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History 2131A/B

What was the historical background and contextual foundation of President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech? Roosevelt delivered the “four Freedoms” speech at a time when Europe lay under Nazi domination. He presented a vision in which American ideals of individual liberties ere extended throughout the world. The first is freedom of speech or expression. The second is freedom of worship. The third is freedom from want. The fourth is freedom from fear. Roosevelt repeated “Everywhere in the world” after each point. His vision was that of international focus. Artist Norman Rockwell created a series of paintings inspired by the four freedoms. However, his interpretation did not include the “new deal context”. That is he portrayed freedom of want as taking place in the family dining room. There was no implication of government responsibility. The government-sanctioned message implied a reciprocal relationship between state and citizen. The Four Freedoms speech was rooted in the legacy of the Great Depression. The Great depression of the 1930s shattered lives and unemployment never fell below 14%. Washington sponsored programs that got the country moving again. Public works programs were introduced and employed millions of previously jobless people. They worked in areas such as forestry and flood control. There was a positive reaction to Roosevelt’s New Deal. Roosevelt had altered the fundamental concept of obligations to the governed. Individual security was now linked to the security of the wider society. In addition the concept that the government had affirmative responsibility to help individuals achieve security was developed. Roosevelt’s famous phrase “Mr. New Deal would have to give way for Mr. Win the War”, describes the shift that took place. The New Deal was winding down under the impact of WWII and was transformed from domestic programs into war efforts. The Four Freedoms became the ideological aim of the war. The human rights perspective was used as justification for the war. Rockwell’s paintings served as the centerpiece of the US war bond drive. They were used to explain the goals of the war. However, Rockwell used a front-porch style agenda. His interpretation was domestic not international. How would you characterize the nature of the early civil rights groups in Canada in the 1940s and early 1950s? Civil rights after WWII developed out of Canada’s involvement with the newly founded UN. There was a shift from British Liberties to human rights. These early groups were often made up of academics. These academics after WWII began to think more deeply on the nature of democracy as opposed to totalita
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