Confidence In The Watergate Scandal

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‘Confidence in the government declined between 1968 and 1980 largely due to political scandal’. To what extent do you agree? It is clear that while political scandal, primarily the 1974 Watergate scandal, played a large role in the rapidly declining confidence in government between 1968 and 1980, it is not the sole or even the dominant factor. The Watergate scandal only impacted on the Nixon era, and subsequently lead to measures that should have prevented further distrust in the government. Instead, the role played by the four presidents who held office in those years was the main reason behind the decline in confidence. The role of the presidents and their White House administrations encompassed political scandals, and also clearly influenced other factors such as the role…show more content…
Particularly during the Vietnam War, tensions had been brewing over civil rights and pacifist movements, often headed by young people or students who felt that the government were not listening to their opinions and interests. With the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, racial tensions came to a head, sparking riots and animosity towards the government, who some perceived as countering or hindering the civil rights movement. The police and National Guard reacted violently to these riots, and in the case of student protests, many of which were peaceful, such during as the 1970 Kent State ‘Massacre’ where four were killed and nine injured during an anti-war demonstration. This was particularly damning as unarmed students were killed, and the reaction was immense. The Kent State ‘Massacre’ made it clear that to many social dynamics, the police, and by extension the government, were becoming the

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