Lecture 07.docx - Lecture 07 Nixon and Watergate Part I The...

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Lecture 07 Nixon and Watergate Part I. The Richard Nixon Presidency By 1969, China had publicly split with Soviet Union Historians now call this political development the “Sino-Soviet Split” Partially prompted by the death of Joseph Stalin Mao in China wanted to be the next global leader of Communism However, Brezhnev in USSR refused to relinquish control The situation only worsened when Khrushchev came to power Brezhnev’s successor in the USSR Nixon’s Foreign Relations Policies: The Sino-Soviet Split: the red states represent Communist governments aligned with the USSR, yellow states represents Communist governments aligned with China while the black states (North Korea & Yugoslavia) represent the Communist governments not aligned with either. Nixon’s Foreign Relations Policies Nixon decided to exploit the breakdown of solidarity in Communism In 1971, the US table tennis team visited China • Nixon used this event to improve relations with China – This proved a resounding success for both countries 9 » Brought about a US – Chinese détente (thawing) 9 » Historian now call this Nixon’s “Ping Pong Diplomacy” 9
Nixon’s Foreign Relations Policies • The following year, in February 1972, Nixon stunned the world – In an unprecedented move, he announced he would personally visit china • He said he wanted to “reopen China to the West” – Once there, he held direct talks with Chinese leader Mao Nixon’s Foreign Relations Policies - China wanted to build up their credentials - Wanted to get US out of Asia - Restrict USSR through pressuring them - Hoped to reduce tension surrounding arms race - Mao-Nixon meeting - After three months USSR and US signed three arms control pacts - Led to Nixon re-election Nixon’s Foreign Relations Policies Nixon calculated his visit would cause USSR to fear a Sino-American alliance He was correct: the USSR quickly re-opened diplomatic relations with US • Did so to keep the US from getting too friendly with China The renewed negotiations produced real results: In 1972 the two sides concluded their Strategic Arms Limitation Talks • Both signed the “SALT I Treaty” – largest arms control treaty in history – Agreed to remove 80% weapons then in existence The Resignation of VP Agnew : In 1973, the FBI launched an investigation into the personal finances of Vice- President Spiro Agnew (left). The FBI eventually uncovered evidence Agnew had accepted bribes while governor of Maryland.
Faced with possible jail time, Agnew agreed to plea bargain: On October 10, 1973, Spiro Agnew became only second VP in US history to resign. In return, he pled no contest only to tax evasion (of $29,500). Agnew paid a $10,000 fine and served three years' probation. One observer called it the greatest deal since the Lord spared Isaac on the mountaintop.” The Resignation of VP Agnew : Agnew’s resignation prompted the first of two uses of the 25th amendment. To fill the vacancy, Nixon appointed Gerald Ford (left), the House Minority Leader, to replace Agnew as the new Vice-President.

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