President Carter

The Presidential Election

  • 1976
  • Gerald Ford: picked as Republican candidate at the Kansas City COnvention
  • James Earl Carter Jr. : picked as the Democratic candidate
  • Carter = state governor from 1971-1975
  • campaign pitch: " I'll never lie to you"
  • had no history of corruption
  • attracted the people who felt he was an outsider that would clean out the government
  • Carter: got 51% of the popular vote
  • he got 297 of the popular votes while Ford got 240 of them
  • it was a very narrow victory
  • 97% of the African-Americans voted for him
  • got every state except Virginia in the South
  • there were Democratic majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate
  • enjoyed success for awhile: created a new cabinet-level Department of Energy etc
  • but he was still inexperienced
  • did not get the ways of Washington

Humanitarian Efforts

  • strong Christian
  • his faith gave him propelled him to put the issue of human rights as the main focus for international policy
  • South Africa: helped the oppressed black people
  • September 1978 at Camp David: most famous foreign policy achievement
  • Carter invited President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel to a conference as the relations between Egypt and Israel were poor
  • Carter spent 13 days persuading them to sign an accord: Camp David Accords
  • September 17, 1978: both countries end up signing it in the hopes of peace
  • Israel = promises to leave the territory it had gained after the 1967 war
  • Egypt = in turn promises to respect the borders of Israel
  • three months = formal peace treaty
  • 1979: U.S. gains back its diplomatic relationship with China
  • Carter also proposes 2 treaties with the Panamanians regarding the Panama canal
  • still the threat of the Cold War
  • Detente is not working= falling apart

Economic and Energy Issues

  • high inflation: prices rising by more than 10% a year by 1974
  • horrible oil-prices due to the OPE
  • 1979: inflation more than 13%
  • 1978: $40 billion due to importing oil
  • oil shocks of 1970's: taught America that it cannot maintain a policy of isolationism
  • century's end: 27% GNP depending on foreign trade
  • United States could not dominate the international trade
  • 1980: $60 billion in deficits
  • Americans with fixed incomes = suffered the most
  • "prime rate" = 20%
  • Carter believed that the poor economy depended on America's reliance on foreign oil
  • wanted legislation: improve energy conservation
  • public hostility ended this dream
  • 1979: Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, shah installed the American CIA and a ruthless oil reserve holder, was taken out of power
  • led to violent revolutions by Muslim fundamentalists
  • they were mad at the United States = they stopped their oil exports
  • economic crisis and energy crisis gets worse : July 1979 - Carter leaves to Camp David to figure things out and consult others
  • July 15, 1979: comes back and makes a television address where he scolds Americans for being too concentrated on material goods
  • shocked country

Iranian Hostage Crisis: The Beginning

  • Salt ll agreements: made between Soviet Union and Carter in June 1979 = gave hope for a better world
  • they limited the very dangerous weapons used between the two powers
  • the hope gained by the treaty shattered on November 4, 1979
  • anti-American Muslims came into the US embassy in Iran and took everyone hostage
  • used the hostages to blackmail the United States into returning the exiled shah
  • the government of Iran refused to intervene
  • Iranian Hostage Crisis
  • December 27, 1979: Soviet Union bombs Afghanistan
  • Carter = embargo on export of grain and boycott of upcoming Olympics in Moscow
  • Rapid Deployment Force = young people made ready for a draft to be able to deal with a far away crisis
  • Soviet Union = met with an unexpected War in Afghanistan
  • Carter's rescue mission = ended in a failure
  • = stalemate