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Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 Nuclear engineer – US naval academy Peanut farmer Georgia governor Born-again Baptist background plays significant role in decisions.

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Presentation on theme: "Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 Nuclear engineer – US naval academy Peanut farmer Georgia governor Born-again Baptist background plays significant role in decisions."— Presentation transcript:


2 Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 Nuclear engineer – US naval academy Peanut farmer Georgia governor Born-again Baptist background plays significant role in decisions Large Democratic majorities in both houses Encouraging beginning in shadow of years of conflict btwn branches A “leaf man” – forest for the trees

3 Foreign Policy Not having national connections – drew on Trilateral Commission for Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and NSC advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski Conflict over attitude toward USSR Vance favoring détente extension Brzezinski more confrontational

4 Human rights guiding theme in foreign policy appn’ted Andrew Young as UN ambassador Former MLK co-worker Significant commitment to 3 rd world (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe & South Africa) Fired after taking PLO meeting Orchestrated give back of Panama Canal We bought it, we paid for it, we built it and we intend to keep it! – Ronald Reagan Control transferred Dec 21, 1999 Resumed full diplomatic relations w/China

5 Middle East Camp David Accords (1978) President Anwar Sadat & Prime Minister Menachem Begin Arguably greatest foreign policy accomplishment Israel agreed to give back territory won in 1967 Egypt agreed to respect Israel’s borders

6 Iran US supported Shah’s regime overthrown Jan 1979 Shah exiled in US for med treatment Islamic fundamentalist regime takes control Tehran embassy overrun & hostages taken - 444 days

7 Initial economic sanctions ineffective World wide public pressure also not getting hostages released Commando rescue mission ordered Mission failed – helicopters collided & 8 killed

8 Soviet Union US-SU relations remained the highest priority Principle goal was the completion on the SALT II Waffling between Vance and Brzezinski didn’t help Carter’s public support for Soviet dissidents & his role in recognizing China irritated the Soviets - delayed agreement until June 1979 Treaty proposed equal limits on both US & Soviet strategic nuclear forces, critics complained treaty confirmed Soviet superiority, (negotiated from a position of US weakness - crucial provisions unverifiable) Instead of a "missile gap" they talked of a "window of vulnerability" under which American land-based ICBMs could be wiped out in a sneak attack.

9 Claims not justified but raised enough support to prevent the Senate from ratifying the treaty. Worsening relations in late 1979 Soviet decision to deploy mobile SS-20 missiles in eastern Europe and the NATO counter- response of deploying Pershing and cruise missiles in western Europe Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979

10 Carter’s Reactions Grain & high-tech machinery embargo on SU Asked Congress for an increase in defense budget Carter Doctrine (1979): defined the Persian Gulf as a vital area of American interest & US would repel any assault on the region Announced US would boycott 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow Approved development of MX missile, a first- strike weapon & signed Presidential Directive No. 59 -emphasized flexibility in nuclear target selection and called for the capacity to wage limited and protracted nuclear war.

11 Domestic Agenda Created Department of Energy Reorganized – Health, Education and Welfare into Dept. of Education and Dept. of Health and Human Services Appnted 3 women to cabinet Appnted more Hispanic & black to federal jobs & judgeships than ever before Pardoned “draft dodgers” (about 10,000) Most conservative Dem president since Cleveland Presided over de-regulation of the airlines, trucking, railroads, & banks. Spending on social programs declined during admin First president to increase defense budget 3years in a row during peacetime

12 Dismissed affirmative government-60’s liberalism finally exhausted itself in the post-Watergate reforms But still left w/mass of social & entitlement programs -costs hard to control because expenditures dictated by the # of people eligible. (costs exploded during 1970s) Movement to require balanced federal budget, resistance to busing & affirmative action -rising anti-abortion (right-to-life) movement- feeling gov’t was getting too big/intrusive & had to be curbed. Federal gov’t became scapegoat for problems conservatives saw in nation(in actuality the fed. work force as a %of the population had fallen-- state and local governments had gotten bigger).

13 Appointed Paul Volcker -head of the Federal Reserve- advocated restrictive monetary policy, Double digit inflation Prime rate reached 20% by 1980 – killed small business & construction Huge impact of oil on economy – imbalance of foreign trade – really had to engage in beginnings of global interdependent economy

14 Energy Oil consumption & importation increased Carter presented comprehensive energy plan to Congress - became bogged down & public apathetic The Iranian oil crisis of 1979 again caused gas lines (1974) Prospect for alternative sources bleak Oil and gas reserves appeared limited Coal reserves appeared unlimited (health, safety, &environmental concerns) Three Mile Island accident -safety of nuclear power plants raised Solar energy & synthetic fuels(major hopes of Carter's plan) remained economically impractical

15 A National Malaise Loss of confidence – nation in general & in president/administration Was Carter the victim or the cause? Lacked vision & desire to educate and persuade the American people In this sense, he was like the last engineer president, Herbert Hoover July 1979 – after 10 days @ Camp David delivered “malaise” speech on tv American people too concerned with “material goods” “worship self-indulgence & consumption” – in a “moral & spiritual crisis”

16 Election of 1980 “ABC” movement in Democratic Party (Anybody But Carter) Seen as befuddled & having mismanaged nation’s affairs Challenged for nom by Edward Kennedy (hurt by past accident) Reagan clear Repub pick (George HW Bush as VP) Reagan attacks on basis of gov’t too big, inflation too high Carter paints Reagan as trigger happy cold warrior – too unstable for nuclear age John Anderson – liberal Repub ran as Indep

17 Results were a rejection of Carter, but not really endorsement of Reagan (won narrow majority of votes cast only twenty-seven percent of the voting population actually voted for him (due to low voter turn out) The low election itself was a reflection of the national malaise. The Electoral College: Reagan:489 Carter:40 Anderson:0 Popular Vote: Reagan:50.8% Carter:41.0% Anderson: 6.6% The Electoral College results showed Reagan's support spread fairly even around the country The Republicans did capture control of the Senate

18 Ronald Reagan New breed of Republican Former actor –supporter of FDR Head of Screen Actors Guild fought communists in union Spokesman for GE – support for priv. enterprise – persuasive & powerful Gov. of Calif. – more involved in party politics Was able to deliver “message” and sell it regardless of critics or situation Won support of Relig. Right Hostages released on inaug. day – frozen Iranian accounts freed in exchange for men

19 Leadership – Reagan style All gov’t should be small but… Military’s primary goal is to stop communism & should be a large as necessary to do so President does not need to be involved in day-to- day decision making – staff does that Heavy dependence on close advisors (really ran the show & controlled access to pres.) Kept “light” schedule w/lots of downtime Used media to keep message of patriotism means supporting his plans Image as strong, resilient (turned 70 in 1981)

20 March 30, 1981 “Honey, I forgot to duck” “I hope you’re all Republicans” 4 are injured – James Brady most seriously

21 Reaganomics Had promised to fix econ Supply-side economics – need to relieve tax burden on top (wealthiest individuals & businesses) so they can invest & create healthy econ for all Economic Recovery Tax Act: 25% cut over 3yrs Fed budget must be cut since less tax $s but w/expanding econ more $ will come in to help reduce deficit Cut lots of federally funded programs – welfare programs Huge Congressional support (sweeping leg. in first few months)

22 Deregulation – got gov’t “out of the way”: Enviro protection – Sagebrush Rebellion – would save $ (EPA relaxed regs) Justice Dept. eased up on civil rights laws Dept. of Transport. slowed enforcement of car emission & safety standards Fewer programs for poor & needy would build responsibility & self initiative – would benefit from “trickle down effect” of tax cuts Plan never fully in place – Cong won’t cut Soc Sec & Medicare enough & Reagan unwilling to cut defense spending Won’t raise taxes so deficit skyrockets (will hit $100 billion in 1982)

23 1982 econ worsens – unemployment up to 11% Recovery begins 1983 and improves quickly Reagan plan was working? Allows for deficit to grow even more More a result of years of tight money policy International “energy glut” controlled oil prices Lots of gov’t spending Stock market booms for years

24 Foreign Policy Reemphasis on fighting communism Already declining relationship with SU only deteriorates (“evil” empire) SU’s crackdown on Polish labor movement (Solidarity) only made things worse Arms control/restriction still an issue SDI – enormous emphasis & expense for answer to our missile gap problems SU & US critics argued Star Wars would only make it worse & needed to be 1 st reduction

25 Reagan Doctrine Expanding anti-communist stand No Soviet involvement/ support necessary to be a target Third-world activism reignited Grenada – Operation Urgent Fury El Salvador – helped gov’t resist insurgents Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua – support rebels against their communist gov’ts Lebanon – get involved in effort to oust PLO guerrillas – marines remain as peacekeepers until bombing attack on barracks kill 241 Increase in terrorist activities (hijackings, hostages, bombings) worldwide

26 Election of 1984 The Electoral College: Reagan:525 Mondale:13 Popular Vote: Reagan:58.8% Mondale:40.6% Walter Mondale & Geraldine Ferraro Reagan & Bush -confident in accomplishments of economy & international standing “It’s morning in America”

27 Iran-Contra Affair White House personnel trying to broker release of hostages held by Iranian-tied group in Lebanon Offer to sell Iran arms -through Israel- in exchange for getting hostages out Didn’t go thru congressional oversight committee as should have NSC using profits from arms sales to get $ & weapons to Contras in Nicaragua (Boland Amendment said no more aid allowed) Tower commission to investigate what went on & who authorized what

28 Revelation that NSC staff- Admiral John Pointdexter & Colonel Oliver North - saw themselves empowered to create secret gov’t w/in gov’t-free to pursue hidden agenda beyond bounds of any laws or legislative restraint Pointdexter, North, and CIA Director William Casey had hoped to use the arms sales profits not only to help Contras, but also to finance CIA-like operations outside the bounds of the Agency and congressional oversight.

29 Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev’s new radical plans for SU Glasnost – “openness” Perestroika – “restructuring” Would need to dial back Cold War expenses to make these plans work Multiple summit meetings & national visits Ultimately reductions in nuclear missiles More than a thaw – signals end of Cold War

30 Economic Legacy Borrowing to finance deficits raised interest rates making American exports uncompetitive & leading to expanding trade deficits, particularly w/Japan US transformed from largest net creditor nation to largest net debtor nation. Deindustrialization & growing service sector led to decrease in high-paying jobs & accelerated trend toward two-tiered society - the affluent & the poor Homelessness increasingly serious problem - many individuals & growing number of families

31 Inner city, increasingly sinking into poverty, more economically & socially isolated from rest of country 1987 Wall Street crash, worst crash since Great Crash of 1929 – Black Monday Sudden realization that fundamentals underlying Reagan prosperity --massive government deficits & overseas borrowing-- were unsound 1987 -rejection of major appntmnt to Supreme Court-- conservative legal ideologue Robert Bork

32 Election of 1988 Democratic race for nomination crowded: Gary Hart, early front-runner, self-destructed early in race in sex scandal. Michael Dukakis gets it as a matter of sheer endurance & superior financing & organization Repub run George Bush-early flack over choice - Dan Quayle Goes after Dukakis’s Mass. governor record hard: vetoed bill requiring students to say pledge of allegiance, had opposed death penalty & mandatory school prayer, most importantly he authorized furloughs for prisoners who went on to commit violent crimes - made Willie Horton household name & rallying cry. Dukakis did not help himself by not responding to Bush's attacks or initiating some of his own until it was too late. Campaign was more than any before it exercise in media manipulation - devoid of pressing issues (the deficit, the environment, the economy, employment, and homelessness) and tailored into "sound bites”

33 The Electoral College: Bush: 426 Dukakis: 111 Popular Vote: Bush:53.4% Dukakis: 45.6%

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