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Inaugural addresses by U. S. Presidents - Essay Example

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In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy exhorted the adversary nations of America to turn to the ways of peace by focusing on disarmament. The…
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Inaugural addresses by U. S. Presidents
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Disarmament Disarmament is the process of laying down arms, specifically the reduction or abolition of a nation’s military forces or armaments. In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy exhorted the adversary nations of America to turn to the ways of peace by focusing on disarmament. The president requests the adversaries “...that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned of self-destruction” (Kennedy, 1961). This is a motivational speech in which Kennedy reminds other nations the futility of hoarding modern destructive weapons. Kennedy was worried over the present status of affairs where nations are overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, including the deadly nuclear weapons. It makes Kennedy insisting that “Let both sides [America and its allegories]...formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations” (Kennedy, 1961). Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, former American presidents like Kennedy, agrees with disarmament saying that America’s ultimate aim is to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the world. Regarding the handling of the these weapons, Kennedy recommend that it would be better for the nations to use these weapons ‘to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors’ (Kennedy, 1961).
Kennedy’s remarks on disarmament bring to us the historical importance of the 1960s which marked its indelible mark with America’s exploration in Vietnam that tolled the lives of thousands of people.
Balance of power
Balance of Power is “a distribution of military and economic power among nations that is sufficiently even to keep any one of them from being too strong or dangerous” (yourdictionary.com, 2010). Most of the world nations shore up balance of power as a means to regulate the arm race. It is quite evident from the inaugural addresses of majority of the American presidents indicating the real requisite of balance of power. The former president Ronald Regan reveals America’s plan to reduce the number of nuclear weapons concurrently with Soviet Union (Regan, 1985). Bush and Clinton also were of the same opinion concerning the regulation of nuclear weapons and maintaining balance of power. The words of former president, George W. Bush (2001) unveil America’s policy with regard to balance of power when he says, “American remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favours freedom.”
The words of the presidents are indicative of the increasing threat of arm race which shadows the concept of balance of power, especially after the two world wars and Vietnam War.
Deterrence
Deterrence is “the act or process of discouraging actions or preventing occurrences by instilling fear or doubt or anxiety” (WordReference.com English Dictionary, 2010). While reading through the excerpts of the inaugural addresses of the U.S presidents, it is quite conclusive that majority of them are discouraging arm race so as to prevent future nuclear wars. Jimmy Carter shares his concern over the modern arm race. Cater shares his fear and anxiety over the present state of affairs when he remarked that “The world is still engaged in a massive armaments race designed to ensure continuing equivalent strength among potential adversaries.”
To conclude one can infer that the speeches of the American presidents upheld the concepts of disarmament, balance of power and deterrence.
Works Cited
Bush W. George. (2001). Excerpt from George W. Bush’s First Inaugural Address.
Carter Jimmy. (1977). Excerpts from Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Address.
Kennedy F. John. (1961). Excerpt from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address.
Regan Ronald. (1985). Excerpt from Ronald Reagan’s Second Inaugural Address.
WordReference.com English Dictionary. (2010). Retrieved June 10, 2010, from http://www.wordreference.com/definition/deterrence
yourdictionary.com. (2010). Retrieved June 10, 2010, from http://www.yourdictionary.com/balance-of-power# Read More
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