake. In fact, the break-in was just one aspect of a campaign to locate and destroy people whom the administration considered its "enemies." These activities involved illegal wiretapping, break-ins and fundraising. Although Nixon was overwhelmingly re-elected that year the press continued to investigate. As the scandal unfolded, the Democratic majority in the Congress instituted impeachment proceedings against Nixon. As the evidence of his involvement began to mount, he resigned on August 9, 1974. President Nixon began his presidency with the Vietnam War in high gear, and American becoming ever more disillusioned with the conflict. During the campaign Nixon had announced a "secret plan" to end the War. While the war dragged on, President Nixon and Dr. Henry Kissinger, Nixon's chief foreign policy advisor and later Secretary of State, sought to open new diplomatic avenues with Communist China and the Soviet Union. The policy they adopted became known as "détente," a gradual lessening of tensions. In 1972 Nixon and Kissinger made a historic trip to China and later the same year to Moscow. A strategic Arms Limitation Treaty was also signed in Moscow. Better relations between the U.S. and China and the Soviets may also have facilitated the end to America's participation in the Vietnam War. Just after 1972 presidential election Kissinger signed a peace agreement with Le Duc Tho, the North Vietnamese negotiator. As Watergate and scandals recedes in popular memory, President Nixon foreign policy achievements have been considered notable.Gerald Ford had spent most of his public life in Congress, became Nixon's vice president following the resignation of the previous vice president, Spiro T. Agnew, after it was revealed that he had accepted bribes both before and during his term as Vice President. Twenty months later, upon Nixon's resignation, Ford became President. His first...

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