Jimmy Carter

39th President

The Election

Date: 1976

Party: Democratic

Competitor: Gerald Ford

  • His most effective campaign pitch was his promise that “I’ll never lie to you.”
  • Told voters he would clean the mess of the "big government"
  • Won by 51% of the popular vote
  • Carter had 297 electoral votes and Ford had 240 electoral votes
  • Won every state, except Virginia, in the South
  • 97% of the African-Americans casted their votes to Carter

Humanitarian Efforts

  • As a Christian, Carter had a large concern for "human rights"
  • He made the idea of "human rights" the center of his foreign policy


Camp David (ID)

  • The Camp David Accords were the peace accords signed by Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat to finally end the Israeli-Egyptian disputes
  • The achievement by Carter is considered his greatest achievement in office.
  • Carter after thirteen days persuaded the two visitors to sign an accord (September 17, 1978) that held considerable promise of peace


  • Carter also took control of full diplomatic relations with China in early 1979 after a nearly thirty-year interruption
  • He composed treaties too that gave complete ownership and control of the Panama Canal to the Panamanians by the year 2000.

Economic and Energy Woes

Energy Crisis (ID)

  • When Carter entered office inflation soared, due to toe the increases in energy prices by OPEC
  • In the summer of 1979, instability in the Middle East produced a major fuel shortage in the US, and OPEC announced a major price increase
  • Facing pressure to act, Carter retreated to Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Maryland Mountains
  • Ten days later, Carter emerged with a speech including a series of proposals for resolving the energy crisis


  • One of Carter's struggles involved the economy
  • Prices were rising at about 10% a year ("doubly digit inflation")
  • The economy also struggled because of the crippling oil prices
  • Prices eventually rose to 13% inflation
  • The price for imported oil also went up, drastically hurting the economy and forcing a payment of about $40 billion
  • Americans soon learned that economic isolation would never work
  • Americans also learned that they must adapt their culture to be familiar with foreign cultures and languages to create a strong economy
  • Carter believed that America's weak economy was all in effect of oil consumption


Mohammed Reza Pahlevi (ID)

  • The Iranian leader of the 1970s whose departure in 1979 precipitated another world oil crisis


  • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
  • 1974
  • International cartel that inflates price of oil by limiting supply
  • Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and UAE are prominent members


  • Mohammed Reza Pahlevi was overthrown, hurting America and Iran's relations
  • Iran stopped exporting oil
  • OPEC began to raise the oil prices
  • Another oil crisis began
  • Carter retreated to Camp David for ten days to think
  • He then delivered a speech claiming that the people were too consumed with materials and that there are more problems in America than energy and oil

Carter's Speech to the People

President Jimmy Carter - "Crisis of Confidence" Speech

Beginning of the Iranian Hostage Act Crisis in 1979

  • On November 4, 1979
  • The Iranian Hostage Crisis (ID) began when a howling mob of rabidly anti-American Muslim militants stormed the United States embassy in Teheran, Iran
  • The mob took all of its occupants hostage
  • He proposed the creation of a “Rapid Deployment Force"
  • This was created to respond to suddenly developing crises in faraway places and requested that young people, even women, be made to register for a possible military draft.
  • SALT II (ID) basically was repealed and not followed
  • Carter orded a rescue mission
  • Two of the aircrafts collided, killing eight members assigned to the rescue mission
  • The crisis continued for the rest of Carter's term as president