15 Greatest Speeches That Changed The Course Of History

Speeches Changed Course Of History

11. William Faulkner. Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.

December 10, 1950. Stockholm, Sweden.

William Faulkner

Prior to winning the Nobel Peace Prize, William Faulkner had never disclosed his flair for the verbose. Naturally, there was a lot of curiosity regarding his acceptance speech. Due to the ongoing political tension in the country, he clearly said that instead of being afraid, it is imperative that every human being focus on the human spirit, and work towards peace and prosperity.


“I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”

One of the greatest speeches of all time

12. Abraham Lincoln. Second Inaugural Address.

March 4, 1865. Washington, D.C.

Abraham Lincoln

When Abraham Lincoln came to power for the second time, he did not focus on his victory. Rather, he appealed to the nation and said that the war was happening between two brothers, and the secession of the South was relatively not possible. He was also ready to be lenient with the South.


“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

You can read the full speech here.

13. Jesus Christ. The Sermon on the Mount.

33 A.D. Jerusalem.

Jesus Christ

The Sermon Of Mount speech by Jesus Christ is probably the most famous and the greatest speech of all time. There is probably no other speech in this world that has been quoted, dissected, or spoken about so much. This speech has given both believers and non-believers alike, something to discuss even two thousand years later.


“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

See Matthew Chapter 5-7 for the entire speech.

Related: 15 Enlightening TED Talks on Emotional Intelligence

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