Jimmy Carter is the thirty-ninth President of the United States of America. He was elected in 1977 for a four-year term. During his tenure there were important achievements in foreign policy. He signs the Panama Canal Treaty, and opens negotiations with the People’s Republic of China. His government made laws in favor of the environment.
In 2002, he received the Nobel Peace Prize.
He was born on October 1, 1924 in Plains, Georgia. Her parents, James Earl Carter and Bessie Lillian Gordy, are farmers. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. The same year he married Rosalynn Smith. Carter is a brilliant student. He was then posted to the submarines of the United States Atlantic and Pacific Fleet.
Although he loved the Navy, he resigned after the death of his father in 1953.
In the 1960s, he was elected for two terms as Senator of the State of Georgia.
In 1970, he ran for governor. In his program, he defends segregation (= the separation between whites and blacks). He is elected thanks to the votes of the segregationists.
However, once governor, Carter said he wanted to end racial segregation. It is the first time that a governor of a southern state (a former slave state) has dared to make such statements publicly. He appoints several African Americans to administrative positions. His victory is seen as a sign of an evolution in American society. Carter was governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. As governor, he offered better social assistance. He builds centers for mentally disabled children.
Carter ran in 1976 for the Democratic Party nomination: he wanted to represent the Democratic Party in the next presidential elections. He was not of national renown. But it was an asset: a climate of mistrust had existed since the Watergate scandal. He was named Democratic candidate for the presidential election, which he won. In his electoral program, Jimmy Carter openly opposes the death penalty.
He is the first candidate from the southern United States to be elected president since Reconstruction (the post-Civil War period).
His program was to reorganize the government. He creates a ministry of energy.
In 1977, Carter declared that the United States did not apologize to Vietnam for the damage caused during the war. Both sides inflicted damage on each other.
Carter cares about human rights: he places them at the heart of his foreign policy. The Carter government ends US support for dictator Somoza in Nicaragua.
The clash between human rights and US interests is particularly visible in the relationship between Carter and the Shah of Iran. Since World War II, the Shah has been one of America’s staunchest allies. The problem is that this regime is autocratic. The United States does not intervene when a popular uprising against the monarchy breaks out in Iran. The Shah is overthrown and forced into exile. Initially Carter intended to recognize the revolutionary government.
In 1979, Carter allowed the Shah to take refuge in the United States as a political refugee and for medical reasons. 52 Americans are then taken hostage in Tehran by Iranian militants. They demanded the return of the Shah to Iran to be tried and executed. Attempts to find a solution to this crisis largely contributed to Carter’s defeat in the 1980 election.
The Iranians did not sign an agreement until January 19, 1981 after the election of Ronald Reagan, and they waited for his official assumption of office to let the hostages go. The latter remained prisoners for 444 days.
The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. Carter refuses the United States to participate in the Summer Olympics in Moscow.
It was during Carter’s tenure that the United States recognized the People’s Republic of China.
After the presidency
In 1982, he founded the Carter Foundation in Atlanta, whose mission was to resolve conflicts and promote democracy. The former president has mediated in many conflicts.
In 1994, he defused a nuclear crisis between his country and North Korea.
In Africa, it is carrying out ambitious development programs. In 2002, Jimmy Carter made a historic visit to Cuba. He spoke openly about the shortcomings of the Cuban government in the area of human rights.
Carter won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for the architect of the Camp David Accords.
Carter condemned the two wars launched against Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, and he turns out to be one of the Bush administration’s most consistent critics.
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