Nov 14, 2020 in History

Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Four Freedoms, 1941

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Four Freedoms, 1941

The Four Freedoms speech was imperative in the American history since it was delivered at a time when the country was first to abandon its neutrality role in the global warfare. At that point, President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt that it was important to help Britain against Italy and Germany, but he had to use his rhetoric to convince the isolationists that it was out of right courses of action for the country. He championed on the need for the United States to loan resources to Britain with an agreement to pay after the war. This essay aims to discuss Four Freedoms and explain its historical significance.


The implication of the United States involvement in World War Two was evident, with the most prominent being the countrys end of neutrality in the global warfare. It had now taken sides, thus creating friends in the form of the allied nations while creating enmity with the Axis powers (Kimble 70). The President had created the enemy so masterfully that he had convinced the American people that they were under threat if the Axis powers were to be allowed to continue with their activities. The Four Freedoms speech also painted the United States as an ideal nation and the savior of democracy, and this meant that it could not watch the Axis continue with their wicked deeds. Thus, it was clear that the citizens had the real threat that the President had talked about and they were ready to allow the country take part in the war so that it could protect the world and democracy.

The values celebrated by the United States, as a country upholding democracy, included the moral and heroic nature of the nation, where its national policies sought to respect and defend the dignity of all other countries. This portrayed the United States as a moral country that was ready to impose these moral qualities even on the corrupt nations (Kimble 72). Another value was the desire to ensure that the USA used its superior position and resources to win over the evil and immoral powers. It had vowed not to be neutral anymore and see the villainy succeed, but it rather had to take the moral position of ensuring that it saved democracy as the victim of the war.

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At the time of the Four Freedoms, Italy had already taken the positions around Mediterranean and Adriatic and declared war against Britain and France, as the resistance into joining the war slowly melted, thus making the public more enthusiastic about joining the war after seeing German victories. Germany had dominated Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, and France (Kimble 74). Germans had taken their battles to Greece and Northern Africa (Reynolds 38). The plight of resisting fascism was disregarded, and death toll rose tremendously as they were to be cleansed and to pave the way for the war.

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The Four Freedoms were freedom of worship, speech, and expression, freedom from fear and foredoom from want (Shulman 557).The message was clear that the youths needed to grow in an atmosphere where they would access jobs freely. No one would be discriminated upon on the notion of reserving the special privileges to a few. It was for the greater value of humanity that Roosevelt had expressed his fears to all Americans that if the Axis powers were to be allowed to continue with their activities, all these universal privileges would be at risk. Therefore, the United States needed to join the war as Roosevelts position to get involved in the war had given rise to the United States as the world leader in safeguarding the universal human rights since it sought to promote moral values violated by the Axis powers (FDRs Four Freedoms Speech 3). Therefore, the USA appeared as a savior to the people who were oppressed by these powers.

Conclusively, the Four Freedoms was a turning point in World War Two as the United States had made a bold move and stepped up to fight for the universal morality. The implication of decision was the creation of enmity with the Axis nations and friendship with the Allied ones. The fear of domination of the Axis led the United States to acting as a moral agent that preserved human rights.


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