Rhetoric In Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal

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Rhetoric, as a practice, is as old as human society itself. As long as there have been crowds in streets or on forums, people have spoken to sway them; as long as social conditions have existed, people have agitated to change them, and as soon as writing was created, it was used to influence the actions of others. In the ostensibly democratic Athens (at least for free men born in the city to native parents) (Goldstein 88), Aristotle emphasized the role of rhetoric in persuading one’s fellow citizens who, in a democracy (again, a relative term), held the power. In ancient Rome, still enamored by the pretense of possessing strong civic institutions, even after the social breakdown following the Punic Wars that lead to the Caesarian destruction …show more content…
The speech was given at the height of the Great Depression, a time of acute economic suffering in the United States. This was the imperfection to which the speech was meant to respond. In this speech, Roosevelt laid out the philosophical basis for his New Deal, which was aimed at reinvigorating the American economy in a way that worked for everyone, not just the richest of the rich. This was the path of action he wanted the audience to favor, the action that they directly could take, would be to vote for Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential …show more content…
Throughout the speech, Roosevelt refers to the American revolution and historical figures from the early American republic. He specifically compares his policies to the Bill of Rights (Roosevelt 1). This can only be understood within the context of the campaign, in which Roosevelt’s economic policies were labeled as socialist and un-American. With his references to the revolution and early republic, Roosevelt was able to present his views as in keeping with America’s founding ideals and thus advance a boldly social-democratic vision while circumventing the red-baiting of his

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