President Nixon 1968-1974

  • Created by: arowland
  • Created on: 06-05-17 17:56

Racial Inequality

Middle America wanted Nuxon to do less for race relations. He tried to slow down the pace of desegregation in schools as Americans opposed busing by 8 to 1.

  • 1974 Nixon was able to appoint more conservative Supreme Court judges who ruled in 1974 in Miliken v. Bradley that the continuation of de facto sgregation in schools could be justified
  • Nixon said he dissaproved of affirmative action (giving disadvantaged minorities extra opportunties, even if others were better qualified, in order to compensate for previous unfair treatment.
  • Supreme Court rulings in 1971 and 1973 supported busing
  • In practise, Nixon supported affirmative action by putting lots of pressure on federal contractors to employ more minority workers e.g. Philadelphia Plan of 1969 which approved the ability of African Americans to get construction work

In many ways Nixon's record on race was very positive. Affirmative action was very liberal

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Law and order

Middle America belived the Miranda ruling, which said improperly obtained confessions must be excluded from trials, encoruaged lawlessness. The liberals were apparently too soft on criminals

  • Nixon put forwaed a bill to Congress to decrease crime. The result was the District of Columbia Crime Control Act which made it harder to obtain bail and facilitated search procedures
  • In 1970 there were 1577 attempted bombings in the US
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In 1969 a newspoll showed that 84% of Americans belived student demonstrators were treated too leniently. Nixon faced anti-war, pro civil rights, pro black panthers and anti-capitalism protests. In May 1970 a peaceful rally at Kent State University in Ohio resulted in the National Guard shooting 4 students dead and wounding 12 others.

  • Timed troop withdrawal from Vietnam to forestall proposed anti-war protest
  • adjusted the draft in 1972, so students over 20 were no longer called up, removed the draft in 1973
  • threatened to end federal scholarships or loans for those convicted of serious campus violation offences
  • ordered surveillance or disruptive groups
  • took protestors to court
  • Attempts to communicate with protesors were unsuccessful

These techniques combined with the exhaustion of the radical roups or divisions within them meant that the number of protests eventually fell

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Nixon inherited inflation at 4.7%, a massive federal deficit, declining productivity in manufacturing and a flood of imports from Japan and Germany

  • In 1971 he introduced New Economic Policy which devalued the dollar and froze wages and prices for 90 days. It recieved a 75% approval rating
  • tried to cut federal spending but he had record annual budget deficits
  • 1971 the US abandoned the fixed rate exchange system established at the end of WW2. This has been set up to increase stability in international trade. The US dollar was the backbone of this system but with its economic difficulties could not longer underpin the system.
  • 1973, the US experienced the great inflation. Nixon was preoccupied with the Watergate Scandal. Economic difficulties also exacerbated by the growing energy crisis. US contained 6% of the world's population but used one thrid of the world's oil production. 30% of oil was imported. OIl prices shot up in 73 following the Arab Isreali War and the establishment of OPEC's oil embargo on the US and the hike in prices following the lifting of the embargo. This effected the US standard of living- whilst it was tsill relatively high, costs were rising and morale was lower.

Nixon's presidency was plagued by economic difficulties

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Nixon played an insignificant and reluctant part.

  • Congress passed the Water Quality Improvement Act, 1972, attempting to control pollution caused by power companies and industry
  • Congress passed the Clean Air Act- attempt to control car emissions
  • 1970 National Environment Policy Act created the Environmental Protection Agency, which enforced federal law on the environment

A number of environmental laws were passed over Nixon's veto

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