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The Nixon Administration Modern American History
The Election of 1968 Richard M. Nixon [R] Hubert Humphrey [D]
The Election of 1968 Nixon [R] Humphrey [D] Wallace [AI] VP for Eisenhower Aimed at “Middle America” “silent majority” Law and order Streamlined government Traditional values at home VP for Lyndon Johnson Support of Vietnam War unpopular Only credible Democratic candidate after RFK’s assassination. Governor of Alabama State’s Rights Segregation
Southern Strategy • Nixon refuses to concede the South, makes promises. 1) Appointing only conservatives to federal courts. 2) Name a Southerner to the Supreme Court. • Oppose court-ordered busing. • Choose a southern-accepted vice president.
Law and Order President • Nixon follows through on promises. • Slows desegregation • Overturns policies of the Johnson Administration • Rallies against draft evaders, unruly students, Warren Court reforms for criminals. • Nixon appoints Warren Burger and 3 other conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Warren Burger, 15th Chief Justice (1969-1986)
New Federalism • Nixon-supported policies of reducing the size of the federal government and giving more power to state and local governments. • Refuses to fund certain Great Society programs like the Dept. of Housing and Urban Renewal. • Revenue-Sharing funnels funds to state governments. • Nixon impounds funds, stifling Democrat controlled Congress.
Nixon’s Foreign Policy • The Nixon Doctrine of gradual withdrawal from Vietnam (and later that allies will handle their own defense) • A policy of détente with the Soviet Union shifts focus from a “bipolar” war. • Improves relations with Communist China. Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Advisor
“We must remember that détente is not a love fest. It is an understanding between nations that have opposite purposes, but which share common interests, including the avoidance of a nuclear war.” -Nixon on détente with the Soviet Union
Ease of Tensions With the USSR • As the first president to visit the Soviet Union since World War II, Nixon holds a summit May 22nd, 1972. • SALT I– Strategic Arms Limitation Talks