is involved is material well-being, human dignity, and the right to
believe in and worship God.
I state these differences, not to draw issues of belief as such, but
because the actions resulting from the Communist philosophy are a
threat to the efforts of free nations to bring about world recovery and
Since the end of hostilities, the United States has invested its
substance and its energy in a great constructive effort to restore
peace, stability, and freedom to the world.
We have sought no territory and we have imposed our will on none. We
have asked for no privileges we would not extend to others.
We have constantly and vigorously supported the United Nations and
related agencies as a means of applying democratic principles to
international relations. We have consistently advocated and relied upon
peaceful settlement of disputes among nations.
We have made every effort to secure agreement on effective
international control of our most powerful weapon, and we have worked
steadily for the limitation and control of all armaments.
We have encouraged, by precept and example, the expansion of world
trade on a sound and fair basis.
Almost a year ago, in company with 16 free nations of Europe, we
launched the greatest cooperative economic program in history. The
purpose of that unprecedented effort is to invigorate and strengthen
democracy in Europe, so that the free people of that continent can
resume their rightful place in the forefront of civilization and can
contribute once more to the security and welfare of the world.
Our efforts have brought new hope to all mankind. We have beaten back
despair and defeatism. We have saved a number of countries from losing
their liberty. Hundreds of millions of people all over the world now
agree with us, that we need not have war - that we can have peace.
The initiative is ours.
We are moving on with other nations to build an even stronger structure
of international order and justice. We shall have as our partners
countries which, no longer solely concerned with the problem of
national survival, are now working to improve the standards of living
of all their people. We are ready to undertake new projects to
strengthen the free world.
In the coming years, our program for peace and freedom will emphasize
four major courses of action.
First, we will continue to give unfaltering support to the United
Nations and related agencies, and we will continue to search for ways
to strengthen their authority and increase their effectiveness. We
believe that the United Nations will be strengthened by the new nations
which are being formed in lands now advancing toward self-government
under democratic principles.
Second, we will continue our programs for world economic recovery.
This means, first of all, that we must keep our full weight behind the
European recovery program. We are confident of the success of this
major venture in world recovery. We believe that our partners in this
effort will achieve the status of self-supporting nations once again.
In addition, we must carry out our plans for reducing the barriers to
world trade and increasing its volume. Economic recovery and peace
itself depend on increased world trade.
Third, we will strengthen freedom-loving nations against the dangers of
We are now working out with a number of countries a joint agreement
designed to strengthen the security of the North Atlantic area. Such an
agreement would take the form of a collective defense arrangement
within the terms of the United Nations Charter.
We have already established such a defense pact for the Western
Hemisphere by the treaty of Rio de Janeiro.
The primary purpose of these agreements is to provide unmistakable
proof of the joint determination of the free countries to resist armed
attack from any quarter. Each country participating in these
arrangements must contribute all it can to the common defense.
If we can make it sufficiently clear, in advance, that any armed attack
affecting our national security would be met with overwhelming force,
the armed attack might never occur.
I hope soon to send to the Senate a treaty respecting the North
Atlantic security plan.
In addition, we will provide military advice and equipment to free
nations which will cooperate with us in the maintenance of peace and
Fourth, we must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of
our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the
improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.
More than half the people of the world are living in conditions
approaching misery. Their food is inadequate. They are victims of
disease. Their economic life is primitive and stagnant. Their poverty
is a handicap and a threat both to them and to more prosperous areas.
For the first time in history, humanity possesses the knowledge and the
skill to relieve the suffering of these people.
The United States is pre-eminent among nations in the development of
industrial and scientific techniques. The material resources which we
can afford to use for the assistance of other peoples are limited. But
our imponderable resources in technical knowledge are constantly
growing and are inexhaustible.
I believe that we should make available to peace-loving peoples the
benefits of our store of technical knowledge in order to help them
realize their aspirations for a better life. And, in cooperation with
other nations, we should foster capital investment in areas needing
Our aim should be to help the free peoples of the world, through their
own efforts, to produce more food, more clothing, more materials for
housing, and more mechanical power to lighten their burdens.
We invite other countries to pool their technological resources in this
undertaking. Their contributions will be warmly welcomed. This should
be a cooperative enterprise in which all nations work together through
the United Nations and its specialized agencies wherever practicable.
It must be a worldwide effort for the achievement of peace, plenty, and
With the cooperation of business, private capital, agriculture, and
labor in this country, this program can greatly increase the industrial
activity in other nations and can raise substantially their standards
Such new economic developments must be devised and controlled to
benefit the peoples of the areas in which they are established.
Guarantees to the investor must be balanced by guarantees in the
interest of the people whose resources and whose labor go into these
The old imperialism - exploitation for foreign profit - has no place in
our plans. What we envisage is a program of development based on the
concepts of democratic fair-dealing.
All countries, including our own, will greatly benefit from a
constructive program for the better use of the world's human and
natural resources. Experience shows that our commerce with other
countries expands as they progress industrially and economically.
Greater production is the key to prosperity and peace. And the key to
greater production is a wider and more vigorous application of modern
scientific and technical knowledge.
Only by helping the least fortunate of its members to help themselves
can the human family achieve the decent, satisfying life that is the
right of all people.
Democracy alone can supply the vitalizing force to stir the peoples of
the world into triumphant action, not only against their human
oppressors, but also against their ancient enemies - hunger, misery,
On the basis of these four major courses of action we hope to help
create the conditions that will lead eventually to personal freedom and
happiness for all mankind.
If we are to be successful in carrying out these policies, it is clear
that we must have continued prosperity in this country and we must keep
Slowly but surely we are weaving a world fabric of international
security and growing prosperity.
We are aided by all who wish to live in freedom from fear - even by
those who live today in fear under their own governments.
We are aided by all who want relief from the lies of propaganda - who
desire truth and sincerity.
We are aided by all who desire self-government and a voice in deciding
their own affairs.
We are aided by all who long for economic security - for the security
and abundance that men in free societies can enjoy.
We are aided by all who desire freedom of speech, freedom of religion,
and freedom to live their own lives for useful ends.
Our allies are the millions who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
In due time, as our stability becomes manifest, as more and more
nations come to know the benefits of democracy and to participate in
growing abundance, I believe that those countries which now oppose us
will abandon their delusions and join with the free nations of the
world in a just settlement of international differences.
Events have brought our American democracy to new influence and new
responsibilities. They will test our courage, our devotion to duty, and
our concept of liberty.
But I say to all men, what we have achieved in liberty, we will surpass
in greater liberty.
Steadfast in our faith in the Almighty, we will advance toward a world
where man's freedom is secure.
To that end we will devote our strength, our resources, and our
firmness of resolve. With God's help, the future of mankind will be
assured in a world of justice, harmony, and peace.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
First Inaugural Address
Tuesday, January 20, 1953
MY friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem
appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of
uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your
Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in
the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will
make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in
this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.
Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and
allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws
of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the
people regardless of station, race, or calling.
May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under
the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths;
so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory.
My fellow citizens:
The world and we have passed the midway point of a century of
continuing challenge. We sense with all our faculties that forces of
good and evil are massed and armed and opposed as rarely before in
This fact defines the meaning of this day. We are summoned by this
honored and historic ceremony to witness more than the act of one
citizen swearing his oath of service, in the presence of God. We are
called as a people to give testimony in the sight of the world to our
faith that the future shall belong to the free.
Since this century's beginning, a time of tempest has seemed to come
upon the continents of the earth. Masses of Asia have awakened to
strike off shackles of the past. Great nations of Europe have fought
their bloodiest wars. Thrones have toppled and their vast empires have
disappeared. New nations have been born.
For our own country, it has been a time of recurring trial. We have
grown in power and in responsibility. We have passed through the
anxieties of depression and of war to a summit unmatched in man's
history. Seeking to secure peace in the world, we have had to fight
through the forests of the Argonne, to the shores of Iwo Jima, and to
the cold mountains of Korea.
In the swift rush of great events, we find ourselves groping to know
the full sense and meaning of these times in which we live. In our
quest of understanding, we beseech God's guidance. We summon all our
knowledge of the past and we scan all signs of the future. We bring all
our wit and all our will to meet the question:
How far have we come in man's long pilgrimage from darkness toward
light? Are we nearing the light - a day of freedom and of peace for all
mankind? Or are the shadows of another night closing in upon us?
Great as are the preoccupations absorbing us at home, concerned as we
are with matters that deeply affect our livelihood today and our vision
of the future, each of these domestic problems is dwarfed by, and often
even created by, this question that involves all humankind.
This trial comes at a moment when man's power to achieve good or to
inflict evil surpasses the brightest hopes and the sharpest fears of
all ages. We can turn rivers in their courses, level mountains to the
plains. Oceans and land and sky are avenues for our colossal commerce.
Disease diminishes and life lengthens.
Yet the promise of this life is imperiled by the very genius that has
made it possible. Nations amass wealth. Labor sweats to create - and
turns out devices to level not only mountains but also cities. Science
seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase
human life from this planet.
At such a time in history, we who are free must proclaim anew our
faith. This faith is the abiding creed of our fathers. It is our faith
in the deathless dignity of man, governed by eternal moral and natural
This faith defines our full view of life. It establishes, beyond
debate, those gifts of the Creator that are man's inalienable rights,
and that make all men equal in His sight.
In the light of this equality, we know that the virtues most cherished
by free people - love of truth, pride of work, devotion to country -
all are treasures equally precious in the lives of the most humble and
of the most exalted. The men who mine coal and fire furnaces and
balance ledgers and turn lathes and pick cotton and heal the sick and
plant corn - all serve as proudly, and as profitably, for America as
the statesmen who draft treaties and the legislators who enact laws.
This faith rules our whole way of life. It decrees that we, the people,
elect leaders not to rule but to serve. It asserts that we have the
right to choice of our own work and to the reward of our own toil. It
inspires the initiative that makes our productivity the wonder of the
world. And it warns that any man who seeks to deny equality among all
his brothers betrays the spirit of the free and invites the mockery of
It is because we, all of us, hold to these principles that the
political changes accomplished this day do not imply turbulence,
upheaval or disorder. Rather this change expresses a purpose of
strengthening our dedication and devotion to the precepts of our
founding documents, a conscious renewal of faith in our country and in
the watchfulness of a Divine Providence.
The enemies of this faith know no god but force, no devotion but its
use. They tutor men in treason. They feed upon the hunger of others.
Whatever defies them, they torture, especially the truth.
Here, then, is joined no argument between slightly differing
philosophies. This conflict strikes directly at the faith of our
fathers and the lives of our sons. No principle or treasure that we
hold, from the spiritual knowledge of our free schools and churches to
the creative magic of free labor and capital, nothing lies safely
beyond the reach of this struggle.
Freedom is pitted against slavery; lightness against the dark.
The faith we hold belongs not to us alone but to the free of all the
world. This common bond binds the grower of rice in Burma and the
planter of wheat in Iowa, the shepherd in southern Italy and the
mountaineer in the Andes. It confers a common dignity upon the French
soldier who dies in Indo-China, the British soldier killed in Malaya,
the American life given in Korea.
We know, beyond this, that we are linked to all free peoples not merely
by a noble idea but by a simple need. No free people can for long cling
to any privilege or enjoy any safety in economic solitude. For all our
own material might, even we need markets in the world for the surpluses
of our farms and our factories. Equally, we need for these same farms
and factories vital materials and products of distant lands. This basic
law of interdependence, so manifest in the commerce of peace, applies
with thousand-fold intensity in the event of war.
So we are persuaded by necessity and by belief that the strength of all
free peoples lies in unity; their danger, in discord.
To produce this unity, to meet the challenge of our time, destiny has
laid upon our country the responsibility of the free world's leadership.
So it is proper that we assure our friends once again that, in the
discharge of this responsibility, we Americans know and we observe the
difference between world leadership and imperialism; between firmness
and truculence; between a thoughtfully calculated goal and spasmodic
reaction to the stimulus of emergencies.
We wish our friends the world over to know this above all: we face the
threat - not with dread and confusion - but with confidence and
We feel this moral strength because we know that we are not helpless
prisoners of history. We are free men. We shall remain free, never to
be proven guilty of the one capital offense against freedom, a lack of
In pleading our just cause before the bar of history and in pressing
our labor for world peace, we shall be guided by certain fixed
These principles are:
(1) Abhorring war as a chosen way to balk the purposes of those who
threaten us, we hold it to be the first task of statesmanship to
develop the strength that will deter the forces of aggression and
promote the conditions of peace. For, as it must be the supreme purpose
of all free men, so it must be the dedication of their leaders, to save
humanity from preying upon itself.
In the light of this principle, we stand ready to engage with any and
all others in joint effort to remove the causes of mutual fear and
distrust among nations, so as to make possible drastic reduction of
armaments. The sole requisites for undertaking such effort are that -
in their purpose - they be aimed logically and honestly toward secure
peace for all; and that - in their result - they provide methods by
which every participating nation will prove good faith in carrying out
(2) Realizing that common sense and common decency alike dictate the
futility of appeasement, we shall never try to placate an aggressor by
the false and wicked bargain of trading honor for security. Americans,
indeed all free men, remember that in the final choice a soldier's pack
is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains.
(3) Knowing that only a United States that is strong and immensely
productive can help defend freedom in our world, we view our Nation's
strength and security as a trust upon which rests the hope of free men
everywhere. It is the firm duty of each of our free citizens and of
every free citizen everywhere to place the cause of his country before
the comfort, the convenience of himself.
(4) Honoring the identity and the special heritage of each nation in
the world, we shall never use our strength to try to impress upon
another people our own cherished political and economic institutions.
(5) Assessing realistically the needs and capacities of proven friends
of freedom, we shall strive to help them to achieve their own security
and well-being. Likewise, we shall count upon them to assume, within
the limits of their resources, their full and just burdens in the
common defense of freedom.
(6) Recognizing economic health as an indispensable basis of military
strength and the free world's peace, we shall strive to foster
everywhere, and to practice ourselves, policies that encourage
productivity and profitable trade. For the impoverishment of any single
people in the world means danger to the well-being of all other peoples.
(7) Appreciating that economic need, military security and political
wisdom combine to suggest regional groupings of free peoples, we hope,
within the framework of the United Nations, to help strengthen such
special bonds the world over. The nature of these ties must vary with
the different problems of different areas.
In the Western Hemisphere, we enthusiastically join with all our
neighbors in the work of perfecting a community of fraternal trust and
In Europe, we ask that enlightened and inspired leaders of the Western
nations strive with renewed vigor to make the unity of their peoples a
reality. Only as free Europe unitedly marshals its strength can it
effectively safeguard, even with our help, its spiritual and cultural
(8) Conceiving the defense of freedom, like freedom itself, to be one
and indivisible, we hold all continents and peoples in equal regard and
honor. We reject any insinuation that one race or another, one people
or another, is in any sense inferior or expendable.
(9) Respecting the United Nations as the living sign of all people's
hope for peace, we shall strive to make it not merely an eloquent
symbol but an effective force. And in our quest for an honorable peace,
we shall neither compromise, nor tire, nor ever cease.
By these rules of conduct, we hope to be known to all peoples.
By their observance, an earth of peace may become not a vision but a
This hope - this supreme aspiration - must rule the way we live.
We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long
entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must acquire
proficiency in defense and display stamina in purpose.
We must be willing, individually and as a Nation, to accept whatever
sacrifices may be required of us. A people that values its privileges
above its principles soon loses both.
These basic precepts are not lofty abstractions, far removed from
matters of daily living. They are laws of spiritual strength that
generate and define our material strength. Patriotism means equipped
forces and a prepared citizenry. Moral stamina means more energy and
more productivity, on the farm and in the factory. Love of liberty
means the guarding of every resource that makes freedom possible - from
the sanctity of our families and the wealth of our soil to the genius
of our scientists.
And so each citizen plays an indispensable role. The productivity of
our heads, our hands, and our hearts is the source of all the strength
we can command, for both the enrichment of our lives and the winning of
No person, no home, no community can be beyond the reach of this call.
We are summoned to act in wisdom and in conscience, to work with
industry, to teach with persuasion, to preach with conviction, to weigh
our every deed with care and with compassion. For this truth must be
clear before us: whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world
must first come to pass in the heart of America.
The peace we seek, then, is nothing less than the practice and
fulfillment of our whole faith among ourselves and in our dealings with
others. This signifies more than the stilling of guns, easing the
sorrow of war. More than escape from death, it is a way of life. More
than a haven for the weary, it is a hope for the brave.
This is the hope that beckons us onward in this century of trial. This
is the work that awaits us all, to be done with bravery, with charity,
and with prayer to Almighty God.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Second Inaugural Address
Monday, January 21, 1957
THE PRICE OF PEACEMr. Chairman, Mr. Vice President, Mr. Chief Justice,
Mr. Speaker, members of my family and friends, my countrymen, and the
friends of my country, wherever they may be, we meet again, as upon a
like moment four years ago, and again you have witnessed my solemn oath
of service to you.
I, too, am a witness, today testifying in your name to the principles
and purposes to which we, as a people, are pledged.
Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the
blessings of Almighty God. And the hopes in our hearts fashion the
deepest prayers of our whole people.
May we pursue the right - without self-righteousness.
May we know unity - without conformity.
May we grow in strength - without pride in self.
May we, in our dealings with all peoples of the earth, ever speak truth
and serve justice.
And so shall America - in the sight of all men of good will - prove