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A Rugged Resignation: An Analytical Review Of Richard Nixon’s Resignation Address

1727 words - 7 pages

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th president of the United States, is perhaps one of the most remembered president in American history… but not for the best of reasons. After growing up in a financially unstable family in Yorba Linda, California, Nixon studied law throughout his adolescence, unaware of the future ahead of him (“The Life”). As a hopeful young politician, Richard Nixon focused on strengthening the nation on both domestic and, primarily, foreign terms. Despite his successes in foreign policy, Richard Milhous Nixon’s presidency took a turn for the worse in 1972 with the breaking of the famous Watergate Scandal and, subsequently, his resignation. Due to the pressure of this incident, Richard Nixon left a legacy as the first president to resign despite his attempt in his resignation address to convince the nation that the Watergate Scandal is in the past.
Richard Nixon was a part of both the House of Representatives and Senate, and he served as Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice president for eight years. Although he sought presidency in previous elections, it wasn’t until the election of 1968 that he was elected as president against Democrat, Hubert Humphrey. With this position underway, Nixon was committed to ending war in Vietnam ("Richard Nixon- Brief Biography"). His first term was primarily spent deliberating on how to end the situation, and it was this dedication that got him elected to a second term in 1972. The year following his election, he pronounced the ending to the Vietnam war with his “Address to the Nation Announcing Conclusion of an Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam” (Ending the Vietnam War: US Department of State). America was thrilled that they could focus on more important things domestically now that their troops were home and the fighting was (for the most part) put to an end.
Amidst the conclusions of the Vietnam War, the outbreak of the Watergate Scandal swept the nation. On June 17th 1972, 5 men were arrested in the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate building in Washington DC (“The Watergate Scandal”); Supposedly, the burglars were trying to wiretap phones as well as steal secret documents. These burglars were later connected to Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign (“Watergate Scandal”); Their connection to Nixon was already considered suspicious, but his involvement wasn’t directly suggested until the hearings where John Dean accused him of covering up the break-in. This accusation didn’t hold much merit due to the lack of evidence. However, in July of 1973, former White House Staff Member Alexander Butterfield testified that Nixon had recorded secret conversations. Seven of nine of these tapes were released five months later with a large gap in them. This almost directly pointed to his guilt in the cover up (“The Watergate Scandal”). “While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage operation before it happened, he took steps to cover it up afterwards”...

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