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President’s Ford and Carter . Gerald Ford Presidency (1974 to 1977). Republican “I’m a ford not a Lincoln” Former model Klutzy president Locked himself out of the white house while walking his dog Mispronounced words all the time Tumbled down the stairs of Air Force One

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Gerald Ford Presidency

(1974 to 1977)

  • Republican
  • “I’m a ford not a Lincoln”
  • Former model
  • Klutzy president
    • Locked himself out of the white house while walking his dog
    • Mispronounced words all the time
    • Tumbled down the stairs of Air Force One
  • 3 attempted assassinations
ford becomes president
Ford Becomes President
  • Took over the Presidency following Nixon’s resignation:
    • viewed as popular
    • noncontroversial.
  • Named New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller as VP
    • neither the President nor the VP had been elected.
the nixon pardon
The Nixon Pardon
  • At the beginning of Ford’s presidency:
    • Time magazine noted “a mood of good feeling and even exhilaration in Washington.” However, this was soon to change.
  • A month after Nixon’s resignation
    • Ford pardoned the former President for “all offenses”
    • avoiding future prosecution.
  • Unpopular decision:
    • Among the general public and Nixon loyalists still facing prosecution.
    • Result: Republicans were voted out of office in the ‘74 congressional elections.
economic problems
The Economy Stalls

Nixon too preoccupied with Watergate


By ‘74, both inflation and unemployment rising

economy is stagnant

“Whip Inflation Now”: (WIN)

Attempt to restore public confidence

Encouraged personal savings and disciplined spending

Economic Problems
economic problems1
Government Spending and Conflicts With Congress

Ford went against personal beliefs

supported an increase in unemployment benefits

tax cut in an effort to help the economy.

Often at odds with Congress

wanted the government to take a more active role in the economy.

Ford veteos Congressional actions:

Congress created the highest percentage of veto overrides since the 1850s.

Economic Problems
foreign policy asia europe and africa
Foreign Policy - Asia, Europe, and Africa
  • Asia
    • Ford continued Nixon’s goals of friendship with China
    • 1stAmerican President to visit Japan.
  • Europe and the Soviet Union
    • ‘75, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords: agreements on European security
    • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) w/ USSR continued.
  • Africa
    • Develop relationships with African countries newly independent from colonial rule.
helsinki accords
Helsinki Accords
  • 1975 Conference
    • security and cooperation
    • Helsinki, Finland
  • Between Eastern and Western Europe
  • Agreement sets forth basic human rights all nations acknowledge and accept
    • Soviets generally ignore
  • Sought cooperation between Soviets & the west to recognize
  • Accept spheres of influence throughout Europe & the world
the nation s birthday
The Nation’s Birthday
  • America’s bicentennial, or 200th anniversary
    • provided Americans, discouraged by Watergate, Vietnam, and the economy, an opportunity to celebrate.
  • Parades, concerts, air shows, political speeches, and fireworks took place on and around July 4, 1976, the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
jimmy carter s presidency1
Jimmy Carter’s Presidency
  • Democrat
  • VP: Walter Mondale
  • Only President to claim to have seen a UFO
  • Deeply religious:
    • Taught a Bible Class while President
    • Born again Christian since 1966
    • Considered attraction to women other than his wife sinful
    • Told several federal employees to “get married and stop living in sin”
carter s presidency
Carter’s Presidency
  • 1976:
    • Incumbent: advantage of being the current office holder in an election
    • Gerald Ford was republican, not popular with the public at the time
    • Democrat James Earl (“Jimmy”) Carter won the election by a narrow margin
  • Personality and experience:
    • No national political experience
    • Lacked an ability to win reluctant politicians over to his side.
    • Informal approach to the presidency.
  • As President, Carter appointed more women and minorities to his staff than previous administrations.
carter s domestic policies economic issues
Carter’s Domestic Policies–Economic Issues
  • Inherited an unstable economy
    • inflation and unemployment continued to grow.
  • Carter cut federal spending
    • Mostly on social programs  angered liberal Democrats.
  • Losing confidence in the President:
    • Bond prices fell
    • Interest rates rose
carter s domestic policies deregulation
Carter’s Domestic Policies–Deregulation
  • Carter’s Opinion:
    • Government controls on industries hurt competition and increased consumer costs.
  • Deregulation
    • the reduction or removal of government controls
    • affected the energy, railroad, trucking, and airline industries.
  • Angered many Democrats
    • Continued for the next two Presidential Administrations
energy issues
Energy Issues
  • Carter’s Energy Plan
    • To save on rising oil prices, Carter asked Americans to conserve fuel in their homes, cars, and businesses
    • Created a new Cabinet department, the Department of Energy.
  • Response to Carter’s Energy Plan
    • States that produced oil and gas fiercely opposed conservation plans
    • The National Energy Act, passed in 1978, incorporated many of Carter’s directives.
  • Alternative Energy Sources and Three Mile Island
    • Goal to seek alternative energy sources
    • A partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, eroded people’s confidence in nuclear power.
civil rights issues
Civil Rights Issues
  • Carter’s concern for moral values influenced his civil rights actions.
  • Granted amnesty, or a general pardon of Draft Dodgers
  • African Americans on Carter
    • Approved of his staff appointments
    • Disapproved by weak support for social programs
  • Affirmative action
    • Aimed to make up for past discrimination against women and minorities
    • Controversial issue during Carter’s presidency.
    • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke: SC ruled that race could be a factor in school admissions but that numerical quotas could not be used
camp david accords
Camp David Accords
  • 1978
    • President Carter, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
    • Negotiations at Camp David.
  • Framework for Middle East Peace
  • Terms:
    • Israel agreed to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula
    • Egypt became the first Arab country to recognize Israel officially.
soviet american relations
Soviet American Relations
  • Détente was at a high point when Carter took office, by the end of his term it was effectively dead.
  • Soviets were angered by Carter’s support of Soviet dissidents
    • writers and other activists who criticized the actions of their government.
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II)
    • the treaty was never ratified
    • both nations followed its terms.
soviet invasion of afghanistan
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
  • Late in 1979
    • Soviet Union (USSR) invaded neighboring Afghanistan to support a Soviet-supported government there
    • Carter : a clear threat to the peace” and took steps to show American disapproval
  • Carter imposed a boycott on the 1980 summer Olympic Games to be held in Moscow
    • Sixty other nations eventually joined the boycott.

Soviets in Afghanistan

  • USSR invades in 1979 when communist regime is threatened by Shiite Muslim faction
  • Soviets get bogged down & fight long & fruitless war
  • US backs Muslim rebels at the time for anti-communism goals
  • Carter boycotts 1980 Olympics and embargoes grain sales
  • Soviets withdraw after 10 years
the iran hostage crisis
The Iran Hostage Crisis
  • In January 1979
    • revolution broke out in Iran, replacing its pro-American shah, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlevi, with Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, an anti-Western leader.
  • Carter allowed the displaced shah to enter the United States for medical treatment
  • Angry Khomeini followers seized the American embassy in Tehran, Iran’s capital
    • Fifty-two Americans were taken hostage and moved from place to place over the course of 444 days
  • Carter’s failed attempts to secure the hostages’ freedom decreased his popularity
    • made his chances for reelection slim
human rights
Human Rights
  • Carter vows to make human rights concerns paramount in dealing with other nations instead of strategic concerns
    • To facilitate cooperation, Carter overlooks violations in China, Iran, South Korea and the Philippines
    • Carter recognizes Sandinistas in Nicaragua because of friendliness to US
    • Carter pays Panamanians back for violations of national sovereignty by guiding return of Panama Canal
the 1980 election
The 1980 Election
  • By the end of Carter’s term, his administration had lost the confidence of many Americans.
    • Carter ran for reelection
    • Nation instead chose conservative Republican candidate Ronald Reagan by a landslide.
  • In early 1981, following months of secret talks, Iran agreed to release the hostages.
    • President Reagan sent Carter to greet the hostages as they arrived at a U.S. military base in West Germany.