Presidential Politics class digs into issues of 1972

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Yesterday morning students shared examples of presidents who have demonstrated crisis leadership skills and good international relations with other countries. We then contrasted leadership skills and use of presidential power by Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon. We watched a short clip over how Nixon handled foreign affairs during his presidency.

After the morning break, students were assigned to the Republican or Democrat Party as they researched the issues that divided our country in 1972. Students participated in a group debate between the supporters of each party’s candidate during the 1972 election. The winning side can be seen in the photo below! Before students went to lunch we examined Nixon’s domestic policies.

Nixon's supporters celebrate their victory following the 1972 debate.
Nixon’s supporters celebrate their victory following the 1972 debate.

After lunch, students watched a short clip and read a handout over the Watergate scandal. We went to the library where students researched the Watergate scandal and looked at political cartoons involving the presidency of Richard Nixon. Students also completed a survey on the computer to see which political candidate they most likely agreed with in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

When students returned from their afternoon break they examined the major issues and events of the Gerald Ford presidency. We analyzed how historians ranked Ford’s presidency. Students watched a short clip over the transition from Richard Nixon to Gerald Ford’s presidency. We ended class by reading a court case during the presidency of Gerald Ford that involved the death penalty. Students gave their opinion on how they would have voted had they been on the Supreme Court during that case.

Last night during study hall students debated the court case of United States v. Richard Nixon. Students will also read about Roe vs. Wade and discuss the court’s decision during that case.

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