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Essay I

In: Historical Events

Submitted By electronegative
Words 1518
Pages 7
Lesson 13
Essay I The years that stretched from the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 saw the problems of the 1960s come back to haunt the nation. In Vietnam, despite Nixon's efforts to conclude a "peace with honor," the American involvement ended with the victory of the North Vietnamese and a defeat for the United States. The moral authority of the powerful presidency that developed under Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson eroded as a result of Nixon's Watergate scandal. In an effort to avoid similar mistakes, the voters turned out Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, in 1976 and elected a political newcomer, Jimmy Carter, of Georgia. In spite of their personal decency and hard work, neither Gerald Ford nor Jimmy Carter proved to be strong, effective presidents who could meet the challenges of the 1970s. Ford was the 38th President of the United States, and the only one to have served as both President and Vice President without being elected by the Electoral College. As President, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward détente in the Cold War. With the invasion of South Vietnam by the communist north nine months into his presidency, U.S. involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Domestically, Ford presided over arguably the weakest economy since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. One of his more controversial acts was to grant a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal – this pardon played a large role in his failure to be reelected: the American public wanted to see Nixon convicted of his crimes, so they elected Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter as the next President. Carter, who was the only President to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office, created two new cabinet-level departments: the...

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