Jimmy Carter

1977-1981

Election

  • 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

Humanitarian Efforts

  • 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