The Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation
When you watch any movie, TV show or documentary on World War Two, there is one quote that you hear in almost every single one of them. This timeless and moving quote is “a date that will live in infamy.” This was the opening line said by Franklin D Roosevelt in his National address the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is one of the most replayed and well known speeches in American history. It was the declaration of war against the Empire of Japan and entered the United States into one of the greatest wars it would take part in. Franklin D Roosevelt uses pathos, ethos and logos to deliver a resounding speech for the declaration of war and the entrance of the United States in to World War Two. He essentially assigns a third of the speech to each one of these rhetorical speaking tools.
The speech was given at 12:30 p.m. on December 8th 1941 to a joint session of congress and was broadcast over radio and television. It was key for the president to get the people as a whole for the war and united for the cause. He wanted to arouse as many strong emotions from the people as possible. Luckily for him this was very easy to accomplish. At every point in history the American people have exploded with outrage at every deceitful military tactic ever used by another nation or people against America. The populace becomes very motivated to take the fight to the enemy to uphold core American values such as patriotism and justice. A prime example of this was the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine. The ship was unexpectedly sunk by Spaniards in the Havana harbor of Cuba. This event is considered the precipitating event of the Spanish-American war. He plays upon the circumstances in the same way that the Americans did with this instance back in 1898. He portrays America as a purely passive victim through his diction in the portion of the speech. FDR mentions multiple times that America and Japan still had ongoing peace...
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