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Unformatted text preview: Hist 17C Lecture 05.11.2011 Nixon & Watergate • Themes: o The Watergate scandal arriving on the heels of the Vietnam debacle played a major role in convincing ordinary Americans that the national gov’t was corrupt, dishonest, and self serving o Watergate would serve as the gold standard for subsequent cases of political scandal and skullduggery • 1960 Election o Kennedy vs. Nixon o Nixon’s “Last Press Conference” November 1962 Following defeat in CA gubernatorial election • Bitter to media Found it impossible to stay out of politics Gave thousands of speeches • Built up contacts that owed him favors 1964-1968 • Continued his public speaking • Won the next election Nixon • Only president to resign from office due to Watergate • Why Watergate? o A specific political cause: Nixon’s desire to strike back at critics o Psychological cause: his character – political foes • Nixon was determined to direct US foreign policy from the White House o Charged National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger with maintain control over foreign policy bureaucracy o Secretary of State William Rogers was pushed to the sidelines o Nixon’s white house aides: John Ehrlichman & H.R. Haldeman • Vietnam War o Bombing of all N.VN o Nixon realized American involvement in VN would need to diminish o “Vietnamization” 1969-1973 • Nixon progressively withdrew US troops from S.VN and turned over more combat functions to S.VN army • But Nixon combined this with stepped up aerial bombing in South and North VN • Widened geographical scope of the war • 1969- Nixon administration began secretly bombing Cambodia o Over 300K bombing raids over Cambodia • April 1970 o Nixon administration openly invaded Cambodia , sparking massive domestic protests o Utter failure •...
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This note was uploaded on 11/03/2011 for the course HIST 17 taught by Professor Hasegawa during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.
- Spring '08