Chapter 39 13 Themes
The Stalemated Seventies
Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.
The over-arching theme of chapter 39 was that America’s post-war economic prosperity began to take a sharp slide downward.
- By the early 70s, the economy began to slow. This was mostly due to increased oil prices and resulting inflation. Generally speaking, during the seventies, gas prices tripled and inflation reached double digits by 1980.
- Nixon was brought down by the Watergate Scandal. The scandal involved a break-in and hidden microphones at the Democratic headquarters. Nixon got into trouble for “obstructing justice” and telling people to keep quiet about it.
- Jimmy Carter was elected as a Washington outsider. He struggled as president with (a) the economy which took a nose-dive and (b) foreign affairs as he was unable to deal with U.S. hostages taken in Iran.
- Though times were certainly not bad during the 70s, the economy and the Watergate scandal were toxic. It was a decade without tremendous progress.