The Four Freedoms

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“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor anywhere in the world.” These are the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, spoken on January 6th 1941, during a state of the union address. This speech came to be known as “The Four Freedoms Speech”. FDR, well known for his radio addresses, dubbed “fireside chats”, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and the “Day of Infamy” speeches, presented the four freedoms address at a time when tyranny was spreading. With this speech Roosevelt was standing up to the Fascism in Italy, the Nazi’s in Germany, the Communists in the Soviet Union and the Totalitarianism in Japan. FDR looked to reassure Americans as well as make a globally relevant statement that everyone should enjoy these basic human rights. He also discussed arming ourselves with weapons and wits to defend against possible attack. Freedom of speech and freedom of worship are embodied in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, freedom from want and freedom from fear are expressed through the spirit of the American public, from our armed services to volunteers who man soup kitchens and food pantries. Our freedom of speech ensures that we can speak out against injustice, express our thoughts and opinions,...
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