Words have power than we sometimes realize; especially when they come from influential people. They can break or make a person, change the destiny of a whole nation and even shape the way of life of the entire planet. Some political speeches delivered by special people in the world make sense to this day and we quote them in movies, literature, talks etc. They revolutionized our world in a way we never thought possible. This listicle exposes the top ten speeches that changed the world so without further adieu, here it goes.
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10. Blood, toil, sweat and tears- Winston Churchill
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Holywood has fallen in love with this phrase over and over again as depicted in its use in a number of their movies, some of which use the title as it is. Winston Churchill (Britain’s Prime Minister) is the man behind this speech which was directed to the House of Commons on May 13, 1940. He said it in reference to the largest war in history encouraging England to go to war. Although the original inventor of “blood, toil, sweat and arms” is Theodore Roosevelt, Winston wasted no time using it when he called his people to arms.
9. The hypocrisy of American slavery-Frederick Douglass
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On July 4, 1852, Frederick Douglass made one of the most powerful political speeches denouncing American society. He used his speech to demand an answer as to why America celebrated independence at the time when millions of its citizens were still slaves. According to him, independence meant freedom and whoever believed the opposite was a hypocrite.
8. Nobel Prize acceptance speech- William Faulkner
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William Faulkner is best known for his interesting novels; his infamous speech at the Nobel Prize Awards? Not so much. He penned down one of the political speeches that changed the world when he collected his award on December 10, 1950 in Stockholm. As a writer, the speech capitalized on the challenges he experienced in his work when America and USSR were at war with each other and the future was uncertain for everyone.
7. The speech about going to the moon for the first time- President John F. Kennedy
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The initial decision to send the first person into space was launched by the Soviet Union albeit it received some backlash from its own government. President John F. Kennedy wasted no time when on May 25, 1961, he made one of the most powerful political speeches about his decision to send the first man to moon. Not long after the speech, the first man toured the moon paving way for a number of other moon tours after that.
6. The Gettysburg Address- President Abraham Lincoln
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On November 19, 1863, another of the category of speeches that changed the world was delivered by President Lincoln in the middle of America’s Civil War. His motive was to urge the American citizens to forget slavery, the Union and Confederacy and embrace healing and the new found independence. Like many other political speeches, a famous quote from the speech caught the attention of many. It read “Four score and seven years ago,” defining the American government as “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
5. The Resignation Speech- President George Washington
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Apart from being one of those political speeches that marked the end of a great era, George Washington’s speech was also an eye-opener to many. He delivered the famous speech at the end of the Revolutionary War on December 23, 1784 in Maryland and at the end of it, no eye in the house was dry. People saw a great leader who had the option of retaining power but chose to do the honorable thing by handing in his resignation.
4. Women’s right to vote- Susan B. Anthony
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It is hard to imagine that women had no rights to vote until 1872 when Susan B. Anthony was fined for participating in the voting process. This made her furious and caused her to write down one of the most powerful political speeches in defense of women’s suffrage. Because of this, the 19th amendment which gives voting rights to women was included in the constitution and in 1920, women took part in the election exercise.
3. The freedom speech- Jawaharlal Nehru
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India, like a number of other nations, suffered a great deal under the British colony. August 14, 1947 was a new beginning for the independent India and their first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech was among the speeches that changed the world. He clearly explained what freedom truly meant for the Indian people after a long struggle to be independent from the British Empire.
2. I have a dream- Martin Luther King Jr.
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Almost everyone who understands a little history is aware of Martin Luther’s most powerful political speeches. The most memorable and quoted speech is “I Have a Dream,” where he was challenging the Americans to maintain their democratic ideals through non-violent conflict resolution. This is one of the political speeches that paved way for a changed America with regards to absolute freedom.
1. I am prepared to die- Nelson Mandela
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Who demonstrated the importance of fighting hard for freedom better that the first president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela? He delivered one of the speeches that changed the world in April 20, 1964 when he was in the middle of trials directed to ANC leaders accused of subversion. Although this is among the political speeches that saw him imprisoned, he maintained his stand and went on to become the greatest leader the world has ever seen.
We could go on and on mentioning the most powerful political speeches but one thing is for sure; our brave men and women will forever be our heroes. They may have left the earth physically but their memories live on in our hearts and history books!
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