Make a case for the positive changes in the American political process that resulted from the Watergate scandal.

Make a case for the positive changes in the American political process that resulted from the Watergate scandal.

Positive changes in the American political process that resulted from the Watergate scandal


Watergate scandal was a major political dishonor that took place in the United States in 1972 after the break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters that was located at the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C. The break-in is believed to have been conducted by people in the administration of President Richard Nixon after it attempted to cover-up its involvement (Olson and Max, 025). Constitutional crisis was created when the administration of President Richard Nixon resisted any probe into the scandal.

Positive changes

  • Rise in investigative journalism

After the Watergate Scandal, there was the formation of Investigative Reporters and Editors in 1975. This is a non-profit organization that directs its attention on the quality of investigative reporting. The body has assisted in unearthing personal issues on the life of key political figures that are of national interest (Wittekind and Michael, 78). The scandal also saw increased enrollment in journalism courses. The MU school of Journalism particularly registered an increase in enrollment since it is the institution that had trained top journalists who exposed the events of the scandal. The two outstanding journalists who reported the issue were Bernstein and Woodward.

  • Passage of the Ethics in Government Act

The Ethics in Government Act is a federal law that was passed by the United States Congress immediately after the Watergate Scandal. The Act has created full public disclosure of financial as well as employment history of all public office occupants. It further created restrictions on lobbying efforts by the occupants of public offices for a definite period of time upon exiting those offices. The final role of the Act was the creation of the U.S office of Independent Counsel that has since been replaced by the U.S Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel to carry out investigations on any alleged misconduct in the executive arm of the government that includes the president and the cabinet members.

  • Regulations on campaign financing

The United States Congress has passed a number of legislations aimed at regulating the amount and sources of political campaign finances since the Watergate Scandal. There have been strict limits on the amounts that presidential and congressional candidates can spend in the primaries. There are ceilings on the amount of money that presidential candidates can raise and spend after the nominations (Anderson, 104-106). People and organizations that are donating to aspirants for political positions have set limits upon which they cannot go beyond. The amount that candidates for House and Senate can collect and spend has been curbed through legislations. These legislations have assisted in ensuring accountability and to prevent misuse of public funds.

  • Passage of the National Emergencies Act

The Act was passed in 1976 in order to prevent open-ended states of emergency and to formalize the power of the Congress so that it can place checks and balances on the emergency power of the president. The Act set a limit of two years on the states of national emergencies.


The Watergate Scandal did not only affect the political landscape in the United States but it also impacted in the view of politics and politicians in several countries in the world. Other countries have initiated legislations to prevent the occurrence of what was witnessed in the Watergate Scandal.

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