Essay, Research Paper: Jimmy Carter

Politics

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The Carter Center in Atlanta Georgia is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public
institute founded by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn,
in 1982 (Carter Center). The Center in dedicated to fighting disease, hunger,
poverty, conflict, and oppression. At present, the Center operates 13 core
programs, which have touched the lives of people in 65 countries, including the
U.S. Habitat for Humanity began in 1984 when Carter led a work group to New York
City to renovate a six-story building with 19 families in need of descent
shelter. Each year, Jimmy and Rosalynn give a week of their time to build homes.
“We have become small players in an exciting global effort to alleviate the
curse of homelessness,” Carter said (Carter and Habitat). As president, Carter
was deeply committed to social justice and human rights. He and his wife
Rosalynn left the White House in search of meaningful ways to contribute in
these areas. Ultimately, Carter focused his work toward charitable
contributions, and non-profit work. Jimmy Carter was born on October 1, 1924, in
Plains, Georgia. Carter’s father, a farmer and businessman, ran a farm
products store on the family farm in the rural community of Archery, a few miles
west of Plains Georgia (“Jimmy Carter”). The Carters lived in Plains when
Jimmy was born. Four years later, they moved to the farm in Archery. Jimmy grew
up there and helped with the farm chores during his boyhood. Jimmy went to
public school in Plains. His favorite subjects included history, literature, and
music. As a teenager, he played on the high school basketball team. In 1941,
following graduation from high school, Carter entered Georgia Southwestern
College in Americus. In 1942, he was appointed to the United States Navel
Academy. Carter met Rosalynn Smith, best friend of his sister Ruth. In the
summer after graduation they were married. By the early 1950’s Carter and his
wife had three sons. In 1962, Carter entered the race for the Democratic
nomination for the Georgia Senate. He lost by a few votes, partly because of
fraud that included stuffed ballot boxes. Carter pursued his appeals until he
was declared the winner of the primary. In spite of all the confusion, Carter
won the election. As a state senator, Carter advocated planning in government,
and programs to help the poor and the disadvantaged. He was reelected in 1964.
In 1971, Carter was inaugurated as governor of Georgia. Carter introduced
policies that helped change the government and society. He supported
integration, appointed many blacks to posts in state government. During his
administration, the number of black appointees on major state boards and
agencies increased from 3 to 53. The number of black state employees rose by
about 40 per cent. Carter also established a project to honor notable black
Georgians. He promoted prison reform and mental health programs. During his term
as governor Carter traveled widely and began to believe that he was well
qualified to run for president. In late 1974, Carter announced that he was a
candidate for president. When Carter began his national campaign, he was not as
well known as the other candidates, However, he entered 26 of 27 preferential
primaries and finished first in 17 of them (“Jimmy Carter”). At the
Democratic convention in New York City in July 1976, Carter received the
nomination on the first ballot. As his vice-presidential running mate, he chose
Walter F. Mondale, a United States senator from Minnesota. In an inaugural
speech that emphasized old-fashioned virtues, Carter quoted from a Plains
schoolteacher,: “We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging
principles (“Jimmy Carter”).” Carter defeated Ford by 1,682,970 popular
votes (“Carter World Book”). In 1978, inflation became a major problem. In
an attempt to fight inflation, Carter urged businesses to avoid big price
increases, but this had little effect on it. During that year, Carter won
congressional approval of a national energy program. In 1977, Congress adopted
the president’s proposal to establish a new executive department, the
Department of Energy. The energy legislation was designed largely to reduce U.S.
oil imports. The legislation included tax penalties for owners of automobiles
that used excessive amounts of gasoline. In March 1980, Carter announced a new
program to fight inflation. The program included cuts in federal spending, and a
tax on imported oil. This caused the inflation percentage to go down. Carter
established many other programs in his later years. The International
Democratization and Development included programs such as Commission on Radio
and Television Policy, Conflict Resolution, Global Development Initiative, Human
Rights Program, and Latin American and Caribbean Program . The Global and
Domestic Health included programs such as Agriculture, Guinea Worm Eradication
Program, Interfaith Health Program, Mental Health Program, Not even one, River
Blindness Program, and Task for Child Survival and Development. Carter attracted
worldwide attention in 1977, when he strongly supported the struggle for human
rights in the Soviet Union and other nations. He banned U.S. aid to some nations
whose governments he believed to be violating human rights. After loosing the
1980 election, Carter returned to Plains and founded the Carter Center of Emory
University. In the mid-1980’s, Carter worked as a volunteer carpenter on
several projects for Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds houses
for the poor.
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