Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and burial site of Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, his wife Pat Nixon. Located in Yorba Linda, California on land that President Nixon's family once owned, the library is one of 13 administered by the National Archives and Records Administration; the 9-acre campus is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard in Yorba Linda and incorporates the Richard Nixon Birthplace, a National Historic Landmark where Nixon was born in 1913 and spent his childhood. From its dedication on July 19, 1990 until July 11, 2007, the library and museum was operated by the private Richard Nixon Foundation and was known as the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace; the facility now features tech-savvy museum exhibits. All presidential papers were considered the personal property of the president; some took them at the end of their terms. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to make them available to the public when he donated them to the National Archives in 1939, as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, but did so voluntarily.
The Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon's subsequent resignation from office complicated the issue, however. In September 1974, Richard Nixon made an agreement with the head of the General Services Administration, Arthur F. Sampson, to turn over most materials from his presidency, including tape recordings of conversations he had made in the White House. Alarmed that Nixon's tapes may be lost, Congress abrogated the Nixon–Sampson Agreement by passing the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act, signed into law by President Gerald Ford in December 1974, it applied to materials from the Nixon presidency, directing NARA to take ownership of the materials and process them as as possible. Private materials were to be returned to Nixon; as a result of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act, President Nixon's White House papers and tapes were held by the National Archives, thus they could not be transferred to a facility in Yorba Linda. Funding to build the Nixon Library came from private sources.
The estimated cost to build the institution was $25 million. Ground was broken by Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of President and Mrs. Nixon, in December 1988; the original library and birthplace was dedicated on July 19, 1990. Former President Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon were present, as were President George H. W. Bush, former President Gerald Ford, former President Ronald Reagan, first ladies Barbara Bush, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan. A crowd of 50,000 gathered for the ceremony. At the dedication, Nixon said, "Nothing we have seen matches this moment–to be welcomed home again." The museum, housed in a 52,000-square-foot building, offers a narrative of Nixon's career. Behind the museum is the birthplace, constructed by Nixon's father using a homebuilding kit, restored to appear as it was in the 1910s. President Nixon and Pat Nixon are buried just a few feet from the birthplace; the Nixon Library compound contains the Katharine B. Loker Center and Annenberg Court, a 38,000-square-foot wing constructed in 2004, which includes a special exhibit room and an exact replica of the East Room of the White House, used as an event space.
There is an extensive collection of memorabilia, formal clothing, photographs of the Nixons and their children. This collection includes an assortment of bronze figures of world leaders who had important relations with Nixon as president or during his service as vice president under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1961; the leaders have been recreated in lightweight bronze over a papier-mâché frame, they are dressed in their actual clothing. The U. S. government limousine used by President Nixon throughout his presidency, a customized 1969 Lincoln Continental, is on display in the domestic affairs gallery. A 12-foot-high piece of the Berlin Wall is exhibited in the expansive foreign affairs gallery, which includes a replica of a modest Midwest home from where American soldiers originated, statues of Nixon and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and pages of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty I signed by Nixon and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972. Lieutenant Colonel Gene Boyer, President Nixon's chief helicopter pilot, secured the President's VH-3A "Sea King" helicopter, tail number 150617, to be on permanent display on the library grounds.
The helicopter was in the presidential fleet from 1961 to 1976, transporting Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Ford, many foreign heads of state and government. Boyer flew President Nixon dozens of times to Camp David, over the pyramids in Egypt, on his final flight from the White House in this aircraft; the entire facility underwent a $15 million renovation in 2016, reopened on October 14 of that year with appearances from Dr. Henry Kissinger, former California Governor Pete Wilson and Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai; the new museum includes nearly 70 exhibits, including a replica of President Nixon's Oval Office. Much of the media surrounding the reopening referred to the museum's appeals to the Millennial generation.
The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
The Carter Doctrine was a policy proclaimed by President of the United States Jimmy Carter in his State of the Union Address on January 23, 1980, which stated that the United States would use military force, if necessary, to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf. It was a response to the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, it was intended to deter the Soviet Union, the United States' Cold War adversary, from seeking hegemony in the Persian Gulf region; the following key sentence, written by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser, concludes the section: Let our position be clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force. Brzezinski modeled the wording on the Truman Doctrine, insisted for the sentence to be included in the speech "to make it clear that the Soviets should stay away from the Persian Gulf."In The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil and Power, author Daniel Yergin notes that the Carter Doctrine "bore striking similarities" to a 1903 British declaration in which British Foreign Secretary Lord Landsdowne warned Russia and Germany that the British would "regard the establishment of a naval base or of a fortified port in the Persian Gulf by any other power as a grave menace to British interests, we should resist it with all the means at our disposal."
The Persian Gulf region was first proclaimed to be of national interest to the United States during World War II. Petroleum is centrally important to modern armies; the United States, the world's leading oil producer at the time, supplied most of the oil for the Allied armies. Many American strategists were concerned that the war would dangerously reduce the US's oil supply and so they sought establishing good relations with Saudi Arabia, a kingdom with large oil reserves. On February 16, 1943, US President Franklin Roosevelt said, "the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States."On February 14, 1945, while he was returning from the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt met with Saudi Arabian King Ibn Saud on the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, the first time a US president had visited the Persian Gulf region. During Operation Desert Shield in 1990, US Defense Secretary Dick Cheney cited the landmark meeting between Roosevelt and Ibn Saud as one of the justifications for sending troops to protect Saudi Arabia's border.
The Persian Gulf region was still regarded as an area of vital importance to the US during the Cold War. Three Cold War American presidential doctrines played roles in forming the Carter Doctrine; the Truman Doctrine, which stated that the US would send military aid to countries threatened by Soviet communism, was used to strengthen both Iran and Saudi Arabia's security. In October 1950, President Truman wrote to Ibn Saud that "the United States is interested in the preservation of the independence and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia. No threat to your Kingdom could occur which would not be a matter of immediate concern to the United States."The Eisenhower Doctrine called for US troops to be sent to the Middle East to defend US allies against their Soviet-backed adversaries. The Nixon Doctrine's application provided military aid to Iran and Saudi Arabia so that US allies could ensure peace and stability there. In 1979, the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet intervention of Afghanistan prompted the restatement of US interests in the region in the form of the Carter Doctrine.
In July 1979, responding to a national energy crisis, President Carter delivered his "Crisis of Confidence" speech, urging Americans to reduce their energy use to help lessen American dependence on foreign oil supplies. Some scholars have claimed that Carter's energy plan, if it had been enacted, would have prevented some of the current economic difficulties caused by the American dependency on foreign oil. President Carter, in his State of the Union Address on January 23, 1980, after stating that Soviet troops in Afghanistan posed "a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil," proclaimed: The region, now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan is of great strategic importance: It contains more than two-thirds of the world's exportable oil; the Soviet effort to dominate Afghanistan has brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Straits of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world's oil must flow. The Soviet Union is now attempting to consolidate a strategic position, that poses a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil.
This situation demands careful thought, steady nerves, resolute action, not only for this year but for many years to come. It demands collective efforts to meet this new threat to security in the Persian Gulf and in Southwest Asia, it demands the participation of all those who rely on oil from the Middle East and who are concerned with global peace and stability. And it demands consultation and close cooperation with countries in the area which might be threatened. Meeting this challenge will take national will and political wisdom, economic sacrifice, and, of course, military capability. We must call on the best, in us to preserve the security of this crucial region. Let our position be clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force; the Carter administration began to build up the Rapid Deploy
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U. S. federal government, after the President of the United States, ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The Vice President is an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote; the Vice President presides over joint sessions of Congress. The Vice President is indirectly elected together with the President to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, ratified in 1967, created a mechanism for intra-term vice presidential succession, establishing that vice presidential vacancies will be filled by the president and confirmed by both houses of Congress. Whenever a vice president had succeeded to the presidency or had died or resigned from office, the vice presidency remained vacant until the next presidential and vice presidential terms began.
The Vice President is a statutory member of the National Security Council, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The Office of the Vice President organises the vice president's official functions; the role of the vice presidency has changed since the office was created during the 1787 constitutional Convention. Over the past 100 years, the vice presidency has evolved into a position of domestic and foreign policy political power, is now seen as an integral part of a president's administration; as the Vice President's role within the executive branch has expanded, his role within the legislative branch has contracted. The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch; the modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress.
Mike Pence of Indiana is the current Vice President of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. No mention of an office of vice president was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until near the end, when an 11-member committee on "Leftover Business" proposed a method of electing the chief executive. Delegates had considered the selection of the Senate's presiding officer, deciding that, "The Senate shall choose its own President," and had agreed that this official would be designated the executive's immediate successor, they had considered the mode of election of the executive but had not reached consensus. This all changed on September 4, when the committee recommended that the nation's chief executive be elected by an Electoral College, with each state having a number of presidential electors equal to the sum of that state's allocation of representatives and senators; the proposed presidential election process called for each state to choose members of the electoral college, who would use their discretion to select the candidates they individually viewed as best qualified.
Recognizing that loyalty to one's individual state outweighed loyalty to the new federation, the Constitution's framers assumed that individual electors would be inclined to choose a candidate from their own state over one from another. So they created the office of vice president and required that electors vote for two candidates, requiring that at least one of their votes must be for a candidate from outside the elector's state, believing that this second vote could be cast for a candidate of national character. Additionally, to guard against the possibility that some electors might strategically throw away their second vote in order to bolster their favorite son's chance of winning, it was specified that the first runner-up presidential candidate would become vice president. Creating this new office imposed a political cost on strategically discarded electoral votes, incentivizing electors to make their choices for president without resort to electoral gamesmanship and to cast their second ballot accordingly.
The resultant method of electing the president and vice president, spelled out in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, allocated to each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives membership. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president, but could not differentiate between their first and second choice for the presidency; the person receiving the greatest number of votes would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president. If there were a tie for first or for second place, or if no one won a majority of votes, the president and vice president would be selected by means of contingent elections protocols stated in the clause; the emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns during the 1790s soon frustrated this original plan. In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the presidency, but his bitter rival, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second and became vice president.
Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties.
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Détente is the easing of strained relations in a political situation, through verbal communication. The term originates in the time of the Triple Entente and Entente Cordiale in reference to an easing of tensions between England and France who, subsequent to being commingled polities under Norman rule, were warring rivals for the better part of a millennium but pursuant to a policy of détente became enduring allies. In the context of the Cold War, the lessening of tensions between the East and West, along with domestic reform in the Soviet Union, worked together to achieve the end of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union altogether; the term is most used in reference to a period of general easing of the geo-political tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. It began in 1969, as a core element of the foreign policy of U. S. president Richard Nixon, in an effort to avoid the collision of nuclear risks. The Nixon administration promoted greater dialogue with the Soviet government, including regular summit meetings and negotiations over arms control and other bilateral agreements.
Détente was known in Russian as разрядка. The period was characterized by the signing of treaties such as the Helsinki Accords. Another treaty, SALT II, was never ratified by the United States. There is still ongoing debate amongst historians as to how successful the détente period was in achieving peace. After the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the two superpowers agreed to install a direct hotline between Washington D. C. and Moscow, enabling leaders of both countries to interact with each other in a time of urgency, reduce the chances that future crises could escalate into an all-out war. The U. S./USSR détente was presented as an applied extension of that thinking. The SALT II pact of the late 1970s continued the work of the SALT I talks, ensuring further reduction in arms by the Soviets and by the U. S; the Helsinki Accords, in which the Soviets promised to grant free elections in Europe, has been called a major concession to ensure peace by the Soviets. Détente ended after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, which led to the United States boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
Ronald Reagan's election as president in 1980, based in large part on an anti-détente campaign, marked the close of détente and a return to Cold War tensions. In his first press conference, President Reagan said "Détente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its aims." Following this, relations turned sour with the unrest in Poland, end of the SALT II negotiations, the NATO exercise in 1983 that brought the superpowers on the brink of nuclear war. The most obvious manifestation of détente was the series of summits held between the leaders of the two superpowers and the treaties that resulted from these meetings. In the early 1960s, before détente, the Partial Test Ban Treaty had been signed on 5 August 1963. In the decade, the Outer Space Treaty, in January 1967, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, July 1968, were two of the first building blocks of détente; these early treaties were signed all over the globe. The most important treaties were not developed until the Nixon Administration came into office in 1969.
The Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact sent an offer to the West, urging them to hold a summit on "security and cooperation in Europe". The West agreed and talks began towards actual limits in the nuclear capabilities of the two superpowers; this led to the signing of the SALT I treaty in 1972. This treaty limited each power's nuclear arsenals, though it was rendered out-of-date as a result of the development of MIRVs. In the same year that SALT I was signed, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty were concluded. Talks on SALT II began in 1972. Brezhnev however at the start of the period in his speeches to the Politburo, was intent on using the period of relaxed tensions to prepare for Soviet expansion in the 1980s. In 1975, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe met and produced the Helsinki Accords, a wide-ranging series of agreements on economic and human rights issues; the CSCE was initiated by the USSR. Among other issues, one of the most prevalent and discussed after the conference was that of human rights violations in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Constitution directly violated the Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations, this issue became a prominent point of separation between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Carter administration had been supporting human rights groups inside the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev accused the administration of interference in other countries' internal affairs; this prompted intense discussion of whether or not other nations may interfere if basic human rights are being violated, such as freedom of speech and religion. The basic disagreement in the philosophies of a democracy and a single-party was in a state that did not allow for reconciliation of this issue. Furthermore, the Soviets proceeded to defend their internal policies on human rights by attacking American support of countries like South Africa and Chile, which were known to violate many of the same human rights issues. In July of the same year, the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project became the first international space mission, wherein three American astronauts and two Soviet cosmonauts docked their spacecraft and conducted joint experiments.
This mission had been preceded by five years of political negotiation and technical co-operati