Menace to Democracy: The Forgotten Lessons of Watergate that Continue to Plague the Presidential Records Act
- Menace to Democracy: The Forgotten Lessons of Watergate that Continue to Plague the Presidential Records Act
- Shiflett, Jacob
- Thesis Advisor(s):
- Ngai, Mae
- Undergraduate theses
- Persistent URL:
- , Columbia University.
- "Watergate symbolizes a major "turning point" in American history.
allegedly shifted public sentiments from permitting a certain level of autonomy and
secrecy in the executive branch to mandating that past presidents be held accountable to
the people of the United States through public "ownership of and [timely] access to" their
presidential records after they leave office.
Some contend that these sentiments
culminated in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 and the
Presidential Records Act of 1978. The former "allowed the federal government to take
possession of only presidential records produced by the Nixon administration... [and]
stopped short of providing for state ownership of the items impounded." Whereas the
latter "provides for [public ownership of and] eventual access to presidential documents,
but only from Reagan on."
Together, they supposedly guarantee a new era of open
government in the United States."
- American history
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- Suggested Citation:
- Jacob Shiflett, 2011, Menace to Democracy: The Forgotten Lessons of Watergate that Continue to Plague the Presidential Records Act, Columbia University Academic Commons, http://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:10305.