Liberty in the Inaugural Address
By Luke Anastasiades ‘21 | January 19, 2021
Inaugural addresses are the centerpiece of the Inaugural ceremony. The president-elect delivers this speech either before or after taking the oath of office. George Washington has gone down with the shortest inaugural address of 135 words, delivered March 3, 1793. William Henry Harrison, inaugurated March 3, 1841, holds the record for the longest inaugural address at 2 hours and 8,455 words. While each is unique, they all share several common themes: admission to the enormity of the presidency, a supplication to God for aid, and for many of them, sentiments about Liberty. Liberty is among the core values of the American political philosophy, and its preservation has been the main purpose of American government.
In this series, we will examine selected quotes from the Inaugural addresses of five presidents, (George Washington, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, William H. Harrison, and Ronald Reagan), and the concept of liberty as a fundamental American value. In George Washington’s words we will find the value of liberty, and its preservation, at the forefront of the American republic. In Ronald Reagan’s words, the culmination of our series, liberty’s preservation has been placed upon the shoulders of the people.
How do you think Liberty will be handled come January 20, 2021?