The Watergate Scandal

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Did the Watergate scandal demonstrate the overall strength or weakness of the American democratic system? Think about the following points: the power of the executive branch prior to Watergate; the role of the press in the Watergate scandal; the role of Congress in Watergate; the role of the courts in Watergate; and other great historical crises. I personally put that it demonstrated strength, but I just need evidence to support my answer. Thanks in advance!

One could argue that the Watergate scandal demonstrated the overall strength of the American democratic system. Although it was investigative journalism that initially exposed Nixon's crimes, it was the political system that ultimately ensured that he was forced to resign. Had Nixon not resigned, then he almost certainly would've been impeached and removed from office.

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Whatever the deficiencies of the American system of government—and there are many—it seemed to work well enough in the case of Richard Nixon. The Watergate scandal had uncovered widespread abuse of power and criminal acts at the highest level of the executive. Despite desperate attempts by Nixon and his acolytes to put a lid on the affair, the sordid secrets of his attempts to subvert the law came to light, exposing the president as a criminal.

Despite widespread media coverage of the Watergate scandal, it was the political system rather than the media that eventually forced Nixon from office. If the relevant checks and balances had not been in place it's likely that he would've tried to tough it out, hoping for the storm to blow over. That Nixon was unable to do that is because the American governmental system had the provisions in place to force him out of office.

Nixon only resigned because he knew that Congress would vote to impeach him and have him removed from office. Such a...

(The entire section contains 7 answers and 826 words.)

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