Robert asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 5 years ago

Can someone please explain to me what the 'Watergate scandal' was?

Context, details, specifics, significance, etc. would be greatly appreciated! thank you

(This was one of the first few things that popped into my head when I read the question "Why has there been a decline in Americans’ trust of government? Identify factors that led to the decline of the early 1970s and provide current evidence." but I don't really know what Watergate was about just heard my teachers reference it here and there.)

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In June 1972, a group of men were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee, located in the Watergate, a hotel and office complex in Washington DC. This was during the election when President Richard Nixon, a Republican, was running for re-election against George McGovern, the Democratic candidate. The men had listening equipment with them and appeared to be trying to bug the offices.

    At first the break in seemed like a fairly minor story. But a couple of the "burglars" had connections either to the White House or to the "Committee to Re-Elect the President", a pro-Nixon political group. (IIRC two of them had address books containing the phone number of Nixon's chief of staff and one of them was employed in security at CREEP).

    As the media dug deeper into the break in it became clear that there was more going on. Official investigations followed, in addition to the criminal charges against the burglars. Investigators and the media discovered more and more evidence that the Nixon administration was moving money around, sometimes in illegal ways, to try and cover up their involvement in the break in. It eventually became clear that top figures in the Nixon administration had authorized the break in. As investigations continued, more and more officials became ensnared in them and ended up having to resign and/or be prosecuted for crimes. The administration tried various methods, both official and unofficial to obstruct the investigations and keep them from reaching any kind of conclusion on the President's involvement. Eventually, investigators secured the release of many hours of tapes which Nixon had made of his meetings and discussions in the Oval Office. While not directly implicating Nixon in the break in, the tapes did show a raw and unflattering portrait of a paranoid and vengeful Nixon who was obsessed with trying to take down his enemies and protect his administration, whatever the cost.

    By August, 1974, Nixon's support in Congress was basically gone. A delegation of important Republican Senators met with Nixon and informed him that they would not defend him if he was impeached. Fearing that he would be kicked out, Nixon instead decided to resign on August 8th, the first, and so far only president to do so.

  • 5 years ago

    It was the breaking of the Democratic Central Committees offices by a group of men representing or perhaps led by President Nixon. The Watergate breaking just added to the lack of trust of the Government that existed at that time. The Vietnam War was a much greater issue that Watergate. The media made a circus out of it.

    Source(s): Lived through it and if one man had not told his wife or she had kept her mouth shut it probably might not have become such a media circus.
  • 5 years ago

    If you want specifics, you're better off looking it up on Wikipedia. The thing lasted more than two years. (I was so damn happy in 1974 when I picked up a newspaper and Watergate wasn't in the headline.) Basically, a Nixon aide sent an ex-CIA nut job and a handful of amateur wannabes to the Watergate to break in to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. They got caught. Congress decided to investigate and the Nixon administration stoned walled them. Eventually, it became apparent that was President Nixon himself that was responsible for the resistance to the investigation. Some very shady and stupid stuff went in to trying to stop it. Over time it became apparent that an impeachment vote would take place in the Senate and that Nixon did not have the political support to avoid it. Rather than be impeached, President Nixon resigned from office and his (non-elected) Vice President, Gerald Ford, took office in his place.

  • 5 years ago

    it forced Nixon to resign

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Enlighten yourself.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    if you wan that much detail, you will need to google it..............way too much to write here

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