Selected Presidential Speeches

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


The speeches collected in this volume—one or more for each of the forty-six elected American presidents—are historical documents. The subjects that they address, however, are perennial themes that define our democracy and that recur in various forms with each new administration’s legislation: state laws versus federal laws, the guarantee of the individual citizen’s right to vote in free and fair elections, the separation of church and state, the role of the popular vote versus that of the electoral college, the cooperation of allies and the aggression of foes, freedom of the press, the authority to wage war, the definition of insurrection and the grounds for impeachment—and more. Although the legislature establishes the laws that govern and guide America, it is the presidencies in which they are enacted that are their public and historical face.

This indispensable volume of American history features landmark speeches including George Washington’s Farewell Address, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “we have nothing to feat but fear itself” first inaugural address.