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Greatest Speeches of All Time – Franklin Roosevelt’s Speech Essay

In his first paragraph, Roosevelt states that he is certain that his fellow Americans expect he will address them with honesty and a decision which the people will push forward. He also states that this is the distinguished time to speak the truth. That Americans should not shrink from honestly facing conditions in their country today. America will endure as it has endured and will revive and flourish. So first of all, he will support his firm belief that the only thing they have to fear is fear itself- unjustified terror which stops needed efforts to transform retreat into advance.

He makes a point about how values have shrunken dramatically as taxes have risen, ability to pay has fallen, the government is faced by diminishment of income, exchange means are frozen in trade, the industrial enterprise is falling (“withered leaves”), farmers cannot sell produce, savings of families are gone and there are going to be more unemployed citizens. He speaks about how America doesn’t have the problems they once had with loss of produce and how “our forefathers conquered” and that American’s should appreciate it.

He says that the country has many resources and shouldn’t waste them, like leaders have wasted resources before, whether it was because they stubborn or just plain dumb, they have passed on these habits to their future rulers. He acknowledges that they have tried, but their efforts were in vain. They have only ever proposed the lending of money. People before him have not had the choice to lure people to follow him by using money promises; they resorted to persuading the people through “pleading tearfully for restored confidence.

These people had no vision and only knew the rules of a generation of self-seekers, and with this vision people perish. He acknowledges that social values are more important than money values and that is where the restoration should begin. He also acknowledges that money doesn’t bring you happiness but the joy of achievement does. He also acknowledges that the joy and moral side of work no longer need to be forgotten in the chase of diminishing profits.

He also states that recognition of material wealth being the standard of success being a false idea going hand in hand with the “abandonment of the false belief that public office and political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit”, also that there must be an end to the wrong doing to the citizens who trust in banking and in business. If the nation is to be restored both ethics must be changed and action must be taken.

He recognises action needs to be taken so that more people are in the workforce and are able to get into the workforce. He states that we must recognise that most of the population lives in the city and that the land should be put to better use. This can be achieved by raising the value of agricultural products and with this power to purchase the output of cities. It can be helped by preventing the tragedy of the growing loss of small homes and farms. It also helped by insistence that the federal, state and local governments act on demand to have their costs reduced.

If national planning for supervision of all forms of transportation and communication were in place it would also help. He states that it cannot merely be helped by talking about it and actions must be put in place quickly. He states that to return to the safeguard of work there must be strict supervision of all banking and credits and investment, there must be end to speculation with other people’s money and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency. He goes on to explain how he will fill his duties in a fulfilling way.

The event the speech addresses: The event the speech addresses was Inauguration Day, 1933. This marked the commencement of a four year term. On this day there was a swearing in ceremony which consisted of Roosevelt taking an oath of office and delivering a speech. This speech outlined that Roosevelt understood that the American Constitution had proved itself as an enduring modern political mechanism and how Roosevelt planned to ease the effects of the Great Depression. Profile of Franklin Roosevelt:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born in 1882 at Hyde Park, New York. Hyde Park (New York) is most famous for being the hometown of Roosevelt and his grandfathers’ home is located near the Riverview Circle of the Hudson River. He was born as the only child of James Roosevelt and Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt. He was born into a family of riches and the sense of self importance. He was educated by tutors and governesses and his upbringing was far different from the common people.

In 1896 he attended Groton school for boys where he found it hard to fit in as most of the boys excelled at athletics while he did not. After graduating in 1900, Roosevelt attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School but in 1907 he passed the bar exam yet didn’t receive a degree. In 1905, on St. Patrick’s Day he married Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth cousin, niece of Theodore Roosevelt, also his fifth cousin. Theodore Roosevelt was Franklin Roosevelt’s idol and Roosevelt aimed to follow in his footsteps.

Theodore Roosevelt became commander-in-chief in 1901 after William McKinley was assassinated and president in 1904 after winning second term. Roosevelt won a seat in the New York senate in 1901. He was stricken with Polio in 1921, but not many people knew exactly how paralysed he was as he was never seen in a wheelchair. He fought to regain the use of his legs though hydrotherapy. Franklin Roosevelt was the only president to be elected four times. Roosevelt had become the 32nd President of the United States in 1933.

In 1935 many members of the public were against Roosevelt’s New Deal program even though the Nation had received some measure of recovery as national product went up and unemployment went down. The New Deal program was a series of domestic programs enacted in the United States between 1933 and 1936. Roosevelt was re-elected in 1936 by a huge margin. Roosevelt had pledged the United States to the “good neighbour” policy, when France fell and England came under siege in 1940, he began to send Great Britain all possible aid short of actual military involvement.

Hopes of keeping America out of the war ended on December 7, 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. Roosevelt helped in the area of advising military personnel and did this successfully in 1942 in an invasion on South Africa, in 1943 in both Italy and Sicily and followed by the D-Day invasion in Europe in 1944. During this time Roosevelt also promoted the formation of the United Nations (UN). Also in 1944 Roosevelt had been tested and diagnosed with many problems but despite this he ran for president with his running mate Harry S.

Truman who he nominated as his senator and won 36 of 48 states, yet again becoming president. In February, 1945, Roosevelt attended the Yalta Conference which was held to discuss after-war reorganisation with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin. Roosevelt died on the afternoon of April 12th in 1945, as the World War II came to a close from a cerebral haemorrhage. His passing shocked America even though people knew he looked exhausted in photographs and news reels, no one was prepared for his passing.

Historical Analysis: Roosevelt’s presidency had forever changed the United States and the way it was run. He led a country through the Great Depression, as well as the greatest war in human history, and his social programs during the Great Depression have redefined the role of government in Americans’ lives. He established the United States leadership on the world stage through his role in World War II. The 12 years he spent in the White House had redefined liberalism and set a precedent for the expansion of presidential power for future generations.


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