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Maps and Cityscapes
People and the Humanities


Library of Congress

August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon, departing from the White House lawn after resignation.

This week we turn our attention to politics. In the Lecture, Professor Mayer discusses the election of 1968 and the idea of the “silent majority, Nixon’s Presidency (both foreign policy and domestic issues), the election of 1972, Watergate, and the politics of the Northwest.

Maps & Cityscapes presents maps of the 1968 and 1972 Presidential election in Montana and Washington, while Tribal Perspectives examines the sources for the Indian Education for All Act n the 1972 Montana State Constitution.

People and the Humanities profiles Montana Senator and Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield. We also present the political speeches of the 1970s and discuss their importance. The Research section presents our top reading and viewing picks for this topic.

Assignment suggestions for this week’s content include:

  • How did the relationship between the voting public and national politicians changed after Watergate? How can we explain the popularity of Nixon and then his dramatic fall from grace? Why did Americans feel so betrayed by Watergate?
  • How did Nixon’s Presidency change the nature of the two parties in the years that followed? Why is that change significant?
  • Is Nixon’s legacy only that of Watergate? What does his Presidency as a whole mean historically?
  • If you are not working in this period, consider looking for other dramatic turning points in the politics of your own period. Are they as dramatic as we believe them to be?