THE NIXON
ADMINISTRATION
Mr. White’s US
History 2
MAIN IDEA AND OBJECTIVES
 Main Idea: President Richard
M. Nixon tried to steer the
countr y in a conser vative
direction and away from
federal control .
 Big Question: What makes an
ef fective, successful leader?
 Af ter we finish this section, we
should be able to:
 Describe Richard Nixon’s political
philosophy and approach to the
federal government
 Explain Nixon’s Southern strategy
to win re-election
 Describe Nixon’s efforts to fix
problems of the United States
economy
 Evaluate Nixon’s successes in
foreign policy
PART I: NIXON’S NEW
CONSERVATISM
Nixon’s
administration
laid the
groundwork for
the modern
conservative
movement
NEW FEDERALISM
 One of Nixon’s main goals as president was to
decrease the size and influence of the federal
government – small government conservatism
 Nixon believed that Lyndon Johnson and Kennedy’s
social programs over-extended the government’s
power
 Nixon felt much of this power should go to the states
 Nixon instituted a policy of revenue -sharing – federal
money given to the states could be spent any way the
states wanted
FAMILY ASSISTANCE PLAN
 As part of Nixon’s ef forts to decrease the size and influence
of the federal government, he addressed the social welfare
system
 Nixon Proposed the Family Assistance Plan:
 Families of four with no income could receive federal support in a
fixed amount
 Unemployed participants would have to take job training, accept
any reasonable work offered, as part of the program
 Nixon’s plan passed the House of Representatives, but not
the Senate
 Liberals – Program was too stringent, didn’t offer enough money
 Conservatives – Opposed guaranteed income
BUILDING AND DISMANTLING
 Nixon strengthened some federal programs to win
support for other things that he wanted
 Supported increased spending for Social Security, Medicare,
Medicaid, and made food stamps more accessible
 At the same time, he worked to dismantle other
programs:
 Opposed the Job Corps and additional funding for Housing and
Urban Development
 Used “impoundment” to try to underfund programs, but federal
courts ordered him to stop
 Abolished the Office of Economic Opportunity
TWO PROMISES
 Nixon had made two campaign promises: to de -escalate the
U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and to bring law and order to
American society – end protests, riots, moral decay
 Nixon did begin the de -escalation of the war in Vietnam
(Vietnamization), and also oversaw peace talks between the
two sides
 To bring law and order to the U.S., Nixon and his
administration used many resources, some illegal, to keep an
eye on political opponents
 Wire-tapping, CIA investigations, IRS audits
 Created a personal “enemies list”
PART II: NIXON’S
SOUTHERN STRATEGY
Nixon’s
“Southern
Strategy” was
policy that he
designed to win
support for him
in the southern
states
THE SOUTHERN STRATEGY
 As Nixon had only won
the 1968 election
with a slight majority,
he created his
Southern strategy to
attract southern
conservative voters
 De-segregation policies
of the federal
government weren’t
popular with southern
democrats
 Also promised to name a
southerner to the
Supreme Court
Governor George Wallace opposes
federal de-segregation in Alabama.
THE NEW SOUTH
 Since the end of the Civil War,
the south had been a strongly
Democratic region
 But the liberal policies of
Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson
(all Democrats, and all who
favored de-segregation to
some degree) had angered
many southern Democrats
 George Wallace, a presidential
candidate in the 1968
election, had won a handful of
southern states as an
independent candidate, using
a pro-segregation platform
 Nixon hoped to attract many
of these same voters
NIXON SLOWS DESEGREGATION
 Nixon first decided to slow the country’s desegregation
 1969 – Ordered the Department of Health, Education, and
Welfare to delay desegregation in South Carolina and
Mississippi
 This violated the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of
Education (desegregate “with all deliberate speed”), and Nixon was
ordered to abide by this
 Nixon also opposed:
 Voting Rights Act of 1965, but Congress successfully extended it
 Busing urban children to different schools to desegregate them – it
continued in many cities
NIXON’S SUPREME COURT
Nixon also worked to influence the Supreme
Court
 Felt that the Warren Court was too liberal, especially
in racial policies
Four justices retired from the Supreme Court,
and Nixon appointed justices to make the
Court more conservative
The Court did not always follow what Nixon
wanted – ruled in 1971 that schools could be
racially integrated by busing
PART III: A STAGNANT
ECONOMY
Nixon’s
administration
confronted an
economy with
high inflation
and high
unemployment
A TROUBLED ECONOMY
As the prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s
wound down, the economy began to have
many problems
 High unemployment, high inflation – known as
“stagflation”
What caused these problems?
 LBJ’s spending for war and social programs
 Increased international competition, flood of workers
in the workforce
 Heavy dependence on foreign oil – price fluctuations
NIXON’S REMEDIES
Nixon tried to solve these problems by:
Raising taxes and cutting the budget –
Congress didn’t go for this
Urging an increase in interest rates – didn’t
really work, drove country into recession
Froze workers’ wages and business prices
and fees for 90 days – inflation eased
slightly, but the recession continued
PART IV: NIXON’S
FOREIGN POLICY
TRIUMPHS
Nixon’s
administratio
n had many
successes in
the area of
foreign policy
NIXON’S FOREIGN POLICY AND REALPOLITIK
 Nixon said that he very much wanted to focus on foreign
issues in his presidency
 Gain an honorable peace in Vietnam
 Better relationships with China and the Soviet Union
 Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s Secretary of State, helped him
develop his foreign policy
 Realpolitik – foreign policy should be based on power, not ideals or
moral principles
 If a country is weak, ignore it
 If a country is strong, deal with it accordingly
 The previous policy of containment had refused to recognize
communist nations
KISSINGER, NIXON, AND DÉTENTE
Kissinger and Nixon
adopted a more
flexible approach to
communist nations
 Détente – openness
designed to ease Cold
War tensions
In 1972, president
Nixon exercised this
policy when he
visited China
ONLY NIXON COULD GO TO CHINA
 W h e n C h i n a we n t c o m m unist i n
1 9 4 9, t h e Un i te d St a te s h a d
re fus e d to re c o g niz e i t – N i xo n
reve r sed t h i s
 N i xo n we n t to C h i na to t r y to bet te r
re l a t ions bet we e n th e U. S. a n d
C h i na , a n d a l so i n c re ase t h e
di v ision bet we e n C h i n a a n d t h e
U . S. S. R . , C h i n a’s a l l y a n d t h e U . S. ’ s
ri va l
 W h e n N i xo n a rri ved i n C h i n a, h e
m a de i t a po i n t to pe r s on ally do
t h i n gs to t h aw re l a t ions
 Th i s re s ul te d i n m a ny i m po r ta nt
a g re e ment s bet we e n t h e U n i te d
St a te s a n d C h i na
 No domination of the Pacific,
cooperation in settling disputes,
scientific and cultural exchanges,
reuniting Taiwan to mainland
China
Nixon shakes hands with Chinese
leader Chou En Lai, upon his arrival
in China.
NIXON IN THE U.S.S.R.
Nixon also travelled to the U.S.S.R. to try to
thaw relations there
Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev signed the
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) Treaty
 Both countries agreed to not increase their ICBM and
submarine-launched missiles
Nixon was able to use these successes with
China and the Soviet Union, plus the approach
of peace in Vietnam, to win re-election in
1972
MAIN IDEA AND OBJECTIVES
 Main Idea: President Richard M. Nixon tried to steer
the country in a conservative direction and away
from federal control.
 Big Question: What makes an effective, successful
leader?
 After we finish this section, we should be able to:
 Describe Richard Nixon’s political philosophy and approach to
the federal government
 Explain Nixon’s Southern strategy to win re-election
 Describe Nixon’s efforts to fix problems of the United States
economy
 Evaluate Nixon’s successes in foreign policy
WRAP-UP
 Complete the sentence!
 One of Nixon’s main goals for his presidency was to…
 Nixon adopted his Southern Strategy in order to…
 One part of Nixon’s Southern Strategy was to…
 One of the problems that the U.S. economy was facing was…
 One of the ways that Nixon tried to fix the economy was to…
 One of Nixon’s successes in foreign policy was…