George W. Bush: Second Inaugural Address

(2005)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Bush begins this address by reminding Americans that for most of the past century, the United States was engaged in a succession of struggles to defend democracy and freedom. He asserts that the demise of Soviet Communism ushered in “years of repose, years of sabbatical,” which were superseded by the war on terror. The United States was now again engaged in a global struggle, and Bush asserts that the only way to ensure freedom in the United States will be to extend liberty around the world. He pledges to support democratic movements anywhere in the world while assuring Americans that such efforts would not be conducted mainly through military action. Instead, a variety of economic, diplomatic, and social efforts would be coordinated to pressure antidemocratic regimes. The president promises that the United States would “not impose our own style of government on the unwilling” but would try to aid other nations in the development of...