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Ford, Gerald Rudolph (1912–)

Subject History

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


President of the US (1974–7). He attended the University of Michigan and Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1944 before serving in the navy (as a lieutenant-commander) during the Second World War. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1948, he remained there until 1973 and was Republican minority leader from 1965, gaining a reputation for integrity. When Vice-President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign in October 1973, after the disclosure of income tax evasion and bribery when he was Governor of Maryland, Ford became Vice-President. President nixon had to resign too as a result of Watergate, so Ford automatically replaced him, the first President to take office without being elected either as President or Vice-President. A month later he pardoned Nixon for any federal crimes he had committed, an act which lost him much of his popularity. He was traditionally conservative in economic policy, aiming to balance the budget and reduce government intervention. The President tried to stimulate a sluggish economy by huge tax cuts in 1975 with only partial success. As he thought control of inflation was more important than reducing unemployment, he opposed increasing government expenditure and vetoed many social welfare measures and bills to increase farm prices and create new jobs. In two and a half years he vetoed 66 bills, more than any previous President, except Grover Cleveland. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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