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The American presidents have always sought to lay down their legacies after every general election. Their visions for the nation and what they intend to achieve during their term is clearly reiterated in their various speeches as they address the nation. In most cases, these speeches and national address defines the direction and position that has been taken by the leadership at that particular time. In some cases, these speeches are given to assure the American citizens that the government is still committed to making America a better place. One of the American president’s speeches that are most listened to is the inaugural speech. Every citizen in the United States is usually concerned about what will be said in these speeches. Among the memorable inauguration speeches in the history of American is that of President Barack Obama and President Franklin Roosevelt.

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Speeches of President Obama and Roosevelt

There are various key features that reveal similarities and differences in the speeches of President Obama and Roosevelt. The two speeches as presented by these presidents carried a message of hope to the people of America. President Roosevelt assured the American people in his speech that America will endure as it had done in the past. He mentioned the issues that were being faced by the common people in the United States such as rising taxes, low levels of income and other challenges in the society. However, he provided the people of America with a hope that they were destined to overcome the eminent challenges that were ahead and that the United States would rise again and show forth its superiority among the nations (Roosevelt).

Similarly, President Obama’s speech carried a message of hope; that regardless of the crisis that the United States had gone through since the beginning of the 21st century, these challenges were going to be dealt with in an amicable way. He also assured the Americans that every challenge that they had at that moment was going to be met (Obama). Therefore, he challenged the citizens of the United States to arise and stand against every challenge, as these could not be tackled by mere words by actions vested in hard work and perseverance.

There is also a strong reference to the founding fathers of the United States in both speeches. President Roosevelt mentioned the challenges that the nation was going through at that particular moment and restated on their need to stand and fight for their wellbeing. However, as he mentioned these critical issues that they were encountering as a society, he goes back in time and affirms that these challenges could not be compared to what the founding fathers of the United States went through. He reminded the Americans that these people suffered and that is why America was the way it was at that moment (Roosevelt). President Obama confirmed the same spirit of endurance and perseverance that the forefathers of the American people had, just to ensure that their children would not suffer in future.

On the other hand, there are many differences that are elicited in the two speeches as presented to the American people by these presidents. One of the differences that emerge in these speeches is the mode that was going to be used by each president to tackle the nagging issues that their economy was facing. President Roosevelt clearly spelt out that he was going to ensure that there was need to keep in check the banking and credit investments. These he believed were the two main things that needed to be handled to prevent the possibility of the United States receding into the problems that it had faced before (Roosevelt).

The speech by President Obama on the other hand outlines the methods that he was going to use to deal with the problems that the United States was facing at that time. President Obama sketches how the building of the whole infrastructure was going to help rebuild America again. He mentioned such things as building of roads, creating of new job opportunities, etc as way that was going to help rebuild the economy again. He also insisted on accountability both by the government and the public on various responsibilities that each has received in his capacity. Similarly, his speech sought to assure people of the ability of his government to provide security to every citizen, and the safety of the United States in general (Obama).

The subject of international relations is also handled differently in the two speeches. According to President Roosevelt, the issues that emanated from other nations were important yet secondary to the United States. Therefore, he does not dwell much on International Relations in his speech. Instead he chooses to focus on the local scene and the ways things were going to be handled specifically in the United States (Roosevelt). However, President Obama centers both on the local scene as well as on the international scene thus affirming that both are important to the United States. On the local scene, he focuses on reviving the economy while at the same time working on their international Relations with other countries. The issue of Iraq therefore features in his speech as explained to the Americans his plans to restore democracy in this nation that was on the verge of breaking up and how his government will collaborate with the poor nations to help them prosper too (Obama).


Therefore, it can be concluded that both Presidents were able to outline their vision to the United States as they saw fit.  In their hearts, this is what they believed in and saw as a strategy that was bound to move the United States from the stage that it had reached to another level.

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