The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Monday, 6 January 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:
“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is the freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour—anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a world attainable in our time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.”
Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings, in support of FDR’s speech, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear—were first published on 20 February, 27 February, 6 March, and 13 March 1943.