John F. Kennedy Compared to Martin Luther King Jr.

Topics: United States, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson Pages: 3 (941 words) Published: May 8, 2011
Compare and Contrast Essay
There have been many great speeches delivered in the past. Some of the best ones demonstrated why our our freedoms, our liberty, and to be united as a country, is so important. John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” and Martin Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream” are both great examples of such historical speeches. Both these speeches have many similarities such as, referencing the past, wanting change to happen, and both desired peace. Yet with all these similarities, each one had a different style, was given to different audiences, and about different topics. In Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address”, he is expressing how the country needs to be united and “…anew the quest for peace” (11), with our enemies. King’s speech, “I Have a Dream”, is addressing how it is necessary to give freedom to every race of mankind.

Kennedy promised that violence would take place if the aggression between the United States and the other nations did not stop. He said, “Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.”(Kennedy 9) This philosophy was the same as Theodore Roosevelt’s, “Walk softly but carry a big stick.” (Roosevelt). King, on the other hand, warned against violence, for he saw that if change did not happen, violence would occur. One influential part of his speech was, “There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship right. The whirlwind of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nations until the bright day of justice emerges.” (King 2) He wanted this change to happen with as little violence as possible but saw that it may happen. While sometimes Kings peaceful approach leads people to believe that he may not have been as devoted to change, this speech demonstrates how devoted he was. In King’s address he wanted a change...
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