American History

Whether Or Not the 1970s Continued the Legacy of the 1960s

It is the mentality of many people and especially historians that the period between 1960 and 1969 was in essence, one of the greatest periods in American history in terms of advancements in many fields. This period is categorized by the ending of the administrations of Dwight Eisenhower as the United States president, paving way for a tightly contested election which Senator J. F. Kennedy wins albeit by a slight margin against Richard Nixon. Senator Kennedy inherited an extremely flammable atmosphere as this was the advent of the cold war which saw America server its relations with Cuba. The world was almost thrown into another war as international relations between America and the Soviet Union got even sourer. This was worsened even more by the construction of the Berlin wall and the unrest in Vietnam which saw President Kennedy announce that they would engage the enemy if they were attacked.

On the home front, domestic civil activists most of them of black origin, lined along the Lincoln memorial and demanded for equal rights. They were inspired by Martin Luther king who went on to deliver his famous speech titled “I have a dream”. This only came a year after the University of Mississippi enrolled its first black student amid sporadic protests. These are only but a few of the political happenings both internationally and on the home front that influences the importance of this particular period in American history. In my own opinion, domestically both administrations are in one way or another similar and the only difference is the fact that while President Kennedy did not live to finish his second term, Nixon on the other hand went on to win a second term and concentrated in signing new pacts with the Soviet Union thus lowering the temperature slightly. I think the 1970s in every imaginable way, is similar to the 1960s only the political players are different.

How Nixon’s Presidency and Carters Negative Presidency Pave Way for Reagan’s Presidency and How It Fits into the Story

After the Watergate scandal, cracks began to emerge in President Nixon’s administration which culminated in the quitting of Nixon from office, thus avoiding being impeached. His departure though untimely, paved way for the election of Jimmy Carter in the ensuing run-offs. It will be noted that Nixon still retained a considerable margin of popularity even though he was tied to a public scandal. Jimmy carter was thus challenged with the task of rebuilding the trust of many Americans which had been lost after the Watergate scandal. His policies however good they might have seemed, did not augur well for the country’s economy and the nation was in a tight economic quagmire that bordered on recession. Many critics have blamed Jimmy carter for acting cowardly on the international arena and sinking the American economy. This is in spite of the fact that he helped in establishing several treaties. He is the only surviving United States president who vied for a second term and lost.

How it Fits into the Story

It is common knowledge among many Americans that President Carter fared badly especially towards the end of his presidency. He succeeded in hampering economic progress due to increased government spending. Americans needed security assurance as many perceived his personality among the weakest of all United States Presidents. Thus America needed a conservative individual like Ronald Reagan to implement economic and national changes in policy making. It is of importance to note that as president of the United States, Reagan elicited American pride and this was shown by how willingly he was able to fight off communism. He is mostly credited with the reduction of taxes and the ending of the cold war.