Republican Ford vs. Democratic Carter
Served as governor of Georgia for four years
Ran on the platform of “I won’t lie to you” in response to the Republicans and their Watergate scandal.
Won 51% of the popular vote and squeaked by with 297 to 240 electoral votes
Won 97% of the African-American vote and every southern state besides Virginia
Fortunate to have a Democratic majority in Congress that passed his tax-reduction bill and his establishment for a Department of Energy
- Used advisors from his old Georgia circle
In South Africa and Rhodesia, Carter and UN ambassador Andrew Young helped the black population
Mediated a meeting between Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin in 1978 at Camp David to settle disputes to find peace between the Arab and Jewish nations.
Israel promised to give back territories won in the Six-Day War in 1967 and Egypt promised to honor Israel’s boundaries in the Camp David Accords.
Peace treaty was to be signed three months after 13 day meeting
Carter resumed dimplomatic relations with China after 30 years of stagnation
- Promised to nationalize the Panama Canal for the Panamanians by the year 2000
Economy and Energy Crisis
Double-digit inflation rates permeated society starting from 1974
OPEC hiked up oil prices forcing Americans to pay more money than they were earning from foreign trade
U.S. paid $40 billion for oil in 1978
The GNP went from 10%-to 27% dependability on foreign trade because of the “oil shocks”
Elderly and non-union workers suffered greatly
Prime rate reached all the way to 20%
Construction industry and small businesses failed and faltered because of high interest rates
“Moral equivalent of war”-energy conservation that included curbing production of automobiles
Mohammed Reza Pahlevi’s regime overthrown in 1979 and with it oil relations with the U.S.
Resulted in shortages and OPEC’s inflated prices
Iranian Hostage Crisis
Carter met with Soviet Leonid brezhnev to sign SALT II agreement
Talks stalled again by conservative critic, fueled by mistrust of the Soviets and the Soviet combat brigade in Cuba
Anti-American Muslims stormed the U.S. embassy and held everybody captive until the exiled shah was returned on November 4, 1979
Iranian government refused to cooperate.
Ayatollah Khomeini, revolutionary leader, even accused the U.S. of attacking Mecca
Soviets attacked the mountainous region of Afghanistan in hopes to sweep in and take over the rich oil-fields of Iran on December 27, 1979.
Carter put an embargo on grain and high-tech machinery to the USSR and called for a boycott of the Moscow Olympics
Wanted to create a Rapid Deployment Force to combat developing crisis in other countries
Soviets were stopped by Afghanistan guerillas in “Russia’s Vietnam”
Diplomatic and economic actions failed, Carter sent in a rescue squad that failed after an equipment failure stalled the mission
Eight rescuers died after two planes crashed in the getaway
Stalemate in the Iranian Hostage Crisis continued through into the next election