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Presentation on theme: "RUNNING ON EMPTY: THE NATION TRANSFORMED"— Presentation transcript:

The Oil Crisis following the Arab-Israeli War in October 1973, the Arab oil-producing states cut off oil shipments to the United States and other western countries the price of oil rose from $3 a barrel to $12 this sent the price of nearly everything skyrocketing

2 oil heated homes and powered factories; it also was used by utility plants to generate electricity
nylon and other synthetic fibers, many plastics, paints, insecticides, and fertilizers were based on petrochemicals and, of course, crude oil was refined into gasoline to run cars Arab oil embargo pushed up prices and created shortages Kissinger negotiated an agreement that involved the withdrawal of Israel from some of the territory it occupied in 1967

3 the Arab nations lifted the oil embargo
America, which had once been an oil exporter, no longer produced enough oil for its own use as gasoline prices in the United States increased, Americans began to turn to smaller, more efficient cars that hurt the American automobile industry

4 Ford as President after being appointed, rather than elected, vice-president, Gerald Ford assumed the presidency on Nixon’s resignation in August of 1974 he seemed unimaginative and less than brilliant, but he was hardworking and untouched by scandal an open and earnest person, Ford seemed unlikely to venture beyond conventional boundaries

5 although this was what the country wanted, Ford proved unable to contend with the powerful forces that would shake the nation’s economic foundation he faced high inflation as well as high unemployment and had to deal with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress even recognizing the difficult situation he faced, Ford’s handling of the economy was inept

6 The Fall of South Vietnam
Congress refused Ford’s request for aid to South Vietnam, and Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975 the long Vietnam War was finally over

7 Ford versus Carter after some hesitation, Ford decided to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 1976 he narrowly survived a challenge by Ronald Reagan, a former movie actor and former governor of California Ford’s Democratic challenger was Jimmy Carter of Georgia

8 Carter’s homespun appeal and his outsider’s image initially gave him a considerable edge over Ford
both candidates were vague on issues, but Carter patched together key elements of the New Deal coalition and won a narrow victory

9 The Carter Presidency Carter attempted to impart an air of democratic simplicity and a measure of moralism to his presidency he set aside the formal trappings of office, which made a pleasant change from Nixon however, Carter filled his administration with Georgia associates who had as little national political experience as he had the administration developed a reputation for submitting complicated proposals and failing to follow them up

10 A National Malaise Carter alienated public opinion by making a television address in which he described a “moral and spiritual crisis” that sapped the nation’s energies sermons on the emptiness of consumption rang hollow to those who had lost their jobs or seen inflation shrink their paychecks the economic downturn, though triggered by the energy crisis, had more fundamental causes

11 the nation’s productivity had declined, in part because of discontent among workers with increasingly dull, repetitive jobs younger workers grew impatient with aging union leaders and a system that tied salary increases to seniority as a result, union membership declined

12 Stagflation: The Weird Economy
Carter confronted an unanticipated and difficult economic situation the nation experienced simultaneously high inflation and high unemployment the term “stagflation” was coined to describe the seemingly contradictory combination of high inflation and slow growth Carter’s solutions to the nation’s economic problems closely paralleled those of his Republican predecessors

13 he advanced an admirable, if complicated, national energy plan but, typically, failed to press for its implementation Congress raised minimum wage and tied social security payments to the cost of living index while this helped the working poor and pensioners, it unbalanced the federal budget and caused further upward pressure on prices as incomes rose in response to inflation, people moved into higher tax brackets “bracket creep” and decreased spending power gave rise to "taxpayer revolts”

14 deficit spending by the government pushed interest rates higher and thereby increased the cost of doing business soaring mortgage rates made it difficult to sell homes; the resulting housing slump cost many construction workeres their jobs and meant bankruptcy for many builders savings and loan institutions were especially hard hit because they were saddled with long-term mortgages made when rates were as low as 4 and 5 percent now they had to pay much more than that to hold deposits and offer even higher rates to attract new money

15 “You Deserve a Break”: Families Under Strain
oil prices nearly trippled in 1979, which touched off another round of inflation auto makers were especially hard hit workers, most of them men, lost relatively high-paying jobs in automobile factories and steel mills in many cases, their spouses took lower-paying jobs in restaurants, retail stores, and offices to make up for lost income

16 eating out, especially in fast food restaurants became more common; families with two working parents had little time to shop for, prepare, and enjoy leisurely meals the recession struck just as millions of young women, raised with feminist expectations, were beginning careers nevertheless, well-educated women made significant gains in the 1970s as a result, women divided into a professional elite and a poorly paid, struggling class

17 one casualty was the Equal Rights Amendment
although Congress passed the ERA in 1972 and twenty-two states had ratified it by the end of that year, Phyllis Schlafly headed a campaign against the ERA Schlafly’s campaign struck a responsive chord with anxious housewives and women who worked for low wages the ERA failed to win ratification in the necessary three-fourths of the states

18 Cold War or Détente? Carter’s foreign policy suffered from the same indecision and inconsistency as his domestic policy he announced an intention to place the issue of “basic human rights” before all else he cut aid to Chile and Argentina because of their human rights violations, but said little about and continued aid to other repressive nations Carter negotiated for the gradual return of the Panama Canal to Panama’s control and a guarantee of the neutrality of the canal

19 he also attempted to continue Nixon’s policy of détente
the president ended American recognition of Taiwan and exchanged ambassadors with the People’s Republic of China his policies toward the Soviets were inconsistent, in part because his secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, supported détente while his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was strongly anti-Russian the United States and Soviet Union signed a second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) in 1979

20 Carter submitted the treaty to the Senate for ratification, but after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Carter withdrew the treaty from consideration Carter also stopped the shipment of American grain and high technology to the Soviet Union and boycotted the Moscow Olympics all of this served effectively to end détente Carter’s major diplomatic achievement was the signing of the Camp David Agreement in 1978 between Egypt and Israel

21 The Iran Crisis: Origins
beginning in World War II, the United States helped maintain the rule of the Shah of Iran, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi the United States sold weapons to the Shah and trained his secret police although Iran was an enthusiastic member of OPEC, the Shah was a firm friend of the U.S. many regarded Iran to be, as Carter put it, “an island of stability” in the Middle East; this appearance was deceptive

22 the Shah angered conservative Muslims with his attempts to westernize Iranian society
moreover, his regime brutally suppressed political dissenters the Shah’s opponents hated the United States. In 1978, the Iranian people overthrew the Shah a revolutionary government headed by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power when Carter invited the deposed Shah to come to the United States for medical treatment, Iranian radicals stormed the American embassy compound in Teheran and held the Americans inside hostage

23 The Iran Crisis: Carter's Dilemma
the militants who seized the embassy demanded the return of the Shah and the surrender of his assets to the Iranian government in exchange for their American captives Carter refused and froze Iranian assets held in the United States he also banned trade with Iran until the hostages were released Carter initially benefited from the American people’s willingness to support a president in times of crisis

24 the hostage crisis derailed Senator Edward Kennedy’s campaign for the Democratic nomination
in April 1980, Carter ordered a military rescue mission; the raid was a fiasco several helicopters broke down, and Carter called off the rescue during a confused departure, a crash killed eight American commandos

25 The Election of 1980 Carter survived the challenge from Kennedy to win his party’s nomination Ronald Reagan, the former governor of California, ran on the Republican ticket John Anderson, a liberal Republican from Illinois, ran as an independent Reagan, a New Deal Democrat turned conservative Republican, promised to decentralize the federal government and to turn over many of its responsibilities to state and local governments

26 both Carter and Reagan ran negative campaigns
in the end, Reagan won handily he polled over 43 million popular votes to Carter’s 35 million and Anderson’s 5.6 million Republicans won the Senate and cut into the Democratic majority in the House Iran released the fifty-two hostages on the day of Reagan’s inauguration

27 Reagan as President Reagan demanded reductions in federal spending and the deficit his calls for cuts in federal programs focused chiefly on social services, which he wanted returned to the states Reagan eliminated many government regulations affecting business in addition, he requested tax cuts to stimulate the economy and generate new jobs Reagan pursued a hard-line anticommunist foreign policy and engaged in a huge military buildup to meet the threat of the Soviet Union

28 he installed cruise missiles in Europe, sought to undermine the leftist government of Nicaragua, and attempted to bolster the conservative government of El Salvador Reagan used American troops to overthrow a Cuban-backed regime on the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1982 he also sent American forces to serve as part of an international peacekeeping force in Lebanon in October 1983, 239 marines died when a Molsem fanatic crashed a truck loaded with explosives into a building that housed the marines

29 Four More Years in the election of 1984, Reagan faced Walter Mondale of Minnesota, Carter’s vice-president Mondale chose Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate Mondale hoped that Ferraro, an Italian-American and a Catholic, would appeal to conservative Democratic voters who had supported Reagan in 1980 and that her gender would attract bipartisan support from women Mondale’s strategy failed to translate into votes

30 Reagan benefited from the advantages of incumbency and the support of the Christian right
beyond that, he enjoyed a broad base of support including a great number of working people and southerners who had traditionally voted Democrat Reagan’s immense popularity, along with the collapse of the New Deal coalition, resulted in a landslide victory for Reagan

31 “The Reagan Revolution”
the shape of Reagan’s foreign policy changed little at the onset of his second term he maintained his call for a strategic defense initiative, high defense budgets, and vigorous anticommunist policies after Mikhail S. Gorbachev became the Soviet premier in March 1985, however, Reagan gradually softened the tone of his anti-Soviet rhetoric

32 during a series of summits, the two leaders began to break down the hostilities and suspicion that separated their nations in 1988, the two superpowers signed a treaty eliminating medium-range nuclear missiles Congress balked at the cost of Star Wars the explosion of the Challenger cast doubt on the idea of basing the national defense on the complex technology involved in controlling machines in outer space in domestic affairs, Reagan engineered massive tax cuts with the Income Tax Act of 1986

33 the new tax structure did not prevent the gap between rich and poor from widening
the president effected a conservative shift in the Supreme Court through his appointment of three justices and the elevation of Associate Justice William Rehnquist to the Chief Justiceship one of Reagan’s nominees, Sandra Day O’Connor, became the first woman to serve in the Supreme Court

34 Change and Uncertainty
the Reagan years witnessed a wave of legal and illegal immigration; new immigrants of 1970s and 1980s were primarily Hispanics and Asians nation’s population aged creating new demands on health-care and social services the traditional family seemed threatened with ceasing to be the norm increasing numbers of families were headed by single parents; over a million marriages a year ended in divorce; couples lived together without getting married; the number of illegitimate births rose steadily

35 AIDS during the 1980s, the nation confronted its most serious health crisis in decades in the early 1980s, scientists identified acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (AIDS), disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroyed the body’s defenses against infection the disease spread when an infected person’s bodily fluids came into contact with another person’s

36 HIV soon infected the nation’s blood banks
the government responded slowly a nationwide campaign urged “safe” sex, particularly the use of condoms

37 The New Merger Movement
across the nation in the 1980s there was a movement toward concentration in business “Corporate raiders” raised cash by issuing high-interest bonds secured by the assets of the companies they purchased twenty percent of Fortune 500 companies were taken over, merged, or forced to go private some companies took steps to make themselves less tempting to raiders by acquiring large debts or unprofitable companies service on debt consumed half of the pre-tax earnings of the nation’s corporations

38 “A Job for Life”: Layoffs At Home
corporations coped with debt in two ways; they sold assets or they cut costs, usually through layoffs IBM, the unofficial slogan of which had been “a job for life,” eliminated more than a third of its workforce, 80,000 jobs, between 1985 and 1994 corporations took jobs abroad, where labor costs were lower

39 of even greater significance than the growing corporate debt was the debt of the federal government
Reagan’s policies of tax cuts and increased military spending produced huge annual federal deficits when Reagan took office, the federal debt was $900 million; eight years later, it exceeded $2.5 trillion

40 A “Bi-Polar” Economy, a Fractured Society
in spite of the corporate and governmental debt, the economy began to gain strength in 1982 and by the late 1980s was growing at a rate unparalleled since the 1960s prices declined, even though the volume of business was growing; the stock market soared many economists considered the run-up of stock prices excessive, and their misgivings were seemingly confirmed when the Dow-Jones industrial average fell 508 points on a single day in 1987

41 however, stock prices quickly recovered and embarked on another period of dramatic growth
the economy was undergoing a fundamental transformation even as the manufacturing industries of the “rust belt” declined, new industries based on technology sprung up in places like the “Silicon Valley” of California by the end of the Reagan years, job opportunities and wages were declining in traditional heavy industry; although the older corporations that survived the shake-out were more competitive in the global market

42 high-tech and service industries provided opportunities for entrepreneurs
American society was becoming increasingly polarized as well both the changing economy and governmental policy benefited the affluent disproportionately and hit the unskilled or semi-skilled the hardest

43 The Iran-Contra Arms Deal
the public seemed willing to credit the Reagan administration for the nation’s successes and absolve it of the nation’s failures two initiatives in foreign policy, however, seriously hampered the effectiveness of the administration in 1984, Congress forbade the expenditure of federal funds to aid the Nicaraguan contras in the Middle East, Iran and Iraq had been engaged in a bloody war since 1980

44 further, many blamed Iran for the holding of a number of Americans hostage by terrorists in Lebanon
Reagan opposed bargaining with terrorists, but he wanted to find a way to free the hostages during 1985, he made a decision to allow the indirect shipment of arms to Iran by way of Israel when this failed to work, he authorized the secret sale of American weapons directly to Iranians

45 Marine Colonel Oliver North, an aide to the president’s national security advisor, Admiral John Poindexter, devised a plan to supply the Contras without directly using federal funds he used profits from the arms sales to Iran to provide weapons for the contras disclosure of this “deal” led to Senate hearings, court trials, and the resignations of many involved although he remained personally popular, Reagan’s influence with Congress and his reputation as a leader plummeted

46 Reagan’s success derived from his ability to articulate, simply and persuasively, a handful of concepts, including the evil nature of the Soviet Union and the need to get government off people’s backs in doing so, he created a climate conducive to political change


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