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Chapter 32 An Age of Limits. Section 1 The Nixon Administration. In November, 1969, Richard M. Nixon was elected president. Nixon wanted to turn America in a more conservative direction.

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Chapter 32

An Age of Limits


Section 1

The Nixon Administration


Nixon wanted to limit the power of the federal government and reverse some of Johnson’s liberal policies of the Great Society programs.


Nixon’s program to downsize the federal government by distributing a portion of federal power to state and local governments was known as New Federalism.

state local fiscal assistance act
State & Local Fiscal Assistance Act
  • In past, federal government told state and local how to spend their federal money.
  • Under revenue sharing - state and local governments could spend it as they saw fit.
  • In 1972, the revenue-sharing bill, known as the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act, became law.

Nixon introduced a plan known as the Family Assistance Plan (FAP), that would make welfare recipients responsible for their own lives by giving a family of four with no income a federal check of $1,600 a year with the ability to earn an additional $4,000 in supplement income.


Nixon’s New Federalism wore two faces.

  • increased Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments
  • made food stamps more accessible.
  • This won the support of the Democrat-controlled Congress.

At the same time, Nixon tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the Job Corps and funding for HUD, (Housing and Urban Development).


Nixon impounded, or withheld necessary operating funds for programs involving health, housing, and education.


The federal courts ordered the release of the $15 billion in impounded funded ruling the use of impoundment as unconstitutional since Congress had the authority to decide how federal funds could be spent.


One of the reasons Nixon was elected to office was his promise to end the war in Vietnam and help mend the divisions the war had caused in America.


Nixon also began the “law and order” policies he promised his “silent majority”, those middle-class Americans who wanted order restored to America that had been caused by urban riots and antiwar demonstrations.


To accomplish this, Nixon had the FBI to illegally wiretap left-wing individuals in the Democratic Party offices that led to the Watergate incident.


The CIA compiled files on American dissidents, those objecting to the government’s policies.


Nixon even built a personal “enemies list” of prominent Americans that the administration harassed.


Vice-president, Spiro T. Agnew confronted the antiwar protesters and lashed out at the media.


Agnew called the media and liberals “an effete [weak] corps of impudent snobs” and “nattering nabobs of negativism.”.


Knowing he had won the 1968 election by a slim majority, Nixon looking to the 1972 presidential election tried to build conservative support in the South.


Known as the Southern strategy, Nixon appealed to the southern conservative Democrats by promising to name a Southerner to the Supreme Court to help overturn some of the desegregation and liberal court decisions.


Many Southern Democrats felt their party had grown too liberal during the Great Society and civil rights movement.


To attract white voters in the South, President Nixon decided to slow the country’s desegregation by saying integration was a middle road course between instant integration and segregation forever.


In direct violation of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Nixon tried to reverse several civil rights policies by ordering the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) to delay desegregation of schools in South Carolina and Mississippi.


The Supreme Court ordered Nixon to abide by the Brown II ruling that called for the desegregation of schools “with all deliberate speed.”


To prevent further advances of the civil rights movement, Nixon opposed the extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that added nearly one million African Americans to the voting rolls. Despite Nixon’s opposition, Congress extended the act.


In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education that school districts could bus students to other schools to end segregation.


To halt desegregation of schools, Nixon urged Congress on national television to stop this practice.


During Nixon’s first term, four justices including the liberal Chief Justice Earl Warren retired.


In 1969, the Senate approved Nixon’s appointment of conservative Warren Burger as chief justice and three other conservative Supreme Court judges.


Between 1967 and 1973, the United States faced high inflation and high unemployment, a situation in the economy known as stagflation.


One of the causes of stagflation, high inflation, was due to Johnson’s funding of Great Society programs and the Vietnam war through deficit spending.


Another cause of stagflation was increased competition in international trade, and a flood of new workers including women and baby boomers.


Many of the Middle Eastern countries belonged to a cartel called OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).


Still yet another cause of stagflation was America’s dependency on foreign oil from the Middle East. 64% of world’s oil reserve.


On October 6, 1973, Syria and Egypt invaded Israel on the sacred Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur because of border disputes.


The fighting lasted three weeks and 7,700 Egyptians; 7,700 Syrians; and 4,500 Israelis were killed or wounded.


The United States sent aid to its ally, Israel, and OPEC nations cut off oil sales to the U.S.


To combat stagflation, Nixon attempted to raise taxes and cut the budget to reverse deficit spending. Congress didn’t approve this plan.


Nixon also tried to reduce the amount of money in circulation by urging the raising of interest rates. This drove the country into a mild recession and the economy slowed down.


In 1971, Nixon tried to stop inflation by controlling prices and wages. He froze workers’ wages and businesses’ prices and fees for 90 days. Inflation eased for a short time, but the recession continued.

january 23 2012
January 23, 2012
  • What kind of foreign policies did Nixon have?
    • Review of Friday (hand in essays)
    • Finish Nixon’s Foreign Policy
    • Start discussing Watergate
    • Tomorrow we finish Watergate and Present “Modern History”
  • Homework: quiz and notes on Watergate (section 2)

Kissenger, later to become Nixon’s secretary of state, promoted realpolitik. In realpolitik, foreign policy should be based on power and not on ideals or moral principles.


Realpolitik was the opposite of containment that refused to recognize the major Communist countries.


Realpolitik called for the confronting of the powerful nations of the world through negotiation and military engagement.


Believing in realpolitik, Nixon and Kissenger adopted a more flexible approach in dealing with Communist countries known as détente, a policy aimed at reducing Cold War tensions.


In 1971, Nixon announced that he would recognize and visit China “to seek the normalization of relations between the two countries.”


China and the Soviet Union had broken ties in 1960, because China felt the Soviets were too “soft” on the Western Hemisphere. By visiting China, Nixon hoped the Chinese would join them in negotiations with the Russians.


Nixon arrived at the Beijing Airport in February, 1972 and greeted the Chinese premier Zhou En-lai.


Nixon’s visit with the Chinese leader Mao Zedong was a huge success with the American public.


China and the U.S. agreed that neither would try to dominate the Pacific and that both would cooperate in settling disputes peacefully.


The two superpowers also agreed to participate in scientific and cultural exchanges and to eventually reunite Taiwan with the mainland.


Richard Nixon received two giant pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, from the Peoples Republic of China. The pandas were given as a token of friendship in response to President Nixon\'s goodwill trip to China and resided at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.


After a series of Strategic Arms Limitation (SALT) talks between Nixon and Russian leader, Brezhnev, the SALT I Treaty was signed.


The SALT I Treaty was a five-year agreement that would limit the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched missiles.


The accomplishments of the visits to China and Russia and Nixon’s announcement that peace “is at hand” in Vietnam helped reelect Nixon as president in 1972.


Peace in Vietnam was elusive and the war continued for six more months before troop withdrawal and American involvement ended.


Secretary of State William P. Rogers signs the Peace Agreement ending the Vietnam War.


During 1969 and the divisions caused by the Vietnam War, discrimination, and the Cold War, American landed a man on the moon that brought Americans together in this time of internal conflict.


During 1969 and the divisions caused by the Vietnam War, discrimination, and the Cold War, American landed a man on the moon that brought Americans together in this time of internal conflict.

  • What is the Watergate Scandal? Who were involved? What exactly happened? How did they get caught and what happened to them?