Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan addressed the National Association of Evangelicals, delivering what is now referred to as his "Evil Empire" speech. Hoping to reestablish his commitment to conservative values and encourage the audience to oppose a nuclear freeze, Reagan condemned the Soviet Union as the "focus of evil" in the modern world and urged the audience to resist the aggressive impulses of an evil empire. Although it initially received widespread criticism, Reagan's speech has since been credited as a salient factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union and has been heralded as one of the most important addresses of his presidency; To illuminate the persuasive elements in the speech, this study examines its historical context, rhetorical problems and evolution of the text. The resulting critique discusses how Reagan's masterful epideictic and deliberative speech reestablished his commitment to conservative values and justified his position in the nuclear freeze debate.
Analysis; Empire; Evil; Reagan; Rhetorical; Ronald Speech
Rhetoric; International law
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Clark, Kirsten Ann Westenskow, "Ronald Reagan's 1983 "Evil Empire" speech: A rhetorical analysis" (2002). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 1478.