The Importance Of Inaugural Addresses

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Register to read the introduction… Herbert Stein, “who for 60 years was an economist and connoisseur of American’s political culture,” discovered that the average number of words per sentence for Inaugural Addresses has steadily decreased: “from Washington through Buchanan the average number of words per sentence was 44; from Lincoln through Wilson, 34; since Wilson, 25.”
Will believes that “the general shortening of sentences reflects, in part, a change in nature of Inaugural Addresses.” He refers to Teddy Roosevelt who called the presidency “a bully pulpit.” Later addresses have had an incentive to tell Americans how to behave with phrases such as “The only thing we have to fear…” and “Ask not…” A more popular phrase which was used by Kennedy and Nixon was “Let us…,” which according to Will means, “For Pete’s sake, pull up your socks and shape up.”
The content of the Inaugural Addresses has also changed. George Washington had to be much more modest, speaking about his personal problems and as much as he would like to rest, his country was calling him. In the beginning with Washington, the issue was that he would be able to turn the presidency
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It’s true there has been a major change in literature over the years. Personally, I had some trouble keeping up with the incredibly long sentence made by George Washington. It’s interesting how he partly blames it for the “change in the nature of Inaugural Addresses.” I’m not sure if I see much connection between the two. Also, though shorter sentences shows our reading mental muscles are weaker than our ancestors’, but this does not seem to have any major negative effect on society, unless Will’s statement about the changing in Inaugural Addresses in coordination with shortening of sentences is

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