Rhetorical Analysis Pearl Harbor Speech

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Rhetorical Analysis of President Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Speech
“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941’” began President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the day following Japan’s fateful attack on Pearl Harbor, resulting in the in the tragic loss of nearly two and a half thousand American lives. A date so famously proclaimed to ‘forever live in infamy,’ and so it has. This inspiring speech to Congress and the American people employed appeals and other techniques in it’s mission to touch America’s heart, both with sympathy and indignation. President Roosevelt’s use of rhetoric is extremely effective in rallying the American people to the cause of entering a war so many were reluctant to support.
By December of 1941, the second World War had been raging across Europe for more than two years and the United States was already, but not officially, involved. Deteriorating conditions in Europe and continual advancement of Nazi victory across nations was certainly cause for global concern, though many Americans were still clinging to anti-war neutrality. However, America had already proved to be less than neutral, aiding Great Britain with weapons and the lend-lease act, clearly siding with the Allied powers. But official involvement without support of public opinion was rather tricky. So you could say that, for many European nations, this tragedy might have been cause for celebration, as it was bringing the battle right to America’s back doorstep, and could no longer be ignored. With an overwhelming public majority opposed to involvement in European conflict, it should have come as no surprise that Roosevelt would use this as an opportunity to rally Americans in a war against Japan, and ultimately Germany and the other Axis powers.
As not only President but Commander in Chief, Roosevelt had an obvious ethical appeal to the general public, and his advice concerning war involvement and interpretation of this event will forever depict most American’s view of the attack. Seeing as ethics aren’t in question here, it was not necessary for Roosevelt to spend much time proving himself trustworthy. However, he does show strength and courage in the midst of in a time of fear and dismay. He also plays on the values of Americans by
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