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ichard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States of America, has remained in the history of the world as the first American president to resign. It all started in the summer of 1972 when Nixon decided to spy on his Democratic Party opponents. The Democratic National Committee had its office in the Watergate building. A few microphones were to be installed here. The mission fails because the “thieves” are caught.

Unfortunately for Nixon, the police realized that those arrested were not just criminals. Their connection with the White House is verified and demonstrated. There was a wave of resignations of some people from the leadership of President Nixon’s re-election committee. The next day, the White House declares that it has no interference in the incident.

There is peace over the business. But now two journalists from the American Post Washington Post come into play. Journalists Carl Bernstein and his colleague Bob Woodward are starting to investigate the business on their own. Thanks to an informant, they manage to publish various materials on the watergate breaking point shortly.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the Washington Post newsroom, 1973 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The two conclude that the break-up was not a coincidence but a political order. Following the thread of information obtained, the two journalists discover that the five robbers had been paid with Nixon’s white money. Nixon was known to receive money of dubious value for his election campaign.

However, Nixon won the November 1972 election, but after the election, specifically on January 8, 1973, the trial of those involved in the Watergate scandal began. The one who will give in to the pressures of interrogations and accept to speak is James McCord. He speaks to the authorities about the secret activities of the Committee for the Re-election of the President and how to finance it.

Congress established a senatorial commission during this period, which found that Nixon oversaw the robbers’ trail. More FBI candidate L. Patrick Gray brings new names and information to the stage. He tells how a White House representative was constantly present at FBI interrogations. And three of the president’s advisors appear more often in the testimonies of those asked: John Dean, Ehrlichman, and Haldeman. They resigned on April 30, 1973. Meanwhile, Nixon appoints a new Attorney General, Elliot L. Richardson.

The hearings made by the Watergate special commission of inquiry were televised so that the average American had the opportunity to be aware of the evolution of the case.

The hero of these hearings was John Dean. On June 25, 1973, he announced to the commission all Nixon’s efforts to disguise the business. He also talks about black money for the campaign, lists of White House opponents, Nixon’s obsession with protesters against the war, listening to phones, and about the bunker mentality that prevailed at the White House.

The New York Times Newspaper from September the 8th 1974 (Source: The New York Times)

On October 10, 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned on the charge of bribery. Following this action is more than obvious. On August 8, 1974, Nixon resigned, and on August 9, Vice President Gerald Ford takes the oath as President of the United States of America. A month later, Ford thanked Nixon.

The Watergate deal ultimately limited the executive power to enact laws, such as the War Prerogatives Act (1973), the Law setting ceilings for contributions and expenses in the election campaign (1974), and the Freedom of Information Act (1974) ). There has also been some geographical division in America between the crisis-stricken North and the increasingly prosperous South. This has led to the preference for presidents from the south.

There has also been a phenomenon called by some historians the balkanization of America. This meant the decline of the bipartisan system, the increasing number of independence, and the increasing number of associations (pressure groups). These groups comprised farmers, workers, freelancers, feminists, homosexuals, environmentalists, and more. These groups are at the origin of the current lobby organizations.

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