As you read the passage below, consider how President Truman uses
1, evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.
2, reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
3, stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed.
Adapted from President Harry S. Truman's Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, January 7, 1948, Washington, DC.
1 We are here today to consider the state of the Union. On this occasion, above all others, the Congress and the President should concentrate their attention, not upon party but upon the country; not upon things which divide us but upon those which bind us together-the enduring principles of our American system, and our common aspirations for the future welfare and security of the people of the United States. 2 The United States has become great because we, as a people, have been able to work together for great objectives even while differing about details.... 3 The United States has always had a deep concern for human rights. Religious freedom, free speech, and freedom of thought are cherished realities in our land. Any denial of human rights is a denial of the basic beliefs of democracy and of our regard for the worth of each individual. 4 Today, however, some of our citizens are still denied equal opportunity for education. for jobs and economic advancement, and for the expression of their views at the polls. Most serious of all, some are denied equal protection under laws. Whether discrimination is based on race, or creed, or color, or land of origin, it is utterly contrary to American ideals of democracy. 5 The recent report of the President's Committee on Civil Rights points the way to corrective action by the federal government and by state and local governments. Because of the need for effective federal action, I shall send a special message to the Congress on this important subject.... 6 Our second goal is to protect and develop our human resources. The safeguarding of the rights of our citizens must be accompanied by an equal regard for their opportunities for development and their protection from economic insecurity. In this Nation the ideals of freedom and equality can be given specific meaning in terms of health, education, social security, and housing. 7 Over the past twelve years we have erected a sound framework of Social Security legislation. Many millions of our citizens are now protected against the loss of income which can come with unemployment, old age, or the death of wage earners. Yet our system has gaps and inconsistencies; it is only half finished. 8 We should now extend unemployment compensation, old age benefits, and survivors' benefits to millions who are not now protected. We should also raise the level of benefits. 9 The greatest gap in our Social Security structure is the lack of adequate provision for the Nation's health. We are rightly proud of the high standards of medical care we know how to provide in the United States. The fact is, however, that most of our people cannot afford to pay for the care they need... . 10 Another fundamental aim of our democracy is to provide an adequate education for every person. 11 Our educational systems face a financial crisis. It is deplorable that in a Nation as rich as ours there are millions of children who do not have adequate schoolhouses or enough teachers for a good elementary or secondary education. If there are educational inadequacies in any State, the whole Nation suffers. The Federal Government has a responsibility for providing financial aid to meet this crisis. 12 In addition, we must make possible greater equality of opportunity to all our citizens for education. Only by so doing can we insure that our citizens will be capable of understanding and sharing the responsibilities of democracy. 13 The Government's programs for health, education, and security are of such great importance to our democracy that we should now establish an executive department for their administration.... 14 Our third goal is to conserve and use our natural resources so that they can contribute most effectively to the welfare of our people. 15 The resources given by nature to this country are rich and extensive. The material foundations of our growth and economic development are the bounty of our fields, the wealth of our mines and forests, and the energy of our waters. As a Nation, we are coming to appreciate more each day the close relationship between the conservation of these resources and the preservation of our national strength. 16 We are doing far less than we know how to do to make use of our resources without destroying them. Both the public and private use of these resources must have the primary objective of maintaining and increasing these basic supports for an expanding future.
Write an essay in which you explain how President Truman builds an argument to persuade his audience that continued investment in the nation's collective welfare is based on the ideals of American democracy. In your essay, analyze how he uses one or more of the features listed in the box that precedes the passage (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.
Your essay should not explain whether you agree with Truman's claims, but rather explain how he builds an argument to persuade his audience.
U.S. presidents give a State of the Union address to Congress and the American people every year. They usually use the speech to Introduce new Ideas and proposals that they hope Congress will make Into laws, so they have to persuade Congress to go along with their Ideas. Presidents today do this, and many presidents In the past did this as well, including President Truman. In 1948, he gave a speech about the need to invest in human rights, human resources, and natural resources.
President Truman begins his speech talking about human rights. He speaks In general terms by asking Congress to think about the goals they have for American citizens, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion, regardless of whether or not they support his policies. This Is a good way to begin, because everyone believes in freedom and It was probably Important for Truman to find common ground with his audience. He then says we should never deny human rights. This is important because he thought human rights included the right to freedom and opportunity. These are values that every American holds dear, so President Truman thought mentioning those values would help him convince his audience about the need to spend more money on things like social security and education. The best way to do that was to talk about how those things would help American democracy.
Then he talks about human resources. President Truman makes it clear that he believes that the rights of Americans should be protected with more investment in social security programs, Including unemployment compensation and old age benefits. President Truman also reasons that affordable health care protects American rights as well. He then states that education is Important for our democracy, and he uses phrases such as "equality of opportunity' to argue that our country would be better with better educated citizens.
Truman's final point is the need to protect and use natural resources wisely. He believes natural resources are just as important as human resources because natural resources are essential to the 'growth and economic development' of the nation. He urges Congress to think about better use and conservation of natural resources like forests and water, and uses language like 'preservation of our national strength' to tie this Issue to America's strength and security.
Throughout his speech, President Truman talks about things that make our nation great. hoping to convince Congress to go along with his plans. He asserts that It Is Important to take care of American citizens and their rights to things like social security and education, and to take care of the environment. He also asserts that all these things, like human rights, human resources, and natural resources, are worth spending money for. By using words like 'freedom" and 'opportunity' to describe his plans and persuade Congress to make those plans laws, he makes It hard to argue against him, as all Americans want the best for their country.