Effects of the Cold War Defining America’s Society and Global Role OVERVIEW In this lesson we examine: • Social and economic costs of Vietnam • The causes and effects of Watergate • America and the end of the Cold War Costs of the Vietnam War Context Question: What social and economic issues did Europe face between WWI and WWII? Costs of the Vietnam War •Helped China join the • Reduced government UN spending •Visited and Unlike in previous wars, veterans from Vietnam were not • Price and wage negotiated economic seen as ‘heroes’ by a large portion of the American Infreezes what way could a less aggressive foreign policy to control development with population. Political and social divisions were numerous compliment domestic China inflation and deep. and Nixon attempted to restorepolicy? faith in American unemployment domestic and foreign•Signed policy the SALT 1 Agreements to limit • Extended Medicare to nuclear weapons disabled citizens •Signs Paris Accords in under 65 1973 to end American involvement in Vietnam Watergate • Burglars were caught trying to “bug” and wiretap the Democratic headquarters in Nixon’s success in theParty economy, Vietnam the Watergate Hotel and in normalizing relations with China • The burglars confessed that they had been resulted in his successful re-election in ordered by leaders of CREEP (Committee to Re1972, but during his campaign, certain elect the President) to break into the office events would ruin his presidential career • Senate investigations revealed that Nixon had many conversations about Watergate taped from Whitehouse offices Watergate • Nixon said, “I am not a crook” • In an attempt to retrieve the tapes, Congress takes investigation Nixon to court; he argues As the Senate focused on that “executive privilege”Nixon meant that the Nixon’s tape recordings, defended tapes did not have to be disclosed himself • Evidence later showed that the President’s office did not order or know about the break-in but attempted a cover up Watergate • Congress immediately voted for impeachment (to put the President on trial) for withholding the tapes How When might the American case was allies brought have reacted to the to •the Nixon handed over the tapes Supreme effects Court, of the they Vietnam ruled conflict thatand theand tapes the resigned on Aug 9, 1974 because the Watergate had to be released. Scandal? tapes would show his involvement in a cover-up • President Ford gave Nixon a Presidential pardon The End of the Cold War Context Question: Without competition from the Soviet Union for spheres of influence, what might happen to US foreign policy? The End of the Cold War • “Reaganomics” reduced •US budgetary deficits income taxes and skyrocketed and US capital gains taxes; most were Reagan In reductions 1980, Ronald was elected debt would rise from for the rich “trickleWhat were the possible$995 long-term billionpolicies to $2.5 president. His domestic and foreign down” consequences of Reagan’s • Reduced support for trillionfrom by the end of were dramatically different his many welfare and social policies? his presidency predecessors, programs that had been Carter and Ford •Reduced restrictions installed since the days of Roosevelt on oil prices and lifted • Did not favour policies embargo on exporting friendly to feminists, unions and minorities wheat to the USSR The End of the Cold War • 1991: The US led a UN coalition Up toIraq, thewhich collapse of the Soviet Union in against had invaded Kuwait 1991, States was no longer • 1999: The the US ledUnited a NATO operation against Serbian military actions against its own population in the province of Kosovo social, economic and political influence. In • 2001: The US attacked the Taliban government of Afghanistanyears for the immediate which followed, refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden • 2003: The US led a pre-emptive war against Iraq for possibly possessing weapons of mass destruction – no considerable amount was ever found facedthese with actions a majormore global competitor foror Were internationalist unilateral? America followed different paths SUMMARY QUESTIONS • • • • Why was the Vietnam War so different for American society when compared to previous wars? What was Nixon’s dual purpose of trying to reduce tensions in the Cold War through détente? What did the Watergate scandal represent for the US and the world? Why did US foreign policy struggle to find purpose after the Cold War?