What progress was made in foreign affairs during the presidencies of Nixon, Ford and Carter?
Depending on what you define as “progress” in foreign policy, there are a number of things that happened in the 1970s that can be seen as “progress.”
One of the biggest events in foreign policy was the one that came first in the decade. This was Nixon’s opening of diplomatic relations with China. The US had not had diplomatic relations with communist China, but then Nixon decided that it was important to try to implement such relations.
Secondly, Nixon was also responsible for pulling the US out of the Vietnam War. This may or may not be seen as progress, but it was certainly an important step.
Third, these two events helped to bring about the period of “détente.” This was a time when relations between the US and its Cold War foes thawed out. This, too, can be seen as progress.
The final event that can generally be seen as progress in foreign policy was the Camp David Accords that were brokered by President Carter. This was a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. This was the first time that an Arab country had made peace with Israel. At the time, it seemed like an important step towards peace in the Middle East.