Watergate Scandal Impact

1699 Words7 Pages
When five men were caught bugging and stealing from the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Watergate Hotel and Complex on June 17, 1972, the burglary was reported briefly and soon forgotten amidst other headlining news. Months later, the Watergate Burglary exploded when ties were found between the break-in and Richard Nixon’s Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP) (Bernstein). Thus began the Watergate Scandal: the bugging and burglary at the Watergate Complex, the cover-up ordered by President Nixon himself, and the Watergate trials which revealed patterns of ethical misconduct within the Nixon administration. The scandal’s traditional timeline ranges from the break-in at the Watergate Complex, Washington D.C. in June of 1972…show more content…
in Hillstrom 3). The Watergate Scandal was a pivotal event in U.S. history and created a constitutional disaster, resulting in the first and only presidential resignation (Olson 1). The political climate and scandals affiliated with the Watergate break-in caused a cultural revolution in the United States. Watergate strengthened the the power of the press and media in American society. The Watergate Scandal changed the culture of American civilians. Lastly, the Watergate Scandal forced the political system change its ethical code.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been investigating the Watergate burglary for less than a month, when Nixon ordered the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to shut down the investigation. Despite this being an obstruction of justice and an impeachable crime, the Watergate investigation did not reach much publicity, which is why it was so radical for amateur Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward to continue the investigation. With the help of former FBI agent Mark Felt— then known as “Deep Throat”—, Woodward and Bernstein discovered money given to Nixon’s re-election campaign that
…show more content…
Nixon is one of numerous public figures that turned to selfish and excessive means for winning. His desired success and attempted preservation of public ignorance through bribery, burglary, spying, and forgery reflects the culture of the American people themselves (Royster 257). Watergate, however, helped create more ethical standards for politics and therefore society as a whole (Dean). After Watergate, more than 40 percent of scandal-tainted politicians did not survive, whether it be through loss, retirement, or resignation (Basinger 395). This statistic depicts an improvement in societal and electorate standards and judgement for a specific
Open Document