Richard M. Nixon’s presidency is shrouded in both success and controversy. Having served in several political positions, Nixon was a ruthless politician who cared very much about his public image. Unfortunately, his public image would be deeply affected by the Watergate Scandal that served as his political demise. With the activities in this lesson plan, students will be able to go in depth into his presidency, his policies, and his resignation.
Nixon Domestic Policy - Utilizing a spider graph storyboard, students will outline, define, and explain the domestic policies initiated by Richard Nixon during his presidency. Students will be able to analyze and synthesize how Nixon conducted affairs domestically. Teachers may pre-select which major policies define his domestic agenda. This activity will highlight how Nixon dealt with major issues of his presidency, including social issues, the anti-war movement, the economy, and what Nixon came to define as New Federalism. Suggested topics include his dealing with inflation, the oil crisis, his “Southern Strategy”, and the first moon landing.
ECONOMIC AND ENERGY CRISIS
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDS
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTROL
With war raging in the Middle East between Israel, Egypt, and Syria, Nixon and the U.S. backed Israel as their ally. However, other Middle Eastern nations soon embargoed the oil trade with the U.S. as a collective known as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. Inflation and recession resulted.
Under what Nixon deemed his idea of a "New Federalism", he sought to improve relations between states and the federal government. By giving states more control over the use of federal funds, Nixon hoped to balance the desires of traditional social program supporters and conservative voters who demanded cutbacks on these programs.
Economically, the United States faced many issues, particularly in regards to rising inflation. With a growing budget deficit and spending on the Vietnam War, Nixon sought to halt inflation and keep the deficit at bay. He instituted deficit spending to try and stimulate the economy and froze wages, prices, and rents in 1971.
We need to preserve the environment!
PRESIDENT NIXON: DOMESTIC POLICY
26TH AMENDMENT: LOWERING THE VOTING AGE
Looking to help slow down pollution and preserve conservation lands, Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. In terms of legislation, Nixon also passed the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Mammal Marine Protection Act, all aimed at slowing down and preventing further pollution.
In an attempt to appeal to both Northern liberals and Southern conservatives, Nixon implemented what is deemed his "Southern Strategy". In effect, this slowed desegregation, while also making it easier to meet desegregation requirements. He opposed busing as a means to end segregation in schools.
Under Nixon, the 26th amendment was passed, lowering the voter age to 18 years old from 21. The amendment was much welcomed and anticipated, as many believed it was wrong to be old enough to fight in war, but not old enough to vote for policy change. It is considered a great advancement in voting rights for young Americans.