To what extent was President Richard Nixon responsible in the Watergate scandal in 1972-1974?

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To what extent was President Richard Nixon responsible in the Watergate scandal in the 1972-1974?


The United States of America had its first President way back in 1789 and in the past 221 years only once did the President have to resign. This was the 37th president, Richard Nixon. He resigned from office due to his alleged involvement in the Watergate scandal. This paper will thus explore the question: “To What Extent Was Richard Nixon Responsible For the Watergate Scandal of 1974?”

For this incident there are no specific schools of learning, therefore I will wield  three different perspectives to this incident, people who were neutral (people out for a true story, namely Bob Woodward from the Washington post and also Carl Bernstein), people who were anti-Nixon (who might or might not have been supporters of Nixon but blamed him for the entire scandal) and what the President had to say about the entire era during his interviews with Sir David Frost. The main limitation to this paper is that each perspective has a bias; either a loyalty bias or a personal bias as most of the sources themselves were a part of the scandal (whether an investigator or a conspirator). This paper deals with a time line of 1972 to 1976, from the first burglary up until the time the President resigns in 1976, these were the years in which the entire scandal was unearthed.

Even though Nixon’s involvement in the entire scandal is doubtful because there is no solid evidence of his involvement, I will try to find out in the course of my investigation whether this whole incident was blown out of proportion by the media. This paper will conclude that up till today even though nobody was able to convict Nixon for his involvement in the Watergate Scandal, he was however involved in a cover-up, an act to obstruct justice.

(Word Count: 299)


  • Abstract


  • Contents

  • Introduction

  • frost/Nixon Interviews (Nixon’s Point Of View)

  • The Neutral Viewpoint on Watergate

  • Anti-Nixon point of view

  • Conclusion

  • Bibliography

  • Appendix I

  • Appendix 2


“I impeached myself “, these are the famous words of President Richard Nixon in response to one of Sir David Frost’s questions during the famous David Frost and Richard Nixon interviews in 1977. The President impeached himself by submitting his resignation for his alleged involvement in the Watergate Scandal. Therefore my research will be based on the research question “To What Extent Was Richard Nixon Responsible for the Watergate Scandal of 1974?” My essay will also explore whether it was Nixon’s scruples of conscience that made him resign or it was due to the surmounting pressure in consequence of his daring to refute the dictates of the Supreme Court?

Over time Watergate has come to be known as the Waterloo of the contemporary world and President Richard Nixon the Bonaparte of the same.Both Waterloo and Watergate created history, one for the defeat of the French at the hands of Britain and Germany while the other for its own President hoisting with the petard of the nation based on equality and integrity. The truth came to light with the apparition of this sinister scandal in 1972 when a gang of 5 men, colligated to the Watergate Seven, were apprehended in the Democratic National Committees (DNC) office after hours by the police who were alerted by security. The Watergate Scandal has been one of the most polemic unraveling the reasons for the involvement of Richard Nixon, who  knew about his re-elect committee’s involvement in the bugging and breaking into the DNC. The break in was discovered on the night of June the 17th 1972 when the guard on duty, Frank Wills found tape covering the latch on locks on many doors in the complex, He took off the tape, and ignored the incident, but an hour later, he discovered that someone had re-taped the locks. He immediately informed the police and gangs of five people were arrested. The five men Virgilio González, Bernard Barker, James W. McCord, Jr., Eugenio Martínez, and Frank Sturgis were arrested . During their trials the five men were connected to the “Watergate Seven “ who were a part of the Committee to Reelect the President. These men were charged with attempted burglary and attempted interception of telephone and other communications. E Howard Hunt and G Gordon Liddy were also charged for conspiracy, burglary, and violation of federal wiretapping laws. The Judge for the trials of these people in 1973, Judge Sirica had a hunch about higher officials being involved in the incident. The entire affair was raised as this hunch was proven when he received a letter from James W. McCord claiming to have been under political pressure to plead guilty and he inculpated many high officials in the Nixon administration including former attorney general John Mitchell. The unraveling of the alleged cover-up began in the aftermath of the arrest of the burglars when their hotel rooms were ransacked and thousands of dollars in cash were found. This further helped the investigation with the entire scandal. People have repeatedly argued whether Nixon was directly or indirectly involved in the Watergate Scandal.

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In investigating the various arguments, evidence and analyses, the three distinct points of view will be dealt with separately,  and a conclusion arrived at on the basis of the stronger and more tenable arguments.

Frost/Nixon Interviews (Nixon’s Point Of View):

On May 4 1977 after remaining three years away from the public ...

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