• WORLD WAR 2: THE HOMEFRONT: PRIMARY SOURCE ACTIVITY     

    WHY WE FIGHT: THE FOUR FREEDOMS  

     

     

    I.  AIM

    WHAT WAS THE U.S. FIGHTING FOR IN WORLD WAR 2 (according to FDR)?  

    II. PRIMARY SOURCE: FDR’s Four Freedoms speech. (Text + Edpuzzle video)

    “THE FOUR FREEDOMS”

    from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address

    Jan 6, 1941

     

    Read the speech and listen to FDR's delivery of it. (The part in bold is the part of the speech covered in the video. Read along with FDR. The video is on Edpuzzle and will track whether or not you watched it.) 

     "The American people have unalterably set their faces against that tyranny.

    Every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being' directly assailed in every part of the world--assailed either by arms, or by secret spreading of poisonous propaganda by those who seek to destroy unity and promote discord in nations that are still at peace. ...

    Let us say to the democracies: "We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources and our organizing powers to give you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you, in ever- increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. This is our purpose and our pledge." ...

    In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
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...

    Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change -- in a perpetual peaceful revolution -- a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions-- without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

    This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end,  [except for] victory."

    After you've read the above,  answer the questions below. Your answers need to be thorough and thoughtful, providing examples from the text. No brief/sentence fragment answers here for questions 1-6! 

     

    1.     When this speech was delivered what was America’s involvement/stance in the war up to this point?

    2.     What are the four freedoms?  How did FDR define each?

    3.     Based on your interpretation of the text, what does FDR think it will take for freedom to thrive?

    4.     After reading the entire excerpt, where does FDR think these Freedoms thrive?  How are  they in jeopardy?

    5.     How does FDR define what freedom is?  (use a quote from the source to support your answer, but be sure to explain and interpret it)

    6.     What do you think the enemies of the United States during World War 2 would have listed as the four essential freedoms?  

    7.    As you listened to FDR's making this speech, what did you observe about his delivery, or speaking style?  Do you think FDR is a good public speaker? Why or why not? 

     

    III. PRIMARY SOURCE : paintings

     

    Observe/Analyze the paintings based on the Four Freedoms made by American artist Norman Rockwell

     

     

    8.   Where do you think the man in the painting is speaking? What are the other people in the painting doing? How is the man who is speaking dressed? How are others dressed? Why does that matter?

     9. What do the people in this painting appear to be doing? What do you notice about the different kinds of figures?  What do you think the phrase at the top of the painting means/ represents?   

     10. What feelings, impressions are thoughts are you left with after observing this painting?  Why do you think it is called "Freedom From Want?"

    11.  What mood or feeling does this painitng convey?  What are the people in this painting appear to be doing?  What does the newspaper the man is holding say? How does the action of the painting contrast with what the newspaper is saying? 

     

    IV. SECONDARY SOURCE:

    Article from the Norman Rockwell Museum

    https://www.nrm.org/2012/10/collections-four-freedoms/

     Read the Norman Rockwell biography and answer the following questions

    By 1943, the paintings of Norman Rockwell were recognized and loved by almost everyone in the United States. Americans had seen Rockwell’s art on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, a weekly magazine read by millions. Norman Rockwell was born on February 3, 1894 in New York City and studied at the New York School of Art. He enlisted in the Army at the beginning of World War I and served as a military artist.

    In 1916, at age 22, he painted his first cover for the Saturday Evening Post. Over the next 47 years he painted 321 covers as well as illustrations for many other national magazines.

    When World War II broke out Rockwell wanted to help his country, but he was too old to fight. Norman and his friend and illustrator Mead Schaeffer talked about how to help. When he heard the president wanted the four Freedoms illustrated, he knew he had found a way to help. The two men went to Washington D. C. with rough sketches of their ideas and spent the day offering their services free to the government. Robert Patterson, Undersecretary of War, was the first person to reject them. All day they went from office to office ending up at the Office of War Information. An official there told them that “real artists would be doing posters not illustrations.” On the return trip they stopped in Philadelphia to see the editor of the Saturday Evening Post. Ben Hibbs loved the idea and told Rockwell “Norman, you’ve got to do them for us.”

    It took Rockwell seven months to complete the four paintings, during which time he lost 15 pounds. He repainted Freedom to Worship three times before he was happy with it. Freedom from Fear and Freedom of Speech were painted two times. Rockwell described the creation of the paintings as “serious work which sucked the energy right out of me, leaving me dazed and weary.” The Four Freedoms paintings appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in June of 1943. Each week a different freedom was on the cover. Each painting was accompanied by an article about that freedom by a famous American writer.

    The American people loved the paintings. Norman Rockwell immediately received more than 70,000 letters of encouragement. A set of small reproductions was given to every person who bought a war bond. President Roosevelt sent a larger set of reproductions and his speech to Congress, leaders in the United Nations, and heads of state around the world. Norman Rockwell not only helped communicate Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, but the paintings were used to raise money to help pay for the war. World War II was largely paid for by selling war bonds. In 1943-44, $133 million was raised through the sale of war bonds during a 14-city tour. The materials displayed during that campaign included Rockwell’s original paintings.

     

    12.     What famous magazine is Norman Rockwell associated with?  What did he do for that magazine?

     

    13.     How did Rockwell’s 4 Freedoms paintings help with American efforts in the War II?

     

    14.     How much money was raised from the sale of war bonds?

     

    15.    Take a look at another illustrator’s interpretation of the Four Freedoms, by American artist Ralp Fabri.  How does it compare to Rockwell’s (how is it similar or different, better or worse)  Why do you think Rockwell’s illustration endured / is better known?

     

    V. SUMMARIZE/REVIEW THE AIM

     16. How are the four freedoms protected in the United States?  In what ways are they not, or more needs to be done? Do you think that U.S. involvement in World War 2 helped defend the Four Freedoms?  Why or why not?