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Lecture 34

HIST 150 Lecture 34: Watergate

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Pennsylvania State University
HIST 150
Paul Matzko

Nixon administration: • Détente: Nixon changes foreign policy to be more cooperative with china • Thaw in relations • Opened trade policy • Nixon visited china in ’72, to drive wedge between china and NV • Agreed to settle Taiwan question with peace • Conservatives not okay with this • As part of thawing, they exchanged basketball and ping-pong teams • He essentially had a legacy but Watergate ruined it Domestic policy: new federalism • New frontier/new deal • More moderate • Loads of gov. programs created under Nixon – environmental protection agency etc. • In expanding the gov. he structured it so that no-one else could without alienating someone • Coined the term ‘war on drugs’ • Puts lots of federal resources into it • Pushed for harsher penalties to drug offences • Idea was to use the war on drugs as tool to destabilize his political opposition (new left and civil rights movement) • Created DEA Stagflation: • Global economy slowed in ‘70 • They wanted to do what happened after WW2 with economic prosperity but it didn’t happen • Inflation stagnated, increased and then declined • It was 6% in ‘70 • 14% in ‘80 Energy crisis: • ‘70 • Began with clean air act • Made it expensive to burn coal for energy • Came at economic cost of inflation • They thought it could work because they had natural gas and oil to burn instead • This started running out though so they had to depend on middle eastern oil • Leads to Yom Kippur war in Israel • Went from $2> and then went to 15$ per gallon in like a week • It was a tax on consumption • What Nixon does: Price Controls: • For next 90 days, not allowed to change prices in any aspect • This was to stop raises on things like oil • People lining up for hours to get gas • Heavy shortages everywhere • Baby chicks drowned en masse by farmers because they decided getting rid of them would be cheaper than selling them for less than what it cost to raise them anyway • Black markets boom • This was the US getting a taste of what the USSR was like at the time – command and control economic system • Nixon broke the gold standard (co
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