Richard Nixon Term Paper

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Richard Nixon (1913-1994) was the 37th president (1968-1974) of United States of America. (Nixon foundation) He was only president who resigned from the presidency of U.S. He was elected to the office in 1968. His second term as president was over shadowed by scandals like Water Gate. He resigned from the office in 1974.

Early Years

Richard Nixon was born in California on Jan. 9, 1913 from wedlock of Hannah Milhous Nixon and Francis A. Nixon. The Nixon's were Scots-Irish and the Milouses, of Irish and English descent. They had five sons and Richard Nixon was second amongst his brothers. When Richard was nine they shifted to Whittier Calif. His father Francis owned a country store and a gasoline pump [1]. They were a devoted religious Christian Quaker family. Richard often visited the Friends Churches along with his mother. His mother brought him up as a conservative Quaker and hoped that Richard would join missionary. His father Francis was not so strictly religious he focused more to his store. Richard attended a local public school in Whittier. He was a good student. At seventeen he joined Whittier College. He attended local public schools and was an excellent student. He joined Whittier College a small institution at the age of seventeen. He actively took part in student political activities winning many prizes in inter-college debates. In Whittier Richard meet met his future wife, Thelma ("Pat") Ryan. They married on June 21, 1940, and had two daughters: Patricia, born in 1946, and Julie, born in 1948. [3]


After schooling Richard Nixon entered Whittier College he was a very active student here (Ambrose, 1987) He was an active member of theatrical society here. He graduated in 1934 from here and took second position in his class, which earned him a scholarship to Duke University Law School in Durham. N.C. During his stay at the university he had to work part time in National Youth administration to make his ends meet. In 1937 he passed his law exams, He stud third in a class of 25 and was elected as the president of Duke Bar association he got admission to the Order of Coif, The Honorary legal fraternity. Nixon returned to Whittier and joined an old law firm. (Ambrose, 1987) He worked in the same firm as a government legal adviser in a near by small town of La Habra. Working here he gained experience as police prosecutor as well. He also worked for Pepsi Cola as a legal advisor. Prior to joining Navy Nixon worked for six months in thee Emergency Management Office. (Ambrose, 1987) During World War II joined U.S. armed forces as a junior Lieutenant in the Navy and worked as Naval Air Transport officer. After the World War II in 1946 he left the armed forces as a lieutenant commander.


Richard Nixon seriously joined politics after he returned to Whittier. He took part in the election of Congress as a candidate of Republicans in the year 1944. (Reedy) There were many points on which his electoral campaign was based upon, the core one being anti-communism. Nixon won this election and became the member of congress. He was working in the committee on European Recovery Program where he gained considerable and quite helpful experience about international affairs. It was just the beginning of his political existence. He played an important role in the investigation of Alger case, and gained fame on the national level. Alger was a former official of U.S. State department and was accused of espionage for Russia (former USSR). Nixon again contested for congress in 1948, and this time he won comparatively easily. (Microsoft Encarta) The Republicans chose Nixon as the candidate for U.S. senate in 1950. He won from California. In Senate due to his oratorical skill was regarded as a bright young star of Republican Party. He played important role for the fund raising drive of his party as a senator- this was highly appreciated. This act was appreciated so much that he was nominated by the Republicans as a Vice-Presidential candidate in 1952 at the age of only 39 [4]. He was strongly opposed by his opponents for his fund raising campaign and was accused of getting finances from business community in exchange of promised favors. Nobody was able to produce any concrete evidence for the misuse of the funds or granting of special favors to the contributors. He made an emotional television address, this speech is known as "Checkers" referring to his dog Checker. In this speech, he also chose to disclose details of his finances. In conclusion, he won favor of the people and the nomination for Vice President. Nixon and his mate Eisenhower won these elections. These two took part in the election again in 1956. They won the presidential elections this time again.

Vice president

As vice president Nixon spent most of his time to represent the president in both domestic affairs as well as on the foreign tours. Nixon visited 56 countries as vice president of United States including Soviet Union in July 1959 to open U.S. exhibition in Russia. It was during this visit the famous Nixon Nikita Khrushchev confrontation took place in Moscow. In this debate they confronted on the U.S. capitalism and the Soviet Communist system. On the last leg of his visit Nixon made a memorable speech at Soviet television.

While in the office as vice president, Nixon often had to officiate as president due the illness of Eisenhower, which gave him ceremonial and executive presidential experience.

Eisenhower and Nixon as a team again contested the 1956 presidential elections and were reelected. It was during this second term that Nixon campaigned for the forthcoming presidential election of 1960. He overwhelmingly won the Republican ticket as the next presidential candidate to succeed Eisenhower. But in one of the most closely contested American elections Nixon lost to J.F. Kennedy. After 14 years of active politics at different levels Nixon in Washington Nixon returned to his native California and joined a law firm in Los Angeles. As a Lawyer he earned more in one year than what he could make in fourteen years of work in Washington, but this financial augment was no alternate for political power.

In 1962 he contested for the governorship of California and lost again. Then Nixon moved to New York City and established a Wall Street legal firm. In the mean time he every now and then spoke in fund raising gathering republican gathering. At that time no body expected Nixon as the next presidential candidate. The assassination of Kennedy and taking over of Johnson as president provided another opportunity to Nixon to look for White House. He started drive for congressional candidate in 1966; this gave him popularity both in the public and in the party. Seeing this he entered the race for 1968 United States Presidential election. He became 37th president of U.S. When Richard Nixon took over the country as president the U.S. was at war in Vietnam and there was unrest in the country as well. In his opening speech he pleaded for Unity. (Ambrose, 1987)


Nixon working hand in hand with his national security advisor Henry Kissinger (later secretary of state) contrary to his long time anti-communist polices talked of a Detente with the communist world especially USSR and China. In 1969 U.S. begin Strategic Arms Limitation (SALT) with Soviet Union (Brodie, 1983). As the product of long diplomatic efforts Nixon visited Moscow in 1972 during this visit Nixon addressed the Russian people on T.V. As a result this visit to Soviet Republic an agreement was signed between the two countries for purchase of large quantities of U.S. surplus grain. Later in 1973 Soviet pleader Leonid Brezhnev came to U.S. And signed a nuclear nonaggression pact with Nixon. They also signed agreements for cooperation in the field of transport, science and culture.

Nixon again visited Soviet Union in 1974 but failed to agree on a final agreement on limiting nuclear offence weapons.


It was during the Nixon regime that normalization of U.S. China relation was initiated. Nixon relaxed trade embargo with People's Republic of China. In Feb 1972 Nixon visited China. After lengthy meeting with Chairman Mao and Premier Chou Enlai Communication between the two countries opened, new trade possibilities were explored and exchange of ambassadors took place. A new chapter of relation between U.S. And China opened reducing tension between these countries as well as risk of war over Taiwan.


When Richard Nixon took over the office of the U.S. President, Vietnam War was the most important issue faced by him. At home Anti-war demonstrations were daily routine at most of the university campus students demanded a quicker withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam.

Away from home North Vietnam armed forces maintained military pressure over South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. To reduce casualties in Vietnam Nixon reduced the presence of U.S. forces from 550000 in 1969 to 30000 in 1972 (Kissinger, 2002). To…

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