FDR’s “Inaugural Address” Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis

February 16, 2023

3 min read

If you are looking to analyze President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Inaugural Address” speech, a summary, text, and analysis have been made accessible for you. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, FDR, was first inaugurated into his presidency on March 4, 1933. FDR’s presidency led to the direction of the federal government during the 20th century. He became one of the most well known presidents and is best recognized for the famous quote:

""The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ""

While this quote is a simple representation of his speech, FDR’s “Inaugural Address” increased optimism for the American public during a time of despair in the time of the Great Depression.

FDR’s Inauguration Speech Summary

  • The speaker believes that fear is the only thing to be feared, and that a frank, vigorous leadership will be the key to success in the present situation.
  • The present situation of the country is dire—economic values have shrunk, taxes have risen, the ability to pay has fallen, government is restricted, trade is frozen, and businesses have closed.
  • Unemployment and poverty have left many citizens struggling to make ends meet.
  • The speaker calls for optimism in the face of dark realities.

FDR’s Inauguration Speech Text

The Yoodli AI-powered speech coach provides the following text for FDR’s “Inaugural Address” 1933 speech:

"And I am certain that on this day my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the presidency, I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly, and boldly nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.

So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Nameless unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert, retreat into advance in every, adopt all of our national life. A leadership of frankness and a vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves, which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you give that support to leadership in these critical days.

In such a spirit on my part and on yours, we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God only material things, values of shrunk to fantastic levels, taxes of arisen, our ability to pay is fallen. Government of all kinds is based by serious curtailment of income. The means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade. The Willard leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side. Farmers find no markets for their produce, and the savings of many years and thousands of families are gone.

More important, a host of unemployed citizens faced the grim problem of existence and an equally great number toil with little return only a foolish optimist, genderized, and dark realities of the moment."

FDR’s Inauguration Speech Analysis

Word Choice

Yoodli’s analysis resulted in FDR scoring well across the board in nearly every category. During his speech, FDR incorporated inclusive language throughout his “Inaugural Address”. His consistent use of his top keywords, “fear”, “truth”, and “leadership” are values central to American tradition. 1% of his speech contained weak words but this did not appear to detract from the content of his speech.


According to Yoodli’s free speaking analytics, FDR’ s delivery of his Inaugural address ranked well. The platform suggests subtle improvements in pacing to aim for a more consistent conversational tone. Although pacing of his speech varied, FDR’s speech remains enshrined in American history.

Wrapping Up


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