Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Address
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, an American armed forces base on the island of Oahu, was attacked by the Japanese. The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) gave an address to the Vice President, speaker, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and citizens of the United States concerning the bombing of Pearl Harbor. . While the rest of the world was at war, including Japan, FDR did not push to join the war, not until the US was attacked. The attack sparked a fire in FDR and he gave this address in hopes of spreading the fire to all of his fellow Americans. President Roosevelt mentions in his address that the US and Japan were at peace and just an hour after the Japanese had bombed the island of Oahu, and more specifically Pearl Harbor, the Japanese ambassador to the US delivered a reply to a recent American message to the Secretary of State with no hint towards any attacks. In this address, Franklin D. Roosevelt emphasizes the need for the United States to declare war on Japan and educates the member of Congress and citizens of the United States of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In his address concerning the attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR successfully uses rhetorical appeals to persuade the nation that declaring war on Japan is the right thing to do.
Through this address, FDR appeals to one’s emotions, or pathos, to advocate the declaration of war on Japan. President Roosevelt makes it very clear that this was a sudden and deliberate attack by the Japanese Empire on American soil. Being attacked on our home soil makes the country as a whole feel very vulnerable; especially just one day after the attack was made. The ambassador of Japan had delivered a letter to the secretary of state but it did not hint to any attack or war. This being said, FDR implies that the Japanese had been lying to the US and deceiving them. At that point, it was not known if there would be another attack on...
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