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Nixon Administration’s Highs and Lows Essay

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Updated: May 13th, 2022


Richard M. Nixon was the 37th president of the United States of America, succeeding Lyndon B. Johnson. He took into power after being elected in 1969. At the time of his ascension on power, the United States was sharply and painfully divided over the country’s participation and involvement in the Vietnam War. His administration’s first objective was to reconcile the country over the issue of the Vietnam War. During his tenure, Nixon was obliged to end American fighting in Vietnam which succeeded, as well as establishing good relations with the U.S.S.R, which had dwindled during the previous regimes, which he successfully improved. The major drawback during his term in office was the Watergate scandal led to fresh divisions in the country consequently leading to his resignation in august 9, 1974(About the WhiteHouse n.d).

Accomplishments of Nixon Administration

Nixon administration was characterized by several accomplishments and achievements since his occupancy of the office of the president. One of the most highly praised accomplishments was the stability and peace he brought to the world. In 1972, Nixon visited China and USSR, where he held summit meetings with leaders of the two countries which resulted to production of a treaty aimed at limiting strategic nuclear weapons. This visit loosened tension between America and the two countries. Nixon ended American involvement in the Vietnam War in January, 1973, when declared an accord with the communist North Vietnam which in turn brought the reunion of the north and the South Vietnamese governments, ending the war in Vietnam. In 1974, his administration, through the secretary of the state led the negotiation saw new agreements between Israel and its rivals, Syria and Egypt (About the WhiteHouse, n.d).

Environmentalism was a mass movement during Nixon’s era, when ‘Earth Day’ was celebrated. This sensitized the public apprehension for the environment. On the observation of the ‘Earth Day’ on April 22, 1970, over 20 million Americans participated in planting trees. In the same year, the congress created the Environmental protection Agency which passed the clean water and Air Acts. In1973, an enactment was passed to protect endangered species of wildlife (Endangered Species Act). Nixon’s administration had an impressive impact on women employment in the country. During his tenure, the number of working women increased by 42 percent. There was a great increase in women participation in professional work, and in the fields which were traditionally considered for men, in the 1970’s. Another achievement was the pass of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in March, 1970. It addressed the issue of prohibiting sex discrimination among the Americans. The Supreme Court in the same year ruled out that it was illegal to discriminate the minority in employment demanded compensation of discrimination victims by their employers. In 1970’s the women liberation movements were strengthening as they got full support from the government. Nixon administration also saw NASA land the first astronaut on the moon (America in ferment, 2009).

Failures of Nixon administration

During the Native American Power Movements of the 1970’s, the Native Americans, black Americans, women and Indians were in much poverty with unemployment rate skyrocketing to 10 times the national average for these groups. 40 percent of these groups were living under poverty line (America in ferment, 2009).

Another significant failure of this administration was the misuse CIA and FBI. His administration used the two bodies the speculation and monitoring of his political opponents and rivals. During his tenure, America was characterized by high criminal activities, frauds and a lot of cheating by the government. A historian was quoted referring to Nixon as the first dangerous and wicked president of US (America in ferment, 2009).


Richard Nixon was among the most successful governments in the history of the United States of America. It brought very many positive changes to the Americans and the rest of the world including peace, stability and democracy, even though it had several setbacks like frauds and high rates of unemployment especially among the minority.


  1. , n.d, Web.
  2. America in ferment: The tumultuous 1960s. (2009). Digital History.
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