Watergate Scandal as One of Political Scandals of the Twentieth Century

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Mar 31, 2023
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  6
Words:  1684
Order Original Essay

How it works

The twentieth century had a mouth full regarding the number of political scandals, and through the advancements of the decades, they gave the impression to get on the increase. The country that seemed to be robust, bright, and united crumbled at the fact that these political scandals were poisoning the atmosphere with lies to the American people, scandals like “Teapot Dome,” “Watergate,” “Iran-Contra,” and “Whitewater.”

One of the various scandals that long-faced the twentieth century was the political scandal of the Tea Pot Dome.

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

It was the year 1921-1922 when a piece of land in Wyoming full of expensive oil, otherwise known as “The Teapot Dome” at the time, a man by the name of Albert Fall, the interior secretary for President Harding, was illegally taking part in an operation better referred to as “The Teapot Dome Scandal.” It didn’t take people long to realize the corruption that unfolded within the Harding administration, and when Tea Pot came around, it finally became the breaking point of the exposure of Harding. It started out when Navy ships at the time recently ran off of oil instead of coal; they gained large amounts of oil reserves in Wyoming, which then led to an executive decision. “Harding issued an executive order transferring the control of the fields from the Navy to the Interior Department.”

Once the transfer was complete, which in fact, took about a year, Albert then allowed the purchase of these fields with no auction to accompany it and sold it at low value. When Albert sold the land, no one took a second glance, but when information spilled, it turned out that Fall was accepting bribes. Thus the problem began, and it compromised the legality of the situation. “Fall received a no-interest loan of $100,000 and other gift valued at $400,000.” When the situation gained some traction, and it didn’t take long, Fall, after his schemes had eventually got tipped off by a runner up company, and sent to prison because of the acceptance of bribes according to the senator at the time; senator John B. Kendrick and the senate committee on public lands in 1924. As soon as the situation was resolved, the lease became immediately invalidated and returned “to the Navy stating the Harding could not transfer the leases from the Navy.” Not one of the worst scandals to face in this country. However, the Harding administration will later involve in other crimes and misconduct over time goes on.

Another Scandal that pushed back this nation’s sense of comfort and protection was the scandal that involved President Richard Nixon or an operation otherwise known as “Watergate.” Around May and the year of 1972, Democratic party officials had their telephones tapped because of a mischievous infiltration crew at the Watergate compound. This raised some flags by asking how did they get in? Several weeks later, within the month of June, another group of infiltrators, this time of around five men, were caught ravaging through the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters inside the Watergate compound in Washington; no one knew at that moment what they were looking for. Once arrested and upon additional investigation, information on the scene led authorities to believe that the five men involved were in league with President Nixon, which reciprocally got the FBI and Congress involved. Following the act, “Nixon and his aides conspired to cover up their connection with the break-in and hinder the ensuing investigations.”

This is alarming to hear. If you’re an American citizen, the thought of a leader who is supposed to do everything in their power to shield and supply a way of justice will contribute to this kind of action? Once the investigation concluded, they tracked down their phone address call logs and linked it to the white house and a man named E. Howard Hunt. Something shady was occurring within the white house. It was only a matter of time till they figured it out. “The FBI also found stacks of crisp $100 bills, which the Bureau would eventually track to checks from contributors to the President’s reelection campaign.” After the accusations, the backlash of the people, the FBI’s involvement, and the threat of impeachment, President Nixon resigned in the year of 1974. The chilling factor is that President Nixon wasn’t alone and, no doubt, clearly had others helping him in this crime. Authorities say “some 69 government officials were eventually charged in connection with the broader scandal, including much of Nixon’s inner circle.” no one should conspire against competitors; it’s just not sportsmanlike and wrong; the President should’ve known better.

Getting around to the year 1985, President Ronald Reagan is now in office and facing accusations of dealing with terrorists. We know this political scandal as the “Iran-Contra Affair.” Since the 80s, Iran and Iraq have been battling it out for some time now, and things seemed to take a turn for the worst when a group of terrorists captured hostages and held them as leverage against America and because of the recent events that unfolded in the 1979 hostage crisis, “the U.S. maintained an arms embargo on Iran.”

Even though they could not break the rules of the Embargo, the U.S. sold weapons to Iran in return for getting our hostages back, and it sure took some time, or at least that’s how the story goes. Under further investigation of the deal they made with the Iran-linked group, an attorney by the name of General Edwin Meese uncovered some interesting information; he discovered “that some proceeds from the missile sales were missing.” Beforehand and shortly after Reagan came into office, they created the Boland amendment to prevent funding from the CIA and the DOD towards the Contras. The Contras were an anti-communist group that revolted against their socialist government in Nicaragua.

This news drastically changes things; this raised multiple questions such as; where are the missing missile sales? Who allowed the transaction? Authorities stated some of Reagan’s subordinates had transferred those funds over to the Contras and their fight against socialism in Nicaragua. Because of this transaction, it combated the Boland Amendment and caused about 14 members of his administration to face charges such as impeding and obstruction of the Contras, including the case of Albert Hakim, November 21, 1989, “pleaded guilty to a corporate felony of theft of government property in diverting Iran arms sales proceeds to the Nicaraguan contras and other activities.” (Walsh, Summary of Prosecutions).

Ensuing investigations led to no evidence of Reagen being involved, but he has stated on TV that he sold weapons to get his people back. I have chosen this scandal to be the most serious threat to the stability of the American political system because we do not deal with terrorists, not even, for instance, the only language they understand is weaponry and violence; we should have taken them down as we did with Bin Laden and rescue the hostages some other way. Whoever was responsible, whether it was Reagan or anyone under them, made a mistake in the way they handled the situation; they broke the rules of Embargo and the Boland amendment that strictly prohibits funding to the Contras from the CIA and DOD.

The last political scandal I’ll cover in this paper is the “Whitewater” Scandal that involved the Clintons and their accusations of partner scheming in the investments they’ve made in the past. It all began in the year 1978 with Bill Clinton, the attorney general of Arkansas at the moment, and his wife Hillary Clinton, who apparently invested in 220 acres of land in Arkansas with James B. and Susan McDougal after borrowing about $203,000. The intentions behind the purchase were for the creation of vacation homes, or so it may seem. With the unification, they created their own corporation called “Whitewater Development Corporation,” and it seemed bright and prosperous at the moment, but in actuality, it was not.

There was constant flooding in the area, and during the “’70s and early ’80s, interest rates were surging, rendering vacation homes unaffordable for many families.” The issue doesn’t lie within the investment purchase but in fact what McDougal did after the failure was. The creation of “Madison Guaranty,” small savings and loans of money, wound up being a complete disaster for the federal government costing them about 73 million. It all had happened because McDougal “defrauded both it and the small-business investment firm Capital Management Services to the tune of $3 million.” How this relates to the Clintons is a mystery. They worked closely with the McDougals and many others accused of fraud charges. To think they didn’t know she leaves a 50/50 chance of probability. After all, so many individuals that worked near Clinton got convicted, and with the cherry on top, McDougal tried to bring Bill Clinton down with him.

After everything is said and done, we’re left with four political scandals that, in their own way, added a bit of discoloration to the bright red, white, and blue. There are other political scandals that I would like to get into. Unfortunately, this is not the case here. With only four choices of wrongdoings, I chose “Iran-Contra” because I believe Reagan’s subordinates should have dealt with the matter a little more tactically and methodically. They should have thought through the situation more. Even if it was to save lives, whoever was at fault for making the call to disobey orders regarding the Embargo and the Boland amendment deserved their sentences. We never deal with terrorists because we always learn the hard way.

Works Cited

  1. Cline, Seth. “The 7 Worst U.S. Presidential Scandals.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, March 1. 2017, www.usnews.com/news/national-news/slideshows/the-7-worst-us-presidential-scandals.
  2. Hufbauer, B. “‘Watergate.’ The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.” Journal of American History, vol. 98, no. 3, 2011, pp. 790–796., doi:10.1093/joist/jar518.
  3. Matthews, Dylan. “Whitewater, Explained for People Who Don’t Remember the Clinton Presidency.” Vox, Vox, April 13, 2015, www.vox.com/2015/4/13/8397309/hillary-Clinton-whitewater.
  4. Schulman, Marc. “History Central.” Tea Pot Dome Scandal, www.historycentral.com/TheTwenties/DomeScandal.html.
  5. Walsh, Lawrence E. “Summary of Prosecutions.” Walsh Iran / Contra Report – Summary of Prosecutions, The Final Report, August 4, 1993, fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/summpros.htm.
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

Watergate Scandal as One of Political Scandals of The Twentieth Century. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/watergate-scandal-as-one-of-political-scandals-of-the-twentieth-century/