Nixon: An American Masterpiece


living on the border
Just finished my final history essay...wicked awesome topic.

Nixon: An American Masterpiece

In 1969 Richard Milhous Nixon became president of the United States of America. While he accomplished many things as Commander in Chief, he made the mistake of getting involved with faulty campaign methods that resulted in the Watergate Scandal. Before Watergate, in his 5 years as president, Nixon made the effort to fix America and make it a place where the citizens could be comfortable and not have to fear other countries and governments. Nixon was an excellent president and most people fail to realize that.

The Clean Air Act was first signed in 1963. It sought to promote and strengthen health and welfare. Over the period of 3 years over $90 million was donated to state and local governments so that they could research air pollution and how it was caused. Under the Nixon Administration, in 1970 the Clean Air act was amended. The new amendments resulted in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to come into effect. NAAQS teamed with the New Source Performance Standards and strict laws were set to regulate new sources of emission entering an area. These amendments gave the citizens the ability to take legal action against any organization the felt was violating the emission standards.

The Vietnam War started in 1955, when Eisenhower was president and it was still going strong when Nixon was elected. During that time, a high number of Americans soldiers were being killed each week in Vietnam. In an attempt to speed up the war, Nixon approved a “secret bombing”. This bombing resulted in the headquarters of the Nation Front for the Liberation of Vietnam being destroyed. After this victory Nixon had the opportunity to start pulling troops out of Vietnam. He did so and from 1969 to 1972 it is said that 405,000 troops returned to American soil.

Before Nixon the U.S. and China had no liking for each other. The U.S. did not approve of communist countries and since China was one, the U.S. wanted to protect their citizens from becoming communist. Once in office, Nixon began trying to make amends with China. He lifted many of the trade restrictions and started to visit China. In 1971, Moa Zedong ordered the Chinese table tennis team to invite the American team for a competition. This was a huge step in the right direction for the U.S. and China because for 20 years many Americans and Chinese were not able to get visas to go to each country.

When most people think of Richard Nixon, the first thought that comes to mind is “Watergate”. They fail to realize, though, that Nixon had many accomplishments as president before Watergate happened. Nixon not only helped with foreign affairs, but he also helped fix the environment, the economy, war tactics, and sought to help the advancement of U.S. space control. Hopefully, one day, people will get pass Watergate and see Nixon as the wonderful president he was.


Son of Liberty
I agree with you that people should look past Watergate and rate him on his job as president.

While he did do some positive things, such as those you mentioned, I'm going to have to disagree as far as the economy. His policies of price freezes and wage controls caused inflation and also eventually led to the long gas lines we saw during the Ford and Carter administrations.

Overall he wasn't as bad a president as many historians rate him, in my opinion, but I wouldn't go so far as to say he was a wondeful president.

As far as the essay is concerned, I thought you did a good job. You made your points and backed them up with evidence.


not a plastic bag
I was doing my Bible study yesterday on 1st Samuel and the first page had this:

  • Endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Desegregated public schools
  • Passed strict anticrime laws
  • The only president to balance the budget between 1961 and 1998
  • Improved relations between China and the USSR
  • Watergate
Which one do you remember?

I don't know a lot about Nixon, but this has got my interest up. Good essay.


living on the border
thanks. I took the economy line out of it. And of course most people only remember Watergate. That's what needs to change.


Son of Liberty
thanks. I took the economy line out of it. And of course most people only remember Watergate. That's what needs to change.
I didn't mean to imply it should be taken, out, I mean that's my opinion. Someone could make an argument they liked his economic polices for x,y,z reasons, I just have a different take on it. But again, good essay.

And I agree, I don't just rememeber Bill Clinton for his impeachment, there were lots of positive and negative things to remember about his administration, Nixon shouldn't just be remembered for that one event.


Registered Member
Hey, redsoxocd, good thread and good essay. While I'm not a fan of Nixon's, I do believe that he, like all of us, should be remembered for more than Watergate; his life, and his presidency, was full of both successes and failures.

What did you think of the Frost/Nixon movie? Have you seen it?

Also of note concerning Nixon--he was president when Roe V Wade was decided, which is pretty significant. Also, there is a very strong argument to be made that he helped destroy the family farm after allowing his Sec of Agriculture, Earl Butz, to make vast changes to agricultural policy, which led to the rise of big agribusiness and the decimation of the family farm...