President Biden’s Inaugural Address: A Draft

Using quotes from Inaugurals 1789-1933

See more on Twitter #InauguralAddressoftheDay

The oath taken in the presence of the people becomes a mutual covenant.[1] We seek to overcome all the defects which destroyed the ancient Republics.[2] We face questions of deep and vital importance.[3] I feel incompetent to perform duties so important[4] but for the distinguished honor, and of the confidence reposed in me by the people of United America.[5]

When law is trampled under foot, tyranny rules.[6] Nothing can be more corrupting than the lover of power.[7] There is no salvation in a narrow and bigoted partisanship.[8] Truth and reason have maintained their ground against false opinions in league with false facts.[9] Our people are determined to leave behind them all those bitter controversies.[10]

Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.[11] The proper limitation of partisan zeal,[12] with conciliation and compromise, gave us the Constitution and enable progress.[13] Here muster not the forces of party, but the forces of humanity.[14] He serves his party best who serves his country best.[15]

There was great anxiety. Now there is none.[16] The Union of these States is perpetual,[17] an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage.[18] Free and fearless discussion, blended with unimpaired fraternal feeling,[19] harmonize conflicting interests.[20] This great country will not fall into anarchy.[21]  The Government has been in the hands of the people.[22]

The present situation of the world is without parallel, and our own country full of difficulties.[23]  In this dangerous crisis the people of America were not abandoned by their usual good sense, presence of mind, resolution, or integrity.[24] The shadows, dark upon our path, will soon be dispelled.[25] It will take time to restore the prosperity of former years.[26] This Nation is asking for action – and action now.[27]

Individuals must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest.[28] We pledge equality before the law unimpaired by race or color[29] including the right to vote,[30] and to protect the law-abiding citizen, whether of native or foreign birth.[31] Freedom of the press and of religious opinion should be inviolate.[32]

We cannot escape the effect of world conditions.[33] Our own great Republic is destined to be the guiding star to all others[34]: Justice to all, injustice to none.[35] Success of our arms now may long preserve our country from the necessity of another resort to them.[36]

American citizenship is an inviolable panoply.[37] Genius is free to announce its inventions and discoveries.[38] The wisdom, integrity, and thrift of our people may be trusted,[39] with practical intelligence, courage, endurance, and devotion to a lofty ideal.[40]

The future of our country is bright with hope.[41] With the better angels of our nature,[42] let us strive on to finish the work we are in[43]: to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.[44]

[1] 1889

[2] 1821

[3] 1857

[4] 1865

[5] 1793

[6] 1850

[7] 1841

[8] 1925

[9] 1805

[10] 1881

[11] 1801

[12] 1885

[13] 1829

[14] 1913

[15] 1877

[16] 1901

[17] 1861

[18] 1789

[19] 1837

[20] 1849

[21] 1901

[22] 1817

[23] 1809

[24] 1797

[25] 1917

[26] 1897

[27] 1933

[28] 1833

[29] 1889

[30] 1909

[31] 1869

[32] 1825

[33] 1923

[34] 1873

[35] 1841

[36] 1813

[37] 1853

[38] 1845

[39] 1881

[40] 1905

[41] 1929

[42] 1861

[43] 1865

[44] 1921