Roosevelt’s inaugural address (in 1933) can be regarded as one of the most memorable moments of persuasion in the American history. F.D. Roosevelt had a difficult task. He had to solve loads of problems in the country which was enduring outcomes of the Great Depression.
The major aim of the President was to encourage people to take certain steps. The President asked for patience and discipline. His speech was aimed at evoking people’s faith, loyalty and determination. The President’s speech was successful as Roosevelt obtained the necessary support of the Americans.
Admittedly, 1933 was one of the hardest years in the history of the United States. The US economy was literally ruined. The rate of unemployment as well as inflation was very high. People were anxious and disoriented. They lost their faith and the government also lost its authority.
Of course, Roosevelt had a really difficult task. It is possible to state that the entire future of the country was at stake. Of course, the country would not cease to exist, but the USA which people know now could never exist.
Roosevelt understood that the country needed dramatic changes. He also understood that he could do nothing without the Americans’ support. The President knew that many steps were too hard to make, but they were to be made. Therefore, the President had to make people ready for the policies he was about to introduce.
Notably, Roosevelt managed to encourage people and give them hope. Roosevelt made a strong start saying that it was not the time to give promises as it was “the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly” (History Matters n.p.). Therefore, from the very start the President made people understand that he meant what he was saying. People understood that it was not a mere speech to listen to, but it was a particular report and a specific plan of action.
It is also important to emphasize that Roosevelt stressed that the country’s problems were purely financial. The President claimed that the problems concerned “thank God, only material things” (History Matters n.p.). F.D. Roosevelt made people understand that those problems could be solved and there was no time to feel at a loss. Roosevelt highlighted the major measures he wanted to implement.
Nonetheless, the most memorable parts of the speech are concerned with discipline and trust. The President stated
With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems. (History Matters n.p.)
Admittedly, such strong claims and such an inspirational speech made people follow their leader. Importantly, Roosevelt kept saying that it was him and the Americans who were responsible for the future of their country. The president kept saying that he along with the entire nation would work hard to solve the problems and bring the country to prosperity.
It is very important that the leader does not alienate himself from the nation. Roosevelt became the model for many people. Americans entrusted him their lives. From the very beginning of his presidency Roosevelt stated that he needed the Americans’ support.
Notably, He did not say he could do everything, or he did not say people should have worked hard. Roosevelt managed to create a great team which consisted of every citizen of the country. Admittedly, the inaugural speech played an important role in the creation of this team.
History Matters. “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address, 2012. Web.