The Presidency of Gerald Rudolph Ford after the Watergate Scandal

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Mar 31, 2023
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  6
Order Original Essay

How it works

Forward the 1970s were a time full of pain and change: women flooded into the labor market, the old family order crumbled, liberal economics took hold, and the Christian right began to rewrite the American political landscape. Young people protest against Vietnam War, African American protest to gain civil rights, and women protest for gender equality. The most important factors in the 1970s are quitting Vietnam War, the Feminism movement, and economic development. At the beginning of the 1970s, economic depression, high-interest rates, and high inflation caused big trouble in social stagnation.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

American people have been tired of social struggle, and they want to spend more time on their own interests. “Being selfish “ thus has a huge impact on American society.

The young generation adopted the nihilistic position, negated tradition, scorned reason, made demonic satire and opposition to social customs, and attacked the reflection of rationality, aesthetics, and morality in literature and arts. They have strong goals to destroy the old ideology and establish a faith that the minority should not be subordinate to the majority. It is an illusion to establish a unity society. There is no global nature or unchangeable nature of human beings. In modern society, not only are individuals divided and contradictory, but the whole human generation, as a symbol of human solidarity, is also divided and conflicted. The fragmentation of the group and the conflict of individual interest become an inevitable trend of reality. Postmodernism is to declare the end of an era of rationality and the disappearance of a “capital man.” Chapter One: Mediocre President Ford In 1972, Democratic National Committee revealed multiple cases of abuse of power by the Nixon administration.

Republican President Richard. M. Nixon was running for reelection; the United States was trapped in the dark shadow of the Vietnam War. Since Democratic Party made the wrong decision in Vietnam War, U.S. citizens have lost faith in the Democratic Party. After the Watergate Scandal, Gerald Rudolph Ford took over the presidency. It is meant to point out that Richard Nixon was the first president of the United States who resigned from the presidency due to trust issues. His resignation is a consequence of the Watergate Scandal. He has been charged with coving illegal activities.

Nixon administration officials lied about Watergate and misled the public about the Vietnam War. After the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal, the American people do not trust their governor. During Ford’s presidency, U.S. troops left Vietnam. The economic status inside the United States is extremely bad. Since the majority of the congressman belonged to Republican Party, the government failed to pass several laws and regulations. Ford used his veto to override the previous decision.

Many people have lost trust in Ford’s government since he pardoned President Nixon. Because Ford and Nixon both graduated from law school, the Public has hated lawyers for a long time. The reputation of lawyers was never so low before. Some scholars believed that Nixon’s resignation gave Americans a second chance to have faith in government. However, Ford received a very low rating because he pardoned Nixon. In fact, Ford is the first president to have a negative job rating at the end of his first month in office.

In addition, Ford refused to give feudal money to certain cities. Many Americans believed Ford did not care about the poor. I believed that unemployment and inflation had defeated Ford. He did not have the ability to solve all of the problems in his short-term presidency. He used to be the vice president of Nixon’s Administration. Vice president Ford did not have the ability to win the position by himself, and he only succeeded to the presidency with the help of the 25th amendment. As a result, he did not win the reelection.

Critics laughed about his pardon of President Nixon. Some critics suggested that Ford used pardon as jetton in exchange for his presidency. In the book Fault Line, Adam Cohen supported my argument that corruption did exist inside the U.S. government. It could become a secondary source to explain the trust issues. The public does not trust the government before the Watergate scandal. Cohen said, “Congress is run by lawyers. A lawyer is trained for two things and two things only. To clarify, that’s one. And to confuse- that’s the other”. Similarly, the Fault line also pointed out, “ Between 1971 and 1982, the number of individual businesses with full-time registered lobbyists in Washington skyrocketed from 175 to 2,445”.

As a result, Watergate Scandal had a negative effect on government authority for a long period of time. Watergate Scandal influenced government policy and public opinion even after the resignation of Nixon. If the law could not be enforced equally, the Public would not trust the legal system. During the Watergate, several senior members of Nixon’s administration were interrogated, found guilty, and sent to prison. On the opposite, Nixon himself did not get into any trouble. The public does have a reason to lose faith in their government. Chapter Two: Horrible economy “ stagflation” and Foreign Policy, Crisis Ford administration, cares about the economy. In order to overcome the negative effect of inflation, Ford asked the Public to wear a badge that had a “WIN” symbol. In modern conceptions, Ford’s advocacy did not solve any problems.

During Nixon’s presidency, the inflation rate is 4.7%. During Ford’s presidency, the inflation rate is 7%. During Carter’s presidency, the inflation rate increased to 12% in 1980. The unemployment rate remained at 7.5%. Stagnation in unemployment, along with inflation, had a terrible effect on American society. Democratic Party worried about unemployment, and the Republican worried about inflation. President Ford was unable to solve all of the problems. Thus, he did not gain support from either Party. According to the lecture, “from 1948 until 2013, the unemployment rate averaged 5.8 percent, reaching an all-time high of 10.8 percent in December of 1982 and a record low of 2.5 percent in May of 1953”.

Until the 1970s, many people care about neither inflation nor the unemployment rate. They believed that slow economic growth and a high rate of inflation would promote economic growth. It is a false assumption that an increase in demand for consumption would drive up market prices, and the company would hire more people. In fact, inflation caused paper money to lose facial value. Price inflation made more people lose their jobs. First of all, expansionary fiscal policy and monetary policy did not stimulate economic growth. In other words, inflation eroded the value of the currency.

Many corporations went into liquidation, workers lost their job, and zero growth in the economy. Secondly, Nixon believed that military spending would save the U.S. economy. For Carter’s Administration, military spending could not stimulate American consumption or promote any economic growth. “The downturn of 1975 was worst since Great Depression and touched off unsettled economic times that lasted, on and off, until 1983”. In addition, the cost of living doubled between 1968 and 1972. Fault Line pointed out that the “ Industrial economy of the postwar era had served as a pillar of American prosperity. Steadied by the economic restructuring of the New Deal and spurred to new levels of production by the military mobilization of World WWII, the nation’s manufacturing-based economy boomed during the postwar decade”.

However, poverty has remained a serious problem throughout the nation, and the rise of a new middle class diminished the inequality in capitalist economies. Many scholars argued that U.S. stagnation and later economic crisis were triggered by an energy crisis. After Yom Kippur War, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) proclaimed an oil embargo. Because oil has a positive correlation in terms of production and market economy, a higher oil price leads to a higher overall production cost. Thus rise in oil prices led to high inflation. Stagflation was the most difficult period for the American people after World War II. I think the 1973 oil crisis and the Iran hostage crisis made Carter lose the trust of the American people.

The public does not believe he could successfully run the government. In addition, Carter made the American people realize the weakness of U.S. military defense. Chapter Three: Flourish Popular Culture It is interesting to point out that T.V. and Disco have a huge impact on the young generation during the 1970s. Elvis Presley’s Aloha From Hawaii Television special is seen around the world for more than billions of viewers. American society has gone through stagnation and Vietnam War. It inspired young people to have a new method of thinking about the world.

The new American dream was focusing on oneself. The anti-war movement, black civil rights movement, feminism movement, environmentalism movement, and gay movement were raised in the same time period. Young generations hate racism, and they support the civil rights movement. People enjoy the black culture and country pop music. Previous Capitalism industry society has urged young people to pursue true nature, and it also deprived young people’s own incentive to achieve happiness. In this way, I believe Capitalism is quite similar to totalitarianism. People from the lower class could not express their feeling to the whole society. As a result, many social movement waves have formed anti-tradition culture.

Chapter Four: Voice of American Women As a result of rapid change in world politics, new forms of ideology have been established. In the early 1970s, feminism triggered a new type of social thought. Women have rights on reproductive rights. Abortion became legalized, and pills came out of society. President Carter accepted the judgment from Superior Court on the legalization of abortion. Carter received a lot of pressure from Congress on his Economic Reform Act. He has faced pressure not only from Democratic Party but also Republican Party.

Conservatism argued that he did not represent the mainstream values of American society. Because Carter accepted the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion, he lost support from the conservatives. Besides, liberals argued he did not make great changes in society. Carter failed on both Domestic Economic Reform and the 1979 foreign policy crisis. In 1980, Ronald Wilson Reagan defected from Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Republican Party won a majority in the Senate for the first time in 26 years. In 1978, Congress passed, and President Carter signed, a joint resolution with the intent of extending the ratification. Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex Section 2.

Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification. “The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution to guarantee equal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex and gender; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of the divorce, property, employment, and other matters.” At the beginning of the 1970s, feminism was widely accepted by the American Public.

By the end of the 1970s, feminism had become a bad word. Chapter six: Symbolic politics Ron Reagan Reagan is a solid liberalism supporter. He aimed to lower taxes, have less government, and have less regulation on commerce. The Regan government lower tax movement helped the economy recover and created more job opportunities. Regan’s administration claimed his political view on cutting taxes and government spending. In contrast, he raised taxes and raised deficits. It is ironic that Regan does exactly the opposite of the 1980 campaign. He promised to cut taxes, increase defense spending, balance the budget, and stand for family value. However, he did exactly the opposite.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

The Presidency of Gerald Rudolph Ford after the Watergate Scandal. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from