Four Freedoms

By | Jan 6, 2009

In his 1941 State of the Union Address to the joint Congress President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed four points as fundamental freedoms humans “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy. This speech is known as the Four Freedoms speech.

Two of these Freedoms are part of the United States Constitutional values. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion (the freedom to worship God in their own way).

Roosevelt Third Freedom is; “freedom from want–which, translated into universal 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.”

The speech was given at a time when the world was in danger of being brought under the tyrantical rule of Adolf Hitler and when the US was still a neutral party in the World conflicts, which would change after the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese eleven months later.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, General Assembly Resolution 217A established in 1948 have these four rights incorporated into its preamble which partly reads; “Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed the highest aspiration of the common people,….”


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