The Elections of 1968

The presidential elections of 1968 are among the key defining events in the US that highlight the role of foreign policy in directing the outcomes of the United States’ presidential elections. Although marked by a tumultuous home environment, the approach taken by each of the political parties towards the Vietnam War defined the elections outcome (Small 513 – 528). At the backdrop of the elections were domestic events such as assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., a prominent civil right leader, the resultant race riots and an increasingly vulnerable economy that thrust domestic affairs at the forefront of elections campaigns (Gould 7-30). Such domestic events could lead to a casual conclusion that domestic affairs were the predominant issue shaping the 1968 presidential elections. However, a detailed analysis of the pre-election period and the events during the campaigning period indicate that foreign policy was the predominant issue, fueled mainly by opposing viewpoints on Vietnam War. Subsequently in this paper, I discuss the 1968 elections and their short term and long-term implications on the US.

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