Their Finest Hour Persuasive Speech

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If the British Empire and Its Commonwealth Last for a Thousand Years An Analysis of Winston Churchill’s speech “Their Finest Hour” On June 18, 1940 Winston Churchill, only in his second month as Prime Minister of United Kingdom, told every British citizen to prepare for what he expected to be Britain's "final stand" in his speech which would later be titled "Their Finest Hour." Before Churchill the previous Premiere of the UK was Neville Chamberlain who was seen as a political conciliator with his appeasement approach to foreign policies. Those policies included a strong alliance with Poland. When Adolf Hitler invaded Poland and the low countries on September 3rd 1939 the Chamberlain declared War on Germany to defend their ally. Chamberlain…show more content…
This is a persuasive speech, make no mistake, but it's not persuasive in the conventional sense. He’s not trying to convince us to support his political regime or to sweet talk us into buying war bonds. Churchill's persuasion lies in convincing his people they not only are looking death in the face, not only risk losing their homes or loved ones, not only might the British Empire fall and the rest of the world, but hope and faith will fall and the diabolic enemy intends to usher in a new age of darkness and despair. They’re not just Germans they’re fighting. They’re demons that seek to eradicate their very existence. Churchill is using the rhetoric of war to raise the stakes and electrify the spirit. In war there are some enemies with whom there can be no compromise. No middle ground. Churchill made no effort to be fair. He did not say the German’s really weren’t so bad and had done a great deal to advance civilization. He said the Germans are full of “novel treacheries” and “dirty tricks.” The antithesis of the British. He doesn’t just say that we may face our destruction, he says “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.” He is bestowing upon British citizens a kind of spiritual destiny to stand up and fight for everything they have ever known or cared for, or else they “will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.” In the end of his speech, he did not just say that win or lose we will fight to the last man, he said “if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest

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