On January 6, 1941, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union address to Congress. In this speech, commonly referred to as the Four Freedoms speech, Roosevelt outlined four fundamental human rights that he believed should be protected for all people around the world: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Roosevelt stated that these freedoms were essential to the defense of democracy and that they should be protected not just within the United States, but also internationally. He argued that the spread of these freedoms was necessary to ensure the continued existence and prosperity of democracies around the world.
The Four Freedoms speech was delivered at a critical time in world history. Europe was already at war and the United States was on the brink of entering World War II. Roosevelt’s words were meant to rally the American people and to reaffirm the country’s commitment to democracy and freedom.
The Four Freedoms speech became a key part of Roosevelt’s political legacy and is still remembered today as a defining moment in American history. The ideas outlined in the speech continue to influence American foreign policy and are considered fundamental to the country’s identity as a beacon of freedom and democracy.