Research Paper: Jimmy Carter Through Bill Clinton

4400 words - 18 pages

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From the years 1977 until 2001 America saw some great leaders and others who lacked in authority. President Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton all contributed to America and to modern society today through their time in office. Through the application of their foreign and domestic affairs, each president accomplished and failed in different aspects of their presidency and ultimately left a unique legacy behind.Democrat, James Earl Carter Jr. gained his presidency along side his running mate, Minnesota Senator, Walter Mondale, in 1977(Boyer, 948). The Carter-Mondale running tactic stressed their distance with the previous president's mistakes, which dated back to Nixon's unpopular presidency. The American public was bitter towards the Republican party after experiencing incidents such as Watergate and Vietnam; which initially gave the Democratic Party a more advantageous prospect in the 1976 election. Although, Carter was being supported by the majority, many identified his platform as vague. Further into the election process, Carter's enthusiasts greatly diminished and nearly lost him the presidency to Republican, Gerald Ford. His sense of vagueness aligned with his lack of strength in terms of his larger political vision; instead Carter was celebrated for his ability to tackle specific problems (Boyer, 948-949).Jimmy Carter's greatest domestic achievements pertained to improving the environment. Events including the Alaska Lands Act; a substantial expansion of the national parks system, accompanied by the protection of 100 million acres of Alaskan land, and The Love Canal Crisis; the confrontation of a disguised landfill in Niagara Falls, New York, prove his passion towards issues concerning the environment. Carter also pushed for alternative energy programs to fight the oil shortage being caused by OPEC members boosting the prices of petroleum. In mid-1979, the height of petroleum shortages, Carter introduced strict conservation programs, put limits on imported oil, and began research and development on alternative sources of energy. As a result, a considerable portion of his energy program passed through congress. Carter's administration was also a part of the Regents of University of California v. Bakke legal case, which pertained to a system that held sixteen out of one-hundred seats in the medical school in the University of California for minorities. However, the means for the minorities getting into school was much less demanding than it was for majorities. Allan Bakke, a rejected applicant, took this case to the supreme court and was successful in having this system be declared unconstitutional (Boyer, 950).Carter's campaign for human rights largely impacted his foreign policy record. He mostly contributed to foreign territories that were not yet allied or on good terms with the United States, those who were previously allied received less radical change. In 1979 Carter met with the Soviet Union leader,...

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