Text of the Nixon to Now
Back to the Unit Page
What was Nixon’s name for his supporters?
the silent majority
What two powerful nations did Nixon visit to play against each other in
the early 1970s?
China and the USSR
What were the two main planks of Nixon’s platform in 1968?
law & order and an honorable peace in Vietnam
Who gets power returned to them under Nixon’s “New Federalism”?
What is détente?
the lessening of tensions between the U.S. & Soviet Union in the
What product did we sell to the Soviets in an effort to improve
What treaties between the U.S. & USSR helped reduce the number of
ICBMs and other strategic weapons?
SALT I & II
Who kept the story hot in the press during 1972 and increased public
pressure on Watergate?
Woodward & Bernstein
What did Deep Throat tell W & B to do to solve the conspiracy?
follow the money
Which Nixon aide turned state’s evidence and turned over a lot of
Who was the initial special prosecutor on the Watergate Conspiracy?
Who was Sam Ervin?
Head of the Senate Committee looking into Watergate
What did Alexander Butterfield reveal to Ervin’s committee in 6/73?
that Nixon taped his conversations
What was the Saturday Night Massacre? How did it make Nixon look?
Nixon fired two people in the justice department before he found one to
fire Cox, guilty
Why did Nixon eventually decide to release transcripts of the
tapes? How did they make him look?
thought they would clear him, foul mouthed & evil
How did Watergate change the way Americans viewed the Presidency?
lost faith in the office
Who took over for Spiro Agnew as Vice President? Why did Agnew
Gerald Ford, Agnew took bribes when he was governor of Maryland
Which of Ford’s early actions shocked the nation?
pardon of Nixon for Watergate
What is OPEC? How did they start an energy crisis in the U.S. in 1973?
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, embargo on oil
What impact did this have on the U.S. economy?
slow down & inflation
What did the “Steel Belt” become? Why?
Rust Belt, plant closings, layoffs, towns shutting down (U.S. economy
did not respond well to oil shortages)
What is stagflation? When did it hit the U.S.?
a combination of inflation and a stagnant economy, late-1970s
Identify two of the challenges faced by Gerald Ford in the election of
economy, pardon, energy crisis, Ronald Reagan
What were two key attributes that helped Jimmy Carter get elected
President in 1976?
Open & honest, Washington outsider, humble background
Identify one way in which Carter tried to demonstrate he was a man of
walk down PA Ave., no heat in White House, meet with all kinds of
What was Carter’s biggest foreign policy triumph?
Camp David Accords
Identify an action taken by Carter early in his Presidency that was
controversial with many Americans.
Gave amnesty for draft dodgers, turned canal back over to Panama
Why did Iranian students take U.S. embassy personnel hostage?
wanted Shah returned to Iran for trial
What did followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini call the U.S.? Why?
the Great Satan, believed Western influence was corrupting their nation
Identify two ways that Carter responded the the 1979 Soviet Invasion of
grain embargo, end SALT talks, boycott Olympics
Identify three of the major problems Carter faced in his effort to get
re-elected in 1980.
Afghanistan, Iran Hostage Crisis, Bad Economy, Energy Crisis
What president tried to restore prestige to the presidency in light of
How did Reagan try to bring about the downfall of the USSR?
huge military buildup
Who was favored by the policy of Reaganomics?
upper class Americans
Where were the toughest economic times of the 1980’s? What drug
made this worse?
Inner-cities, crack cocaine
What were three of the major social crises of the 1980’s?
inner-cities, crack cocaine, AIDS
What were the key issues dividing liberals and conservatives in the
gun control, abortion, the death penalty, school prayer, the ERA
What were some of the key characteristics of the U.S.’ economy through
growing technology sector, corporate raiders/speculation in real
estate, junk bonds
What was congress’ position on funding the Contras in 1983?
What was our gov’t hoping for help with from the Iranians in exchange
for selling them arms?
freeing our hostages in Lebanon
Who was the scapegoat for the Iran Contra Affair?
What two things combined to help defeat Michael Dukakis in the
Willie Horton (the criminal out on furlough) and the Snoopy Picture
Which one of Bush’s supreme court nominees brought the issue of sexual
harassment to the country’s attention?
Who was Manuel Noriega?
the drug dealing dictator of Panama that Bush had to have captured and
What was the Savings and Loan scandal of the late 1980’s?
several U.S. senators were protecting the interests of S&L chiefs
who were losing big bucks – gov’t had to bail them out
What was Bush’s biggest foreign policy achievement? Why did some
people criticize him for it?
Persian Gulf War, failure to completely remove Saddam Hussein from power
What kinds of issues did Bill Clinton focus his campaign on in the 1992
election? What third party candidate helped him by taking votes
Economic (“It’s the economy, Stupid!”), Ross Perot
What were some of the big issues Clinton tried to take on right from
the start of his presidency? What was public reaction?
Healthcare Reform and Gays in the Military, issues were controversial
What significant change took place in Congress after the 1994 Midterm
A “Republican Revolution” based on their “Contract With America”
(backlash against Clinton)
Identify two of the scandals Clinton faced during his Presidency?
What action did Congress take against him?
Whitewater, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky; Congress Impeached him (found
not guilty in 1999)
What two issues were hotly debated in CA during the 1990s (there were
ballot props passed on each of them)?
Illegal Immigration (187) and Affirmative Action (209)
What sector drove the booming economy of the late 1990s?
technology (initial growth of the internet)
How did the 2000 Presidential Election finally end?
The Supreme Court ordered an end to the Florida recounts
Prior to 9/11/01, what were some of George W. Bush’s priorities?
deregulation, education reform, tax cuts for upper classes &
Identify at least two of the major changes, other than War, that came
about following 9/11.
Patriot Act (limits on civil liberties), TSA, Guantanamo Prison
What was the primary reason for going to war in Afghanistan after 9/11?
It was seen as the breeding ground for Islamic extremism and
Why did we go to war in Iraq in March, 2003?
Bush Administration was convinced they had a stockpile of WMDs they
were prepared to use against the U.S., grew impatient with UN inspectors
What were three of the main factors that contributed to the banking & financial crisis of 2008?
Deregulation of the mortgage industry, banks making risky investments in “toxic boxes” of bad mortgages, collapse of housing bubble, companies like AIG taking on too much risk
How did the government respond to the financial crisis of 2008?
After helping one bank (Bear Sterns) get sold, they let Lehman Bros fail, then bailed everybody else (including AIG) out (total of $1.5T in bailouts)
What were two key items at the top of President Obama’s agenda when he came to office in 2009?
Healthcare reform, out of Iraq and Afghanistan, get economy going again, education