Unit Plan for the Nixon

Unit Plan for the Nixon

Subject: American History 

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Topic: The Nixon Presidency

Duration for the Unit: Approximately seven days

Level: College  

Learning Objectives

Know: The major events and individuals in the history of the United States and in particular in the government and political issues during the period 1968 to 1975.

Understand: The election and the re-election of Nixon and the domestic and foreign policies concerning social and political events during that period. 

Do: Identify, analyze, and discuss the concept of free press, independent judiciary, separation of powers national security vs. openness/transparency, which will include the events in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as in the contemporary U.S. The knowledge will be of benefit to the student, as it will help them in evaluating and monitoring the actions of their government.

Background Reading

  1. Reeves, R. (2001). President Nixon: Alone in the White House (1st ed.). NewYork: Simon and Schuster.
  2. Chapter 9 and 10 of Schoen, D. E. (2016). The Nixon Effect: How Richard Nixon’s Presidency Fundamentally Changed American Politics. New York: Encounter Books.

Primary Source Documents

Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley meeting: A photography of Elvis Presley and Richard M. Nixon shaking hands after her visit to the White House. The article contains meeting notes, documents, and photos. 

Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech: This is document contains the political triumph of Nixon during the time it was given. This followed the winning of the Republicans by a landslide. 

Nixon’s Views on Presidential Power: The article contains the views of Nixon in the case of the United States v. Nixon (1974). It contains a congressional hearing about President Nixon’s Watergate that reveals the installation of a tape recorder in the Oval Office.

Day One: Background review of Nixon

The students should read the background of Nixon from the below article. Explore the personality issues of Nixon, the 1968 election and his early life.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/richard-m-nixon/

Day Two: Nixon Tapes

Students should explore the “silent majority” speech. Nixon policies of “Peace with Honor” and “Vietnamization” and his significance in the Vietnam War during his election 

http://nixon.archives.gov/forkids/speechesforkids/silentmajority/silentmajority_tra nscript.pdf

Assessment: Create a diagram on the key players during the administration of Nixon. 

Day Three: Nixon and the War

  • War Powers Act
  • War Powers Resolution
  • My Lai massacre in 1969
  • Pentagon papers release 
  • A comparison with Afghan War Documents from Wikileaks
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/warpower.asp

Day Four: The Nixon Tapes (1971-1972)

  • Lack of trust in the SALT negotiations 
  • Reasons for making tapes
  • The argument of Dean on Watergate

Brinkley, D., & Nichter, L. (Eds.). (2014). The Nixon Tapes, 1971-1972. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Day Five: Watergate 

  • Timeline and the events of Watergate
  • National security issues
  • The presidential power of Nixon
  • CREEP

Waldron, L. (2013). Watergate: The hidden history: Nixon, the Mafia, and the CIA. Counterpoint Press. (Chapter 25 and 28)

Day Six: Preparation for Mock Impeachment 

Assigning of roles and prepare for their roles on the following day. Some of the characters include Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Alexander Butterfield, John Ehrlichman, H.R. Halderman, John Dean, Congress members, and a Special Prosecutor

Day Seven: Mock Impeachment

Role-playing among students

Assessment

Assume that you are the Chief of Staff in the White House, which ethical, legal, and social issues do you think the President requires understanding? How would you advise the president on issues with taping conversations and secrecy? What is your personal opinion on Nixon’s way of handling issues?

The length for the assessment is a minimum of four double spaced pages. Students should follow the APA writing standards and format. 

References

Brinkley, D., & Nichter, L. (Eds.). (2014). The Nixon Tapes, 1971-1972. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chapter 9 and 10 of Schoen, D. E. (2016). The Nixon Effect: How Richard Nixon’s Presidency Fundamentally Changed American Politics. New York: Encounter Books.

Reeves, R. (2001). President Nixon: Alone in the White House (1st ed.). NewYork: Simon and Schuster.

Reeves, R. (2019). President Nixon: Alone in the White House (1st ed.). NewYork: Simon and Schuster.

The Avalon Project (2008). War Powers Resolution: Joint Resolution Concerning the War Powers of Congress and the President. Lillian Goldman Law Library. Retrieved from https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/warpower.aspWaldron, L. (2013). Watergate: The hidden history: Nixon, the Mafia, and the CIA. Counterpoint Press.

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