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Jimmy Carter. 1976-1980. 1976 Election. Democrat Jimmy Carter won with Walter Mondale as his running mate. Issues of the Day: Watergate (Impeachment, pardon of Nixon “I will never lie to you, never mislead you.”. Carter’s Domestic Agenda. Economic Policy

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Jimmy Carter

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Jimmy Carter


1976 Election

  • Democrat Jimmy Carter won with Walter Mondale as his running mate.

  • Issues of the Day: Watergate (Impeachment, pardon of Nixon

  • “I will never lie to you, never mislead you.”

Carter’s Domestic Agenda

Economic Policy

  • Carter issued a tax cut to stimulate the economy and tried an anti-inflation program, but it failed to slow inflation and created more unemployment.

  • By 1980, the economy was in a recession once again.

A Nation in Crisis

  • Inflation did not slow and unemployment rose, by 1980 the U.S. was in a recession.

Facing the energy crisis

A Nation in Crisis

  • National Energy Act -created as a result of the oil crisis of the late 1970’s.

  • Department of Energy -1977-created to oversee energy issues.

  • Three Miles Island Accident -nuclear reactor failed in Pennsylvania and almost caused a catastrophic meltdown. “We cannot simply shut down our nuclear power plants.”

  • A loss of faith -With the nation facing recession, Americans lost confidence in Carter’s leadership

Three Mile Island

  • A partial nuclear meltdown which occurred at the Three Mile Island power plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on March 28, 1979.

  • It was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history and resulted in the release of small amounts of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine into the environment

A New Foreign Policy

  • Human Rights – rejected Realpolitik. Carter’s policy failed because they chastised some violating countries and supported others.

We are deeply concerned . . . By the . . . Subtle erosion in the focus and morality of our foreign policy. Under the Nixon-Ford administration, there has evolved a kind of secretive ‘Lone Ranger’ foreign policy-a one-man policy of international adventure. This is not an appropriate policy for America.”

  • Jimmy Carter, speech, June, 1976

Panama Canal

  • Panama Canal Treaties -granted control of canal operations to Panama by the year 2000.

  • Helped to improve the image of the United States and diminish appeal of communism

U.S. Soviet Relations

  • United States and the Soviet relationship reached a low point.

  • Soviets invaded Afghanistan and as a result we refused to participate in the Olympics in the Soviet Union in 1980.


  • Dec. 1979 – Soviets attack Afghanistan.

  • U.S. recognized they were near major oil routes and told them to withdraw.

  • When they refused the U.S. stopped grain shipment to the USSR and boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics.

Camp David Accords

  • Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat and Israeli leader Menachem Begin met with Carter and came to a peace agreement.

  • This ended a 30-year state of war between Egypt and Israel. The leaders shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978


The US supported the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi .

The Shah accepted and promoted a more western style.

Fundamentalists reject Pahlavi and the US support.

Iran Hostage Situation

  • Ayatollah Khomeini took control in 1979, forcing the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to flee.

  • The U.S. took him in to allow medical treatment.

  • In response, Iran took 50 American hostages in the U.S. Embassy. They stayed there for 444 days.

Miracle on Ice

  • The "Miracle on Ice" is the name in American popular culture for a medal-round men's ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, on Friday, February 22. The United States team, made up of amateur and collegiate players and led by coach Herb Brooks, defeated the Soviet team, who had won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament since 1954.

  • Team USA went on to win the gold medal by winning its last match over Finland. The Soviet Union took the silver medal by beating Sweden in its final game

  • Rescue missions from Carter failed and the American people became increasingly upset with Carter.

A Changing Population


  • 1970’s-the United States population affected by Asian and Latin American migration.

  • Voting Rights Acts of 1975 -required states and communities with a large number of non-English-speaking residents to print voting materials in foreign languages

Rise of sunbelt

  • States of the south and the west (California, Florida, Texas)

  • The attraction of living in the suburbs led to an increase in the population in the Sunbelt.

Family life

  • End of the 1970’s the idea of the “average family” changed.

  • An increase in divorce and people waited until later to remarry.

American Attitudes

Improving the self

  • Self-actualization movement -looking for ways to improve yourself (Yoga, Meditation)

  • Non traditional religious groups

  • Fitness and food

  • Physical fitness -health spas and tennis clubs

  • Nutrition and improved diet


  • 1970’s-boom in the motion picture industry

  • Steven Spielberg -Jaws


  • 1970’s-Rock music changes. Changes from counterculture to a big business.

  • Rock n Roll was replaced by disco and punk rock.


  • Apple Computer -Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak-two college dropouts founded Apple Company (PC)

  • Atari games and Videocassette Recordings (VCR)

  • VCR is now replaced by horrible DVD that is now replaced by Netflix!

  • July 20, 1969- Apollo 11 -lunar module landed on the Moon- Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldwin

  • Skylab -first United States Space Station

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