Patriot's Corner · The Development of Democracy & Freedom in America · The Four Freedoms, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The Four Freedoms
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Part of President Roosevelt's inaugural address to Congress, written prior to Pearl Harbor and America's entry into World War II. This excerpt expressed his idealistic vision of the future and inspired four Norman Rockwell paintings, each reproduced as a postage stamp.

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 an 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 the things worth fighting for. 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 world.
  • 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.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called "new order" of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb..

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands, heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women, and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights, everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

To that high concept there can be no end save victory.


Acknowledgements | Mission

©2005 George A. Scheele MD