Top-Rated Free Essay

Comparing the Inaugural Speeches of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy

Better Essays
Comparasion Essay - Contrast - Informative writing

Thesis: Though they might be similar, the differences are of the utmost importance, the circumstances of each of their times, the changes in audience, and the purpose of their speeches.

Needs Inprovement on:

Machanics- grammer,punctuation, spelling

Style - word choice, formality, sentence structure

"The only thing we have to fear... is fear it self..."and "Ask not what your country can do for you... ask what you can do for your country." Two of the most influential quotes of the twentieth century taken from their inaugural speeches, as they were about to embark on the Presidency of the United States of America. Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt voiced the first passage on March 4th, 1933 and late President John F. Kennedy voiced the second passage on January 20th, 1961. Both inaugural speeches came at important times during American History and both share similarities and differences. Though they might be similar, the differences are of the utmost importance, the circumstances of each of their times, the changes in audience, and the purpose of their speeches. Each can be interpreted it's own manner in which they are.

To start off, each speech is presented under different circumstances during American history. Franklin D. Roosevelt is dealing with the depression of the United States. His speech comes at a time when taxes have risen, the ability to pay has fallen, and not only is the American government faced with restriction of income, but governments around the world as well. He speaks of how many farmers can't seem to find a market for their produce and how the savings of thousands of families have vanished. Most important of all he mentions a host of unemployed citizens faced with a life and death state of affairs due to the present economical situation. His presidency therefore faces very depressing circumstances throughout this time.

John F. Kennedy, at his preset time is dealing with the Cold War and other war like adversaries. He aims at letting the entire planet know that the United States has the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. Either they can friend or foe; the choice is up to them. He talks about how it doesn't matter whether nations are with us or against us the goal is still the same, liberty. He pledges loyalty to faithful allies and requests a quest for peace from the opposition before another war begins. The circumstances at this time are crucial and his position is that mankind should face them together.

The audience has a decisive part during these significant times. Roosevelt's audience is hunger, tiered, and begging for change. Roosevelt recognizes these things and he thanks God that it is only material thing such as money, and residences that are effecting the nation instead of plagues and famine that could destroy our way of life. He speaks to the people with sympathy yet with the confidence that everything will be all right. That the dark days will be worth all they cost and that it will teach us that we will change the situation for the better and not for the worst. The citizens then have something to look forward to and that there will be work again in the near future.

In the case of Kennedy his audience is the whole world. He lets them know that America means business. He speaks with enthusiasm that we are not afraid of defending our country and by no means are we going to back down. He feels that we should be fighting with our real foes; tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. There should be no fighting for ideas such as communism. The world should take the same high standards of strength and sacrifice that Americans so proudly fight for and fight themselves. Kennedy's audience is more focused on the resolution of peace than fighting another war.

Purpose, together these speeches have a common purpose, to motivate. However there is a distinction in Roosevelt's speech, his main purpose is to motivate the country into employment, there by creating job opportunities. He affirms that it is not an impossible problem and the government can deal with it with by accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of national resources. He expresses this through out most of his speech. Giving motivation to keep on living, for there will be a beautiful future to look forward to. Thus the purpose of his speech is in his quote "The only thing we have to fear... is fear it's self.

Kennedy on the other hand is not only trying to motivate the American people, but the world as well. The purpose of his speech is do declare a new beginning to point out his friends and foes. He offers a chance to all enemies to start anew in search of peace. The chances for nations to join together and explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce. He lets the public understand that what he is asking for will not be accomplished during present time but it will and that it is time to begin the chain of events that will prosper in the future. Not only for the people but also for their children. Though all this he lets the nation comprehend that we must be united in this pursuit and fight for what the country believes, "Ask not what your country can do for you... ask what you can do for your country."

To finish up, both presidential inaugural speeches have their differences but they both get the similar message across: inspiration. Without speeches such as these the American people would just give up and die or our democratic government might have crumbled to the ground. Lucky for us both inaugural speeches couldn't have come at better times in history. Each one in their times, with the changes in audience and there incredible purpose to change hopelessness into hope. Thus the contrast of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy's inaugural speeches, is of great importance and will be for generations to come.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) and John F. Kennedy (JFK) had accomplished many great things while they were in office. During each of their presidential terms, both men strived to lead our country towards the ultimate goal of freedom. To obtain this difficult ambition, the two created compelling speeches that would move an entire country further into the direction of liberty. FDR’s “Four Freedoms Speech”, and JFK’s “Inaugural Address”, are prime examples of doing just that. The two speeches compare…

    • 481 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy gave one of the most memorable speeches when he gave his inaugural address. That day, the people of the United States were observing him in person, as well as on television. This speech was written to persuade Americans to be active in their country. It was so influential, people still remember quotes from it today. Kennedy appeals to a large amount of people due to the fact that he used ethos, pathos, and logos. In addition, he creates a certain compelling rhythm…

    • 191 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address The Inaugural Address, by John F. Kennedy is about the people cooperating to make America a better place for everyone. John F. Kennedy’s speech was delivered in the east side of the capitol on January 20, 1961. In John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, he emphasizes the need for unity among mankind. John F. Kennedy utilizes anaphora to evoke togetherness throughout the world. Throughout his speech, Kennedy repeats, “we pledge” several times. Kennedy means to convey…

    • 294 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In the excerpt from John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech, many rhetorical terms are used to broaden and strengthen the idea of the passage and open the minds of the Americans.Through The use of diction, the choice of words, and syntax, how words are arranged, these ideas are further conveyed and helped to develop the purpose of his speech. With the rhetorical terms hyperbole, inductive reasoning, point of view, epiphany, and balanced sentence, Kennedy's speech is further understood.…

    • 77 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Humaira Samadi CST 110 Persusive Speech Analysis John Fitzgerald Kennedy Inaugural Address On January 20, 1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy delivered one of the powerful inaugural address in the nation’s history. The president’s unique style, personality, and his emotional feelings were presented in well-balanced sentences. The citizens that were present on that day considered the speech a success and can still remember it to this day. John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th president of the United…

    • 352 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The purpose of an inaugural address is to let the American people know the President’s plan for the country along with how the President will execute it. These speeches are often significant and influential. On a frosty January evening in 1961, John F. Kennedy gave an effective and moving speech. Kennedy’s use of rhetoric devices created a broad vision for the country and its citizens. Throughout his speech, Kennedy uses parallelism in order to express his points effectively. Kennedy places his thoughts…

    • 279 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    of those taunting things are portrayed in the media like the news and social media as a society we can not help of being scared of the unknown. This is called national fear which means is when a nation is threatened about a cause. In the Inaugural Address, John F.Kennedy was facing issues for citizens to fight for people's rights and for people to be treated with respect no matter what race or gender. Civil right figureheads had courage and made sacrifices for a better a world that is now therefore…

    • 803 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    • 1539 Words
    • 7 Pages

    President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was the greatest president to ever lead the United States of America. He was a very fascinating, strong-willed, intelligent, and courageous man. Many difficult events happened during FDR’s presidency that many other presidents before would have buckled under the pressure, but not him. He seemed to always have a plan for every challenge thrown his way. America could use a president like him today to help this nation achieve greatness once again. Roosevelt was born…

    • 1539 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    In John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address speech (20 January 1961), the newly appointed president utilizes repetition of phrases, use of personal pronouns and antithesis which is the contrasting of ideas in a parallel structure to prove that the United States should unite together to become a world leader and fight together so that the U.S. could find peace with other countries. Inaugural addresses indict the beginning of a new presidency, which come with new promises to the American people. In Kennedy’s…

    • 738 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    An Analysis of the Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy In America history, every elected president will have an Inaugural Address to use multiple techniques to win their audiences. There is no exception in John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address which invokes the use of many rhetorical devices such as consonance, parallelism and anaphora. First, let’s talk about consonance which refers to the repetition of the final and identical consonants whose preceding vowels are different. for example, -----Symbolizing…

    • 625 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays