The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy:
His inclusion of the latter two freedoms went beyond the traditional US Constitutional values protected by its First Amendment, and endorsed a right to economic security and an internationalist view of foreign policy that have come to be central tenets of modern American liberalism. They also anticipated what would become known decades later as the "human security" paradigm in social science and economic development.
The speech delivered by President Roosevelt incorporated the following
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
The concept of the Four Freedoms became part of the personal mission undertaken by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt regarding her inspiration behind the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, General Assembly Resolution 217A (1948). Indeed, these Four Freedoms were explicitly incorporated into the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which reads, "Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed the highest aspiration of the common people,...."
Full article ▸