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Home홈페이지 | education & society | Info-pedia USA | Influential files of American background and Democracy | Franklin D. Roosevelt : four Freedoms decided (1941)

In his January 6, 1941, message to Congress, president Franklin D. Roosevelt enunciated four “essential human freedoms.” This came to be accepted as the many succinct statement of the ethics for i m sorry the American world were prepared to fight. In this article the chairman asked congress to provide under lend-lease arrangements critical armaments and also other offers to those nations whose defense the President taken into consideration essential to U.S. Interests.

Annual article to the Congress, the Capitol, Washington, D. C.,January 6, 1941

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members that the Seventy-seventh Congress, I deal with you, the Members the the Seventy-seventh Congress, at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union. I use the word “unprecedented,” since at no previous time has American protection been together seriously endangered from without together it is today.

Since the permanent development of our federal government under the Constitution, in 1789, most of the periods of crisis in our history have related to our domestic affairs. Fortunately, only one of these-the four-year War in between the States, also threatened our national unity. Today, say thanks to God, one hundred and thirty million Americans, in forty-eight States, have forgotten points of the compass in our national unity.

It is true that prior to 1914 the unified States regularly had been disturbed by occasions in various other Continents. We had even engaged in 2 wars v European nations and also in a number of undeclared wars in the West Indies, in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific because that the maintenance of American rights and also for the principles of tranquil commerce. But in no situation had a serious threat been raised versus our national safety or our ongoing independence.

What I look for to convey is the historic fact that the United claims as a nation has at every times preserved clear, identify opposition, to any type of attempt to lock united state in behind an old Chinese wall surface while the procession of world went past. Today, thinking of our children and of your children, we oppose applied isolation for ourselves or for any other part of the Americas.

That decision of ours, extending over all these years, to be proved, for example, throughout the quarter century of wars adhering to the French Revolution.

While the Napoleonic struggles did threaten understand of the joined States due to the fact that of the French foothold in the West Indies and in Louisiana, and while we involved in the war of 1812 come vindicate our appropriate to serene trade, that is nevertheless clear the neither France nor great Britain, nor any other nation, to be aiming at dominance of the totality world.

In like fashion from 1815 to 1914-ninety-nine years-no solitary war in Europe or in Asia comprised a real threat against our future or against the future of any other American nation.

Except in the Maximilian interlude in Mexico, no foreign power search to develop itself in this Hemisphere; and the stamin of the brothers fleet in the Atlantic has actually been a friendly strength. The is tho a friendly strength.

Even as soon as the world War broke out in 1914, it seemed to save only little threat of peril to our own American future. But, as time walk on, the American people started to visualize what the downfall of democratic nations could mean come our own democracy.

We require not overemphasize imperfections in the peace of Versailles. We need not harp on failure of the democracies to address problems of human being reconstruction. We should remember the the tranquility of 1919 was far less unjust than the type of “pacification” which began even prior to Munich, and also which is being brought on under the brand-new order of tyranny that seeks to spread out over every continent today. The American world have unalterably set their faces against that tyranny.

Every realist knows that the democratic method of life is in ~ this minute being straight assailed in every part of the world-assailed: either by arms, or by an enig spreading the poisonous propaganda by those who look for to ruin unity and promote discord in countries that are still in ~ peace.

During sixteen long months this assault has blotted the end the totality pattern of democratic life in an appalling variety of independent nations, great and small. The assailants room still on the march, threatening various other nations, great and small.

Therefore, together your President, performing my constitution duty to “give to the Congress information of the state the the Union,” I find it, unhappily, vital to report that the future and the safety and security of ours country and also of our democracy room overwhelmingly involved in events far beyond our borders.

Armed defense of democratic existence is currently being gallantly waged in four continents. If that defense fails, every the populace and every the resources of Europe, Asia, Africa and also Australasia will certainly be dominated by the conquerors. Let united state remember the the complete of those populations and their resources in those four continents significantly exceeds the sum full of the population and the resources of the totality of the western Hemisphere-many time over.

In times favor these it is immature-and incidentally, untrue-for anybody to brag that an unprepared America, single-handed, and also with one hand bound behind that back, have the right to hold off the entirety world.

No reality American deserve to expect native a dictator’s peace international generosity, or return the true independence, or civilization disarmament, or liberty of expression, or liberty of religion-or even great business.

Such a peace would bring no protection for united state or because that our neighbors. “Those, who would offer up essential liberty to purchase a tiny temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

As a nation, we might take proud in the fact that we room softhearted; yet we cannot afford to be soft-headed. We must constantly be wary that those who with sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal preach the “ism” that appeasement.

We must specifically beware of that small group that selfish males who would clip the wing of the American eagle in order come feather their own nests.

I have recently mentioned how quickly the tempo of modern-day warfare could lug into our very midst the physical strike which we must ultimately expect if the dictator countries win this war.

There is much loosened talk the our immunity from immediate and direct invasion from across the seas. Obviously, as long as the British navy retains its power, no such danger exists. Also if there were no brother Navy, it is not probable that any enemy would be stupid sufficient to strike us by landing troops in the United claims from throughout thousands of miles of ocean, till it had acquired strategic bases from which to operate.

But we learn much from the lessons of the past years in Europe-particularly the great of Norway, whose crucial seaports were caught by treachery and also surprise built up over a collection of years.

The first phase the the intrusion of this Hemisphere would not be the landing of consistent troops. The necessary strategic points would certainly be populated by mystery agents and also their dupes-and an excellent numbers of castle are already here, and in Latin America.

As lengthy as the aggressor nations maintain the offensive, they-not we-will choose the time and also the place and also the technique of their attack.

That is why the future of every the American Republics is this particular day in severe danger.

That is why this annual Message come the congress is unique in our history.

That is why every member the the executive Branch that the Government and also every member of the congress faces great responsibility and good accountability.

The require of the minute is the our actions and our policy must be devoted primarily-almost exclusively-to conference this international peril. For every our domestic problems are now a component of the great emergency.

Just together our national policy in inner affairs has actually been based top top a kind respect because that the rights and the dignity of all our fellow men within our gates, for this reason our nationwide policy in foreign affairs has actually been based upon a kind respect because that the rights and dignity of every nations, huge and small. And also the justice of principles must and also will victory in the end.

Our nationwide policy is this:

First, by an superior expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we space committed to all-inclusive national defense.

Second, by an impressive expression of the public will and also without regard to partisanship, we room committed to full support of every those resolute peoples, everywhere, who space resisting aggression and also are thereby keeping war away from our Hemisphere. By this support, us express our decision that the democratic reason shall prevail; and also we combine the defense and the security of our own nation.

Third, through an exceptional expression of the general public will and also without regard come partisanship, we room committed to the proposition that ethics of morality and considerations because that our very own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a tranquility dictated through aggressors and also sponsored through appeasers. We recognize that enduring tranquility cannot be bought in ~ the price of other people’s freedom.

In the recent national election there was no substantial difference between the two great parties in respect come that national policy. No concern was dealt with out ~ above this line before the American electorate. Today it is abundantly obvious that American citizens almost everywhere are demanding and also supporting speedy and complete action in acknowledgment of obvious danger.

Therefore, the prompt need is a swift and also driving increase in our armament production.

Leaders of industry and labor have responded to our summons. Goals of speed have been set. In some instances these objectives are being reached ahead of time; in some situations we room on schedule; in other situations there room slight but not serious delays; and in some cases-and ns am i m really sorry to say very important cases-we are all concerned by the slowness of the success of our plans.

The Army and Navy, however, have actually made considerable progress during the previous year. Actual experience is enhancing and accelerating our approaches of manufacturing with every happen day. And also today’s best is not great enough for tomorrow.

I am no satisfied v the progression thus much made. The men in charge of the regimen represent the ideal in training, in ability, and in patriotism. They are not satisfied through the development thus far made. None of us will be satisfied till the project is done.

No issue whether the initial goal was set too high or also low, our target is quicker and better results.

To give you two illustrations:

We room behind schedule in transforming out finished airplanes; we room working day and also night to fix the innumerable problems and also to capture up.

We are currently of schedule in building warships yet we room working come get even further ahead of the schedule.

To adjust a whole country from a basis of peacetime manufacturing of implements of tranquility to a communication of wartime production of implements of battle is no little task. And also the greatest challenge comes at the beginning of the program, when new tools, brand-new plant facilities, brand-new assembly lines, and new ship means must first be constructed before the actual materiel begins to circulation steadily and speedily from them.

The Congress, the course, have to rightly save itself educated at all times that the progression of the program. However, over there is specific information, as the Congress chin will conveniently recognize, which, in the understand of our own security and also those the the countries that we space supporting, should of requirements be preserved in confidence.

New scenarios are continually begetting new needs because that our safety. I shall asking this congress for substantially increased new appropriations and also authorizations to carry on what we have actually begun.

I also ask this Congress because that authority and for funds enough to manufacture additional munitions and war provides of countless kinds, to it is in turned over to those nations which are currently in really war v aggressor nations.

Our most useful and immediate function is to act together an arsenal because that them and for ourselves. They do not need guy power, yet they do need billions of dollars worth of the weapons of defense.

The time is near when they will not be able to pay because that them every in prepared cash. We cannot, and we will not, phone call them that they have to surrender, merely due to the fact that of present inability come pay for the tools which we recognize they have to have.

I carry out not recommend that we make them a loan the dollars through which to pay for these weapons-a loan to it is in repaid in dollars.

I introduce that we make it feasible for those nations to continue to obtain war products in the joined States, fitting their orders right into our very own program. Nearly all your materiel would, if the time ever came, be helpful for our very own defense.

Taking counsel of professional military and also naval authorities, considering what is finest for our very own security, we are complimentary to decide how much need to be kept here and how much should be sent out abroad to our friends that by your determined and heroic resistance are offering us time in which to make all set our very own defense.

For what us send abroad, us shall be repaid within a reasonable time complying with the near of hostilities, in similar materials, or, in ~ our option, in other products of many kinds, which they have the right to produce and also which us need.

Let united state say come the democracies: “We Americans room vitally came to in your defense that freedom. Us are putting forth ours energies, our resources and also our organizing powers to offer you the stamin to regain and also maintain a cost-free world. We shall send you, in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. This is our purpose and also our pledge.”

In fulfillment the this function we will not be intimidated by the dangers of dictators the they will regard as a breach of worldwide law or as an action of war our assist to the democracies which challenge to resist their aggression. Such aid is not an act of war, even if a dictator need to unilaterally proclaim it so come be.

When the dictators, if the dictators, are ready to make battle upon us, they will not wait because that an plot of war on our part. Lock did not wait because that Norway or Belgium or the Netherlands come commit an plot of war.

Their only interest is in a brand-new one-way global law, i m sorry lacks mutuality in that is observance, and, therefore, i do not care an tool of oppression.

The pleasure of future generations that Americans might well count upon exactly how effective and also how immediate we can make our aid felt. No one can tell the precise character of the emergency situations that we may be referred to as upon come meet. The Nation’s hands need to not be tied when the Nation’s life is in danger.

We need to all prepare to make the sacrifices the the emergency-almost as severe as battle itself-demands. Whatever stands in the way of speed and also efficiency in defense preparations have to give means to the nationwide need.

A cost-free nation has the ideal to expect full participation from every groups. A cost-free nation has actually the ideal to look come the leader of business, that labor, and of farming to take the command in stimulating effort, not among ether groups yet within their own groups.

The best means of dealing with the couple of slackers or trouble devices in our midst is, first, to shame them by patriotic example, and, if that fails, to use the sovereignty of federal government to save Government.

As men do not live by bread alone, they carry out not struggle by armaments alone. Those who guy our defenses, and those behind castle who construct our defenses, must have the stamina and also the courage i beg your pardon come indigenous unshakable belief in the manner of life i m sorry they space defending. The mighty activity that we room calling because that cannot be based on a neglect of all points worth fighting for.

The country takes great satisfaction and much stamin from the things which have been done to do its people mindful of their individual stake in the conservation of autonomous life in America.

Those things have actually toughened the fibre of ours people, have renewed their faith and also strengthened their devotion come the establishments we make all set to protect.

Certainly this is no time for any type of of us to protect against thinking around the social and economic difficulties which room the root cause of the social revolution which is this particular day a supreme factor in the world.

For over there is nothing mysterious around the foundations of a healthy and solid democracy. The basic things expected by our human being of your political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and also for others.

Jobs because that those who have the right to work.

Security for those who need it.

The ending of special privilege because that the few.

The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment the the fruits of scientific progression in a broader and constantly climbing standard of living.

These space the simple, basic things that have to never be shed sight the in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and also abiding toughness of our economic and also political equipment is dependent upon the degree to i m sorry they accomplish these expectations.

Many subjects connected with our social economy contact for immediate improvement.

As examples:

We must bring much more citizens under the coverage that old-age pensions and also unemployment insurance.

We must widen the avenues for adequate clinical care.

We should plan a much better system through which persons deserving or needing gainful employed staff may attain it.

I have called for personal sacrifice. I am assured the the willingness of almost all american to respond to the call.

A part of the sacrifice method the payment of much more money in taxes. In my budget Message i shall recommend the a greater part of this great defense regime be paid because that from taxes than we space paying today. No person should try, or it is in allowed, to obtain rich out of this program; and the rule of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay have to be constantly before our eyes to overview our legislation.

If the conference maintains these principles, the voters, putting patriotism ahead of pocketbooks, will provide you their applause.

In the future days, i m sorry we look for to do secure, us look forward to a civilization founded ~ above four necessary human freedoms.

The an initial is liberty of speech and also expression-everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to praise God in his very own way-everywhere in the world.

The 3rd is liberty from want-which, analyzed into human being terms, means economic understandings which will certainly secure come every nation a healthy and balanced peacetime life because that its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

The fourth is flexibility from fear-which, interpreted into civilization terms, method a world-wide palliation of armaments to such a suggest and in together a thorough fashion that no country will be in a position to walk an act of physics aggression versus any neighbor-anywhere in the world.

That is no vision the a remote millennium. The is a identify basis because that a kind of people attainable in our own time and generation. That type of human being is the an extremely antithesis that the so-called brand-new order that tyranny i beg your pardon the dictators seek to produce with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the higher conception-the moral order. A great society is maybe to face schemes of civilization domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history, we have been involved in a perpetual peaceful revolution-a revolution which walk on steadily, quietly adjusting chin to an altering conditions- without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The human being order which we seek is the cooperation of cost-free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

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This nation has put its destiny in the hands and also heads and also hearts that its millions of complimentary men and also women; and its faith in freedom under the indict of God. Freedom way the dominance of human being rights everywhere. Our assistance goes to those who battle to gain those rights or keep them. Our toughness is ours unity of purpose.