President Eisenhower’s Speech


PresidentEisenhower’s Speech

PresidentEisenhower’s Speech

Regardedas one of the most famous presidential speeches in America, PresidentEisenhower’s address was not only a farewell but an importantmasterpiece of rhetoric. He addressed the nation on 17thJanuary,1961 and left Americans with an emotional farewell and a significantadvice (Bromund, 2011). The speech by President Eisenhower alsointended to give a warning of what he called military-industrialcomplex (David2000).According to the president, militarization was threatening thedemocratic American government. Further, President Eisenhowerdescribed the threat as complex since its military relationship withmilitary commercial contractors.

Thepresident gained the attention of the audience by thanking them toinvoke the appreciation of the American citizens. According to Turk(2002), appreciationis one of the most powerful elements of influencing people. Thepresident further attracts attention by indicating his history inpublic service and particularly indicates that he is ending his term.The president supports his speech with diligently chosen facts aboutthe post-war America. One of the facts is the need for the country toeffectively use available resources in developing the country otherthan in militarization (Eisenhower, 1961). A further fact is thatAmerica was at a high level of militarization that posed a threat tothe world other than being a defensive policy.

Thespeech evoked emotions in relation to the warning and the threat thatAmerica was facing if the country continued militarizing. Inaddition, the speech was given in an emotional mood as the supportersand loyal American citizen felt the effect of the farewell from thepresident. To bring out these emotions, President Eisenhower usedfacts of American history to establish relevance of his message tothe American context. This invoked the audience’s feelings ofloyalty which assured him the nationalistic feeling of the audience.In addition, President Eisenhower used a friendly but authoritativevoice with tonal variations that were appropriately consistent withthe weight of the message he delivered. For instance, he uses awarning tone that to strive for anything less than peace is unworthyof America (Eisenhower, 1961).

Theaudience for the speech was the American nation at the time oftransition between his presidential term and the term of the newlyelected J.F. Kennedy. The speech affected the audience by leavingthem with a mixed feelings feeling of farewell and feeling ofcaution. As the country was getting ready for the new president, theycould ponder on the significance of the speech on the political andeconomic perspectives of the country. If the speech could be giventhe same audience today, the speech brings the same sentiments andemotions that relates to the country. This is because the countryfaces similar challenges to the ones he was addressing in his speech(Eisenhower, 2011).

Dueto the techniques used and organization of the message, the speechhas a lot of impact on me. I like the way President Eisenhowertransitions his ideas, thoughts and messages in a logical way towardsa very powerful conclusion. I like the way President Eisenhowerinvokes the element of faith for the citizens as a way of insistingon the points he made are possible. President Eisenhower’s speechwas effective in passing the message as well as the emotional impacton the audience. The address provides a lesson by showing the abilityto organize the message and invoke the right emotions in a speech.


Bromund,T. (2011). “LikeWashington, Eisenhower`s Farewell Address Counseled Balance.&quotRetrieved From,&lt 9, 2014

David,F. (2000). HowWe Got Here: The `70s.New York: Basic Books

Eisenhower,D. (1961). TheFarewell Address.Retrieved From, &lt 9, 2014

Eisenhower,S. (2011). &quot50years later, we`re still ignoring Ike`s warning&quot.The Washington Post. Web, Accessed, July 4, 2014&lt

Turk,C. (2002). EffectiveSpeaking: Communicating in Speech.New York: Routledge