Q:

What were the effects of the Watergate scandal?

A:

The direct effect of the Watergate scandal was the resignation of Richard Nixon as President of the United States. A number of Nixon's aides were sent to federal prison. Congress subsequently passed several laws concerning campaign financing, government ethics and freedom of information. A long-term effect was a widespread distrust by the American public in the presidency and the nation's political institutions in general.

The first Watergate break-in occurred in May 1972, when members of Nixon's Committee to Re-elect the President burglarized the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate building, bugging the phones and stealing top-secret documents. In June, the burglars returned, as the wiretaps were not functioning properly. This time the police caught them in the act and apprehended them.

President Nixon denied any knowledge of the break-in and as a result won the 1972 election by a landslide. Investigations and secret White House tapes afterwards revealed that he tried to cover up the burglaries by paying bribes, impeding the FBI investigation, firing government officials and destroying evidence.

Faced with certain impeachment, Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974. Soon after he was sworn in, Gerald Ford, the new president and former vice-president under Nixon, pardoned Nixon for any crimes committed while in office. The American public was incensed, and political commentators felt it was a major factor in Ford losing the 1976 presidential election to Jimmy Carter.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why was the Watergate scandal so important?

    A:

    The Watergate scandal was a watershed moment in American politics; the authority of Congress was openly defied by a powerful executive branch that, in the opinion of some, had spun out of control. Though the crisis was eventually resolved, it brought America to the brink of what some feared was an open rift between branches of government and threatened the basic legitimacy of the American political system.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did the Watergate scandal affect America?

    A:

    The Watergate scandal of 1972 is said to have made a number of Americans lose their faith in the government and in the leadership of their country, due to the realization they had been lied to through media. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post journalists, revealed that former U.S. President Richard Nixon's re-election committee had laundered money for the scandal and that the executive administration was corrupt.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a summary of the Watergate scandal?

    A:

    The Watergate scandal consisted of the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters by people indirectly working for President Richard Nixon, and the subsequent cover-up of the administration's involvement by Nixon and members of his staff. The Watergate scandal drew widespread attention and resulted in the resignation of President Nixon.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did President Jackson view the Second National Bank?

    A:

    By the time Andrew Jackson was sworn into office as President of the United States, the Second National Bank handled an estimated 20 percent of the nation's loans and one-third of all deposits. Fearing that such a powerful bank would be unable to remain independent of the electoral process, Jackson set out to destroy it with no chance of reform.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore