Masaryk university faculty of education

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General Comparison

Now that each speech has been analyzed individually on syntactic, semantic and pragmatic levels, of interest is how each speech differs from the others. In order to establish objective criteria for comparison, while taking into consideration the size of this thesis, the nature of the conflict, addressed in each speech will be used as the decisive factor. Benjamin concurs by stating that significance lines in “the impact of character and circumstance on the content of the war messages” (p. 73) For example, it will be of little use to compare Roosevelt’s speech dealing with a direct attack on American soil with that of Truman, who dealt with a communist threat halfway across the world. Clearly, the structure of these speeches, their vocabulary as well as the features used will vary greatly, yielding inconclusive data. The goal of this thesis is not to compare and contrast all available data to merely fulfill a requirement, but to only use data matching a certain criteria, thus making the analysis more valuable. Though all speeches pertain to war-like crises, not all of them are actual declarations of war, not all of them involved attacks on U.S. soil and not all of them concerned the safety of United States.

For these reasons the following pairs have been chosen, with reasoning for each pairing at the beginning of each comparison.

Lincoln - Bush

McKinley - Kennedy

Wilson - Roosevelt

Truman - Nixon

Reagan - Obama

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