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Robert Kennedy's United States History Class



--The Watergate Crisis--


After viewing the lecture and the five part series below respond to the following essay prompt by writing a 6-10 paragraph essay response.


Discuss the principles of realistic idealism and political idealism and the concerns of the Founding Fathers. How did the concerns of the Founding Fathers apply to the Watergate crisis? In your discussion identify what the Watergate Crisis, address the historical circumstances, President Nixon's Role in the crisis, as well as its implications.

Learning Objective One: Discuss the concerns of our Founding Fathers about political parties and the nature of man.

Learning Objective Two: Discuss and explain the difference between REALISTIC IDEALISM and POLITICAL IDEALISM and use the personality and political philosophy of Richard Nixon to illustrate the differences

Learning Objective Three: Discuss the events surrounding the Watergate break-in and cover-up as an example of realistic idealism.


After viewing the videos below, identify the following:

1. the historical context in which Watergate occurred

2. the background that led to the "Watergate Crisis".

3. How specifically was President Nixon involved in this crisis

4. what crime was he specifically charged with?

5. Provide at least three examples of how Nixon further complicated the investigation.

6. What ultimately led to Nixon's resignation?

7. Finally, in the context of "realistic idealism" and "political idealism" what did Richard Nixon mean or how do you think it was justified by the following quote: "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal"? Offer at least three examples where he exercised such authority. Do you agree or not which such an exercise of authority? Explain.  

Learning Objective IV: Discuss how the Watergate Crisis was connected to the war in Vietnam. Discuss whether he acted as a realististic idealist or idealistic realists in his affairs regarding the war in Vietnam.