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Richard Nixon: Greatness Overshadowed By Corruption

1731 words - 7 pages

The life of Richard Milhous Nixon was and always will be an interesting subject, and everybody has an opinion about the man. But there is one thing that can be agreed upon, and it is that he left the White House in disgrace. A man should not just be remembered for his mistakes though, and Nixon had a great deal of accomplishments throughout his life. Nixon was a Congressman, Senator, Vice President, the 37th President of the United States, and he significantly improved foreign affairs with multiple nations during his presidency. Sadly, Nixon will always be associated with the Watergate scandal and his following resignation.
Richard Milhous Nixon was born on January 9th, 1913 on his parent’s family built lemon ranch in Yorba Linda, California. His early life was not one of lavish living like many other presidents, and Nixon actually experienced some unfortunate events. His family’s ranch failed and two brothers of his died, forcing the remaining Nixon’s to move into a relative’s home where they opened a gas station grocer combination. Years later in 1930, Nixon attended Whittier College in Whittier California, where he received a scholarship to attend Duke University’s law school. By 1937, Nixon had graduated with his law degree and the honor of serving as the Student Bar Associations president. Nixon moved back to Whittier in 1937 and became a partner of the Wingert and Bewley law firm. Nixon also enjoyed performing in local theatre, which is how he met his to be wife, Thelma Catherine Ryan, or “Pat”. Nixon’s early life was if anything, a set up for what would become a long and impressive political career.
In 1946, Republicans in California were urging Nixon to run for Congress, which he did. Nixon won by a healthy majority, using what was then known as “The Denigrative Method”, or negative campaigning. During his time in Congress, Nixon was appointed to the House Un-American Activities Committee. This was the first important life event for Nixon, because it made him nationally known for his prosecution of Alger Hiss. (FOOTNOTE) Because of his work on this case, Nixon was easily reelected in 1948, even being endorsed by both parties. Without his time in Congress combined with his work on the Alger Hiss case, it is possible that Nixon’s political career would have become stagnant due to a lack of national recognition.
Nixon decided to run for Senate in 1950. Facing Democratic Congresswoman Helen Douglas, Nixon used the same negative campaigning techniques as he had used in 1946. Nixon claimed that her views were too close to those of the Communist party, helping him winning by a large majority. Sticking with his anti-Communist agenda, Nixon spent his time as senator warning the nation about the dangers of Communism. Nixon’s time as Senator was his second important life event because it got the attention of Dwight Eisenhower, the Republican candidate for president in 1952. Just like his previous political position, it is possible that without...

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