James Carter was the US president from 1977 to 1981. Most of his notable works included international peacekeeping, humanitarian efforts, and promoting economic and social justice- all of which culminated in a Nobel Peace Prize that he received back in 2002.
Early Life of James Carter
James Earl Carter, Jr, known to many as simply James Carter, was born in Plains, Georgia on the first day of October 1924. As a child, his life revolved around peanut farming, a dash of politics, and Baptism. He graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Carter is also a husband to Rosalynn Smith and a father to three sons and one daughter: John William, James Earl III, Donnel Jeffrey, and Amy Lynn.
Carter served at the Navy for seven years before entering politics in 1962.He was elected Governor of the state of Georgia through his comprehensive platform of promoting equality and justice in the government and bureaucracy itself.
In 1974, he announced that he will be running for president. He started his campaign and became the first presidential bet of the Democratic Party. James Carter appointed then incumbent Senator Walter F. Mondale from the state of Minnesota to be his vice president. Throughout the campaign period, Carter engaged in a presidential debate against President Ford for three times. Carter won by a slim margin, with 297 against 241.
Despite the neck-to-neck competition for presidency, James Carter acknowledged Gerald Ford’s role in nation building. In fact, he personally thanked Ford for his efforts to reconcile American politics when he took oath.
Carter on Domestic Affairs
James Carter envisioned a more humane government, devoid of excessive bureaucracy and technicality that separated them from the American people. As James Carter put it, he wanted his administration to be “competent, compassionate, and responsive”. While Carter was successful in implementing reforms, these were pale compared to the pressing socio-economic issues faced by the nation. Even after Ford’s efforts, America still faced inflation, expensive energy, and threats to security.
As a result, James Carter decided to create an additional eight million jobs for the American people. While Carter increased US gross national product, inflation continued to bother the economy and even triggered a mini-recession.
Other domestic policies implemented by Carter were the establishment of a national energy policy. He also deregulated petroleum prices, transportation, and aviation. Civil service reform was pushed in the government to ensure efficiency among all levels and institutions. Carter also touched environmental conservation. The national park system was extended to include 103 million acres of Alaskan lands. Carter was also responsible for the creation of the national Department of Education, expanded Social Security System, and the influx of appointment of mixed races in key government positions.
Carter on International Affairs
Carter advanced the struggle for human rights, despite the lack of reception from USSR and other nations. He facilitated peace between Egypt and Israel through the 1978 Camp David Agreement. Carter also ratified the Panama Canal treaties.
But perhaps Carter’s most important achievement in international relations was the creation of a comprehensive agreement between US and China, as well as the completion of the SALT II nuclear treaty with the USSR: