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Decade of Disillusionment: 1972–1980



act of an authority (such as a government) granting pardon to a large group of people

Bob Woodward

journalist for The Washington Post who broke the story of the Watergate scandal in 1972

California Proposition 13

proposition that cut property taxes significantly and capped future increases at no more than 2 percent per year, among other things

Camp David Accords

series of meetings in the United States organized by President Carter in 1978 that ended with the signing of a treaty between Israel and Egypt

Carl Bernstein

journalist for The Washington Post who broke the story of the Watergate scandal in 1972

Clean Air Act of 1970

legislation that sought to prevent air pollution caused primarily by automobiles and manufacturing

Clean Water Act of 1972

legislation that regulated the discharge of wastewater by manufacturers and municipalities

draft dodging

practice of avoiding the draft in times of war


political and social movement that seeks to protect and preserve the environment through political and individual action

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

proposed amendment to the Constitution that would have outlawed gender-based discrimination. The ERA was passed by Congress but never ratified.

executive privilege

privilege of the president and other executive branch officials to refuse to disclose executive branch communications to the legislative or judicial branch if doing so would threaten national security or the workings of the executive branch

Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)

legislation passed in 1971 to regulate the raising and spending of money in federal elections in the United States

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

organization established in 1974 to oversee elections and enforce election and campaign finance laws

George McGovern

Democratic nominee in the 1972 presidential election

Gerald Ford

38th president of the United States, sworn in after Nixon resigned

Iran Hostage Crisis

situation in which American embassy workers were taken hostage in the country of Iran

Malaise Speech

speech given by President Carter on July 15, 1979, advocating a limit on oil imports into the United States and the development of alternative sources of fuel

New Right

social and political movement that began in the 1960s and continued for two decades in response to a social and political move to the left

Political Action Committees (PACs)

organizations that raise and distribute campaign funds for political candidates

Richard Nixon

Republican nominee in the 1972 presidential election

Roe v. Wade

1973 ruling by the Supreme Court that a woman's right to privacy extended to the decision to terminate a pregnancy

Rust Belt

areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and Great Lakes region that suffered a marked decline in manufacturing in the late 1970s

Spiro Agnew

Richard Nixon's vice president from 1969 to 1973


economic state during which inflation and recession occur simultaneously


government fund to pay for the cleanup and abatement of improperly disposed of hazardous waste

Three Mile Island

site of a nuclear power accident in Pennsylvania in 1979

Watergate scandal

conspiracy to cover up a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in 1972