James E. Carter Jr.

Election of Carter

Election of 1976


  • Republican candidate was Gerald R. Ford v. Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter
  • Won by a narrow margin of 51% of the popular vote
  • Was Ford's first actual election, was unpopular due to the Ford Pardon of Nixon
  • Won 297 of the electoral college votes, as opposed to Ford's 240
  • 97% of African Americans voted for Carter

Humanitarian Efforts

  • Human rights guided Carter's foreign policy
  • Rhodesia(later Zimbabwe) and S. Africa, Carter and U.N. ambassador Andrew Young fought for the black majority
  • September 1978-Camp David- relations between Egypt and Israel were tense, Carter invited Egyptian President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin of Israel
  • Could've been disastrous, but Carter negotiated between them and got them to peacefully sign the Camp David accords on September 17th, 1978
  • Resumed full diplomatic relations with China after a 30 year interruption
  • Proposed 2 treaties that gave full control of the Panama Canal to the Panamanians by the year 2000

Economic and Energy Issues


  • Prices were rising at a rate of >10% annually by 1974
  • Oil price increases from OPEC in 1974 took a toll on the economy as well
  • Inflation was >13% by 1979
  • Bill for imported oil was $40 billion by 1978
  • Americans paid more for foreign products than than they could earn from selling products overseas
  • "oil shocks"- showed Americans that they could no longer attempt to pursue economic isolation
  • Drove % of GNP that was based on foreign trade from 10% to 27%
  • Carter saw that the poor economy stemmed from the nation's dependence on foreign oil
  • Pushed for energy conservation legislation, opposed by congress, indifferent public, led to little improvement
  • Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, shah of Iran, installed by CIA in 1953, was overthrown in January 1979
  • Led to shortages in oil from Iran, causing OPEC to raise prices again
  • July 1979-held a leader's conference at Camp David, announced to the American people that they were falling into a "moral and spiritual crisis" by being too concerned with "material goods" and then a few days later, fired 4 cabinet secretaries

Beginning of the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979

  • Iranian Hostage Crisis-November 4, 1979- anti-American Muslims stormed the US embassy in Teheran, Iran and held everyone inside hostage
  • Demanded that the US ship back the injured exiled shah who had been flown to the US for medical care
  • Unstable Iranian government refused to intervene against those holding the US embassy hostage
  • US struggled between keeping the Persian Gulf stable(considering how close it was to the USSR) and saving those being held hostage
  • December 27th, 1979- Soviets invaded through Afghanistan, ready to attack Iran
  • Carter imposed an embargo of grain and high-tech machinery against Russia and boycotted the Moscow Olympics
  • Soviets met harsh resistance in Afghanistan--"Russia's Vietnam"
  • Iranian hostage crisis- Captive Americans, Iranian disrespect of burning American flags and Uncle Sam
  • Carter tried to apply economic sanctions, didn't work, sent in a rescue raid, aircraft collided and killed 8 of the rescuers, mission was a failure