Rhetorical Analysis of George Washington's Newburgh Conspiracy Speech

analytical Essay
1955 words
1955 words

"His mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong . . . Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed." (Thomas Jefferson, as cited in "George Washington," 2006, para.19) George Washington is one of the most recognized and famous leaders in all history of the United States of America. He contributed greatly to the establishment of this prosperous country, from leading the Revolutionary armies into battle, to running the country as the first president, Washington has set precedence and example for all who have and are yet to follow. He was a noble man who demonstrated characteristics one would expect from a hero figure. He was not power-hungry, but did things and played his role for the good of the country, for patriotic purposes, to help America become the success it is today. In March of 1783, the soldiers of the American military were restless, bored and in a terrible state of doubt and distrust concerning the newly formed congress of the country. When these soldiers joined the army, they were promised a certain amount of money according to their service, but by the war's end, congress was nearly broke and not in a position to pay them all they had earned. The soldiers planned a rebellion against congress for their unjust treatment, and attempted to hold an unauthorized meeting of the officers on the matter. Washington forbade the meeting, but called for one a few days later, in which he gave his speech concerning the Newburgh Conspiracy ("The Rise and Fall," 2006, para.2). General Washington was a highly respected man among his peers, soldiers, and fellow men. His opinions, approval, and presence alone were enough to validate many plans, documents, and meetings throughout his life, so it is no wonder that even simple words or acts performed by General Washington were respected, and more often than not, taken to heart by his audience; perhaps this is why it may seem surprising that one of the most important speeches he ever gave fell on relatively deaf ears, leaving the audience hesitant, confused, seemingly unaffected by his powerful use of diction, and emotional appeal.

Throughout American history, important, credible individuals have given persuasive speeches on various issues to diverse audiences.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that george washington is one of the most recognized and famous leaders in all history of america. he contributed greatly to the establishment of this prosperous country, from leading the revolutionary armies to running the country as the first president.
  • Analyzes how george washington's speech evokes a sense of unity between himself and the men in the room.
  • Analyzes how washington's choice and usage of diction was one of his strengths as far as speaking skills are concerned. he was a powerful speaker who employed influential and authoritative words in his cause to validate his argument.
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