Ronald Reagans speech, Tear Down this Wall was a very important speech that served to unify the east and west Berlins. His speech was made to break down the Berlin wall, which he believed was unnecessary and questioned it from the moment he saw it. He gave his speech in 1987 and he talked about how he believes the wall is not only a symbol against german freedom but freedom of mankind, he also talks about the history of the presidents that came before him and the history of Berlin and Germany.
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Lastly he talks about how he will work with France and Britain to make change for Berlin.
The Tear down this wall speech also known as, The speech at the Berlin wall was an extremely important speech as said by Former West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl,”He was a stroke of luck for the world, especially for Europe.”1. He gave the speech on June 12, 1987 to the people of Berlin although most of them couldnt hear due to the eastern german police blocking the citizens from getting close to the wall, his main topic during the speech was how he wanted the destruction the Berlin Wall due to it being the means of division between Berlin and Europe.
The ethos in this speech comes from the fact that he is the president of the United States and the people he mentions that are on his side that he works with or will work with. So that he can make an effective and unbiased statement President Reagan acknowledges Khrushchevs statement stating,”We will bury you”2. This shows Reagan’s credibility to be able to make a speech for good with also incorporating people who are against him. Later in the speech he also mentions how the soviets have been leaning more towards changing their current political society, but mentioning them he successfully talks about the other political influences in Germany, this validates his argument by showing the two sides of the argument.
Reagan uses logos to help his main point that freedom, democracy, and the destruction of the Berlin Wall are all beneficial. During his speech Reagan talks about how other countries are prospering due to their freedom, and he shows how each country that has achieved freedom has grown exponentially economically. In his speech it is evident that Reagan is trying to give facts and trying to persuade the people that freedom is essential to gaining more power and money for every country. By saying this Reagan is trying to gain credibility by saying how he wants change just as much as the berlin’s do. Later in the speech Reagan still keeps on giving examples of freedom giving happiness to really put that idea in their heads and to strengthen his credibility. Throughout the speech Reagan sticks to the belief that people want to live in stable countries with a strong economy, he is using this as a bas to appeal to peoples logic and create an effective claim to persuade the people to see his side of the story.
In addition to his logical and ethical appeals Reagan also makes several appeals to pathos. Although they don’t stand out as much as his logic and ethos, Reagans thoughts emotional and moral problems do work well with his rhetoric. Reagan starts off by familiarizing his audience with his surroundings and getting a connection with his audience, Were drawn here by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation3. In this Reagan praises Berlins history while also showing berlin’s seniority in age. Reagan uses the berlin wall as a means to make the speech more personalized and relevant. With the context structured, Reagan then moves on to his audience. He establishes a connection with the Berliners by showing that he understands their situation. The empathy shown in Reagans speech goes well with his Ethos and shows the Germans that he is fit to represent their hardships.
Overall Reagans argument is very strong and effective. Although it is still unknown whether or not the speech had an actual impact on the decision to break down the wall there was still a very strong acceptance of what he said. It is evident that his real purpose was to gather the people of germany and make them one strong force. Reagans goal was a success due to his great combination of ethical, emotional and logical arguments. He was able to connect with his audience by using these claims and used his presidential status to give a more authoritative approach. Even though Reagan’s speech was a success he did not use all of the resources he could have used to sound more professional like statistics. Reagan uses examples on economy a lot but never gives any statistical evidence on any of the examples which made his speech weaker. Although Reagan had many weak spots in his speech his overall speech was strong and was able to take the point across, it is proven by the fact that the berlin wall was eventually torn down giving them the freedom they had been fighting for.
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