Women’s Rights Movement
Feminism of the 1960s and early 1970s
To challenge the cult of domesticity.
National Organization for Women (NOW-1966)
Goals: to end job discrimination, legalize abortion,
obtain federal and state support for child-care center.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972
Support for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) (1972)
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Becomes more radical by late 1970s.
Divisions between moderate and radical feminists.
Gloria Steinham attacks men and homemakers;
alienates most women: public backlash and “right to life”
Ford inherited a presidential
office badly diminished by
the Watergate scandals.
As the first unelected president,
he had no popular mandate and
was not well known outside of
Yet his easy manner and
modest approach to
government helped restore
at least some degree of
confidence in the office of
Ford’s Domestic Agenda
Social and Fiscal
Believed the federal
government exercised too
much power over domestic
pressure to reduce taxes and
increase Federal spending.
Along with an energy crisis,
this helped plunge the
economy into a deep
Ford’s Foreign Policy:
Ford met with Brezhnev in
1974 and accepted the
framework for another arms-
control agreement that was to
serve as the basis for SALT II.
Ford and Brezhnev met in
Finland in August 1975 with
other European leaders.
Agreed to recognize the
political boundaries that had
divided Eastern and Western
Europe since 1945.
Jimmy Carter (Democrat)
Peanut farmer &1 term governor of Georgia
Gerald Ford (Republican)
Carter narrowly with 50.1% of popular
Carried 90% of black voters
Looked to bring a new simplicity and directness
Carter and his staff had
very little experience in
Washington and did
not know how to push
forward an agenda.
Could not maneuver
his proposals through
Criticism Builds at Home
Offered amnesty to the thousands of
young men who had fled the country
rather than serve in Vietnam.
Negotiated a treaty to turn over the
Panama Canal Zone by 1999.
Inherited a bad economy and left it much worse.
Stagflation – double digit inflation and increased
Problems with the Oil Supply
Problems with Oil Supply
Yom Kippur War (1973)
Syria and Egypt launched a
surprise attack against
Soviet Union supplied the
Arabs and the U.S. supplied
the Israeli allies
The seven Arab members of
the Organization of
Countries (OPEC) imposed
a boycott of oil sales to
countries seen as friendly to
Israel. (October 1973 to
OPEC continued to
Energy costs rose
Interest rates shot to
Carter called only for
on prices and wages
and conservation of
Problems with Oil Supply
Motorists were forced to wait in long lines
for limited supplies of gasoline that they
regarded as excessively expensive.
Many Americans saw nuclear energy as the
Three Mile Island (1979)
Nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania ruptured and
released radioactive gas. 100,000 people fled their homes.
Carter’s approval rating dropped to 26%.
Lower than Nixon’s during Watergate
In 1978, Carter invited Egypt’s President
Anwar el-Sadat and Israel’s Prime Minister
Menachem Begin to Camp David.
Israel would return the Sinai to Egypt in exchange
Israel had to negotiate a resolution of the Palestinian
refugee dilemma. (Never happened)
Made an all-out war between Israel and the
Arab world less likely.
SALT II signed in 1979.
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979.
Iran Hostage Crisis (1979-80)
Ayatollah Khomeini ousts Shaw of Iran in 1979.
Carter allowed the ousted Shaw to come to U.S.
Radicals captured U.S. embassy to trade for Shaw and
U.S. rescue mission ended with fatal helicopter crash.
53 Americans were held hostage until the day Reagan
took office. (444 days)
Carter finally released several billion dollars of Iranian assets to
ransom the kidnapped hostages.
End of Postwar Liberalism
Carter’s failure was largely symbolic.
The uneasiness of the late 1970s
reflected a widespread
disillusionment with liberal social
Americans lose faith in government
Vietnam puts into question the
Government could not manage the
Decline in race relations
Triumph of Conservatism
By 1980 rising prices, energy shortages,
and similar economic uncertainties fed a
growing resistance to a liberal agenda.
Hard-pressed workers resented increased
competition from minorities, especially
those supported by affirmative action
quotas and government programs.
Citizens resisted the demands for higher
taxes to support social welfare spending.
Triumph of Conservatism:
The Moral Majority
A major revival of evangelical religion in late
The traditional family seemed under siege, as
divorce rates and births to single mothers
Sexually explicit media, an outspoken gay rights
movement, and the availability of legal abortions struck
many religious conservatives as part of a wholesale
assault on decency.
Increasingly the political agenda was
determined by those who wanted to restore a
strong family, traditional religious values,
Triumph of Conservatism:
Unleash the capitalist spirit.
Dismantle the “bloated” federal
Reduce taxes and regulations.
Undo the welfare state.
Restore national pride and regain
Increase military spending.
Outlaw abortions and reinstitute
Emphasis is on what is right
instead of what’s wrong –
patriotism and religion.
1962 Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring published
1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act
1969 Apollo 11 moon mission
1970 First Earth Day, EPA created
1971 Nixon adopts wage and price controls
Pentagon Paper published
1972 Woodward and Bernstein investigate
1973 Saturday Night Massacre
1974 United States v. Nixon
1975 New York City faces bankruptcy
1978 Revolution in Iran