Roosevelt, Franklin Delano - Four Freedom Speech, 1941
New circumstances are constantly begetting new needs for our safety. I shall ask this
Congress for greatly increased new appropriations and authorizations to carry on what we
I also ask this Congress for authority and for funds sufficient to manufacture additional
munitions and war supplies of many kinds, to be turned over to those nations which are now in
actual war with aggressor nations.
Our most useful and immediate role is to act as an arsenal for them as well as for ourselves.
They do not need man power, but they do need billions of dollars worth of the weapons of
The time is near when they will not be able to pay for them all in ready cash. We cannot,
and we will not, tell them that they must surrender, merely because of present inability to pay
for the weapons which we know they must have.
I do not recommend that we make them a loan of dollars with which to pay for these
weapons-a loan to be repaid in dollars.
I recommend that we make it possible for those nations to continue to obtain war materials
in the United States, fitting their orders into our own program. Nearly all their materiel would,
if the time ever came, be useful for our own defense.
Taking counsel of expert military and naval authorities, considering what is best for our
own security, we are free to decide how much should be kept here and how much should be sent
abroad to our friends who by their determined and heroic resistance are giving us time in which
to make ready our own defense.
For what we send abroad, we shall be repaid within a reasonable time following the close of
hostilities, in similar materials, or, at our option, in other goods of many kinds, which they can
produce and which we need.
Let us say to the democracies: "We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of
freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources and our organizing powers to give
you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you, in ever-increasing
numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. This is our purpose and our pledge."
In fulfillment of this purpose we will not be intimidated by the threats of dictators that they
will regard as a breach of international law or as an act of war our aid to the democracies which
dare to resist their aggression. Such aid is not an act of war, even if a dictator should
unilaterally proclaim it so to be.
When the dictators, if the dictators, are ready to make war upon us, they will not wait for an
act of war on our part. They did not wait for Norway or Belgium or the Netherlands to commit
an act of war.
Their only interest is in a new one-way international law, which lacks mutuality in its
observance, and, therefore, becomes an instrument of oppression.
The happiness of future generations of Americans may well depend upon how effective and
how immediate we can make our aid felt. No one can tell the exact character of the emergency
situations that we may be called upon to meet. The nation's hands must not be tied when the
nation's life is in danger.
We must all prepare to make the sacrifices that the emergency-almost as serious as war
itself-demands. Whatever stands in the way of speed and efficiency in defense preparations
must give way to the national need.
A free nation has the right to expect full cooperation from all groups. A free nation has the
right to look to the leaders of business, of labor, and of agriculture to take the lead in
stimulating effort, not among other groups but within their own groups.
The best way of dealing with the few slackers or trouble makers in our midst is, first, to
shame them by patriotic example, and, if that fails, to use the sovereignty of government to
As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armaments alone. Those who man
our defenses, and those behind them who build our defenses, must have the stamina and the
courage which come from unshakable belief in the manner of life which they are defending. The
mighty action that we are calling for cannot be based on a disregard of all things worth
The nation takes great satisfaction and much strength from the things which have been
done to make its people conscious of their individual stake in the preservation of democratic life
in America. Those things have toughened the fibre of our people, have renewed their faith and
strengthened their devotion to the institutions we make ready to protect.
Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic
problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in
For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.
The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple.
Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.
The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard
These are the simple, basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and
unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic
and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfil these expectations.
Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement. As
We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment
We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.
We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment
may obtain it.
I have called for personal sacrifice. I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to
respond to that call.
A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my budget message I
shall recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation
than we are paying today. No person should try, or be allowed, to get rich out of this program;
and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before
our eyes to guide our legislation.
If the Congress maintains these principles, the voters, putting patriotism ahead of
pocketbooks, will give you their applause.
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon
four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression-everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-everywhere in the
The third is freedom from want-which, translated into world terms, means economic
understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-
everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear-which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide
reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in
a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-anywhere in the world.
+1 anno fa
Dispensa al corso di "Gli Stati Uniti nel XX secolo" del Prof. Daniele Fiorentino. Trattasi del celebre discorso al Congresso del 1941 del presidente degli Stati Uniti Franklin Delano Roosevelt sulle "quattro libertà". Al suo interno egli proclamava il diritto di ogni uomo alla libertà di parola ed espressione, alla libertà di religione, alla libertà dal bisogno e alla libertà dalla paura.
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher vipviper di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Gli Stati Uniti nel XX secolo e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Roma Tre - Uniroma3 o del prof Fiorentino Daniele.
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