There have been many great speeches delivered in the past. Some of the best ones demonstrated why our our freedoms, our liberty, and to be united as a country, is so important. John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” and Martin Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream” are both great examples of such historical speeches. Both these speeches have many similarities such as, referencing the past, wanting change to happen, and both desired peace. Yet with all these similarities, each one had a different style, was given to different audiences, and about different topics.
In Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address”, he is expressing how the country needs to be united and “…anew the quest for peace” (11), with our enemies. King’s speech, “I Have a Dream”, is addressing how it is necessary to give freedom to every race of mankind. Kennedy promised that violence would take place if the aggression between the United States and the other nations did not stop.
He said, “Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house. (Kennedy 9) This philosophy was the same as Theodore Roosevelt’s, “Walk softly but carry a big stick. ” (Roosevelt). King, on the other hand, warned against violence, for he saw that if change did not happen, violence would occur. One influential part of his speech was, “There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship right. The whirlwind of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nations until the bright day of justice emerges. ” (King 2) He wanted this change to happen with as little violence as possible but saw that it may happen.
While sometimes Kings peaceful approach leads people to believe that he may not have been as devoted to change, this speech demonstrates how devoted he was. In King’s address he wanted a change to happen between whites and African Americans. “I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its governor having lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today! ” (King 3)
King yearned for whites and African Americans to one day get along with each other. He wanted equality for all. As it says in the constitution “all men are created equal”, he wanted all Americans to realize everyone is the same, and that it does not matter if we have different colored skin. His devotion to this is still remembered in the world today. In Kennedy’s speech he wanted change through the world; he wanted everyone to get along. Kennedy was mostly talking about how the United States of America and Russia were not getting along. He wanted to end our fighting and start up a new friendship.
Kennedy predicted that if we did not get peace settled between our enemies, we might have “…mankind’s final war. ” (Kennedy 14) Kennedy desired for this change to happen, so that the world would not be destroyed by nuclear bombs. To help with initiate this change, Kennedy focuses on renewing America’s patriotism. To show patriotism, Kennedy said, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country. ” (25) In his speech he repeats the phrase, “We pledge,” which shows how dedicated he is to ruining the United States of America.
Even though this speech was given over fifty years ago, it is still famous for its patriotic spirit. While Kennedy focused on building a patriot spirit, King used repetition to drive his point home. The repetition used in King’s speech, is still well talked about this day. The legendary saying, “I have a dream,” came from King’s address to the United States of America. “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today! ” (King 3) The recurrence of this expression shows his view point on changing the freedoms for the African Americans. Along with this reappearing phase, King also used “One hundred years later…” to bring the pasted situations into the present day. King showed how African Americans weren’t treated any differently than they had been in the past. Kennedy also brought the past into his speech. He spoke about Americas founding ideas and how the other countries did not support them.
Kennedy wanted to change that. He hoped that every nation would put their differences aside and support each other’s views on freedoms. These speeches helped both changes come about helped both changes happened whether it be, African Americans getting their equal or America overcoming the threat of Russia. Due to these similarities and differences between John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” and Martin Luther Kings Junior’s “I Have a Dream” speech, helped cement them as two as the greatest speeches America has ever heard.
Cite this John F. Kennedy Compared to Martin Luther King Jr.
John F. Kennedy Compared to Martin Luther King Jr.. (2017, Apr 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/john-f-kennedy-compared-to-martin-luther-king-jr/