Background information


Jimmy Carter’s speech “Crisis of Confidence” is delivered at the height of the Oil Crisis of 1979. It is important to note that this is the second of two oil crises that hit the United States, the first one being in 1973, as Carter mentions in his speech: “We believed our nation’s resources were limitless until 1973 when we had to face a growing dependence on foreign oil”. These periods were marked by inflation and unemployment. 

The 1979 Crisis was caused by a drop in the global oil production and an increase in oil prices, which also caused shortages. In the United States, a failure to meet the country’s energetic demands with its domestic production and a reliance on imported oil contributed to the crisis. 

Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” speech represented his atte...

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