Summary: The Effects Of Watergate

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Although the word “Watergate” directly refers to the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C., it is an umbrella term used to describe a series of complex political events and scandals between the years 1972 and 1974. These events started when Richard Nixon ran for reelection (“Watergate”). In such a harsh political climate, a forceful presidential campaign seemed essential to the president and some of his key advisers. Their aggressive tactics included what turned out to be illegal espionage. In May 1972, members of Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) broke into the democratic opposition’s headquarters, stole copies of top-secret documents and bugged the office’s phones. However, the wiretaps failed to work properly, resulting in …show more content…
The evidence clearly shows the unethical behavior of the president and his staff including, the following: political burglary, bribery, extortion, phone tapping, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, tax fraud, illegal use of government agencies such as the CIA and the FBI, illegal campaign contributions, use of public money for private purposes, and the abuse of presidential power (“The Effects of Watergate”). Nixon and the Watergate Scandal was not the start of corruption in the government, but it was the first time it was exposed to the entire world. The people had disagreed over policy, but not over honesty. The myth of the president as always a great, trustful, moral leader ended and you went from taking what a politician said with a grain of salt to a huge block of salt.It also even caused some to reject the government completely. Recent approval ratings for Congress tanked to 7% and for the President 29%. This is part of the broader trend seen since the 1960s (Zelizer). When Nixon was pardoned, the Republican Party became even further associated with corruption. Therefore, Republican programs have likewise been subject to constant scrutiny as a result of the lingering distrust from Watergate (“The Effects of …show more content…
As a result of the Watergate scandal, a series of laws were passed, by Congress, to limit the president’s power. This included amending the Freedom of Information Act. The change limited the president 's power to wage undeclared war, and the laws surrounding financial disclosure, like the Ethics in Government Act. The Ethics in Government Act established the public financial disclosure requirements for senior employees of the executive branch, as well as particular employees of the legislative and judicial branches (“U.S Office”). It also It created mandatory, public disclosure of financial and employment history of public officials and their immediate family (“The Effects of Watergate”). All of these things may be a hassle on the government workers, but it helps to promote and secure the organization and the integrity of the government and the people in it. As a result of the events of Watergate, restrictions were created on lobbying efforts by public officials for a set period after leaving public office. Another accomplishment brought about by Watergate is that it proved that system of checks and balances, found in the Constitution, could function to force an abusive or tyrannical president out of power (“The Effects of

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