Topic

Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech as the first democratically-elected South African President is a political speech. The speaker addresses universal themes like freedom, change, racial and gender equality, and links them to contextual topics—his election and the end of the apartheid regi…

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The apartheid system and change

The apartheid regime was a system of racial segregation and discrimination, enforced in South Africa from 1948 to 1991. The system was biased against the black population, favouring the white population. The speaker presents it using strong disapproving words: “…an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long…” ; “…the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and r…

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Equality and freedom

The speaker also focuses on achieving racial and gender equality, as opposed to previous discriminatory policies (against black South Africans), which becomes a key topic in the speech. To highlight the importance of this topic, Mandela makes several references to “no…

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Argumentation

Nelson Mandela uses direct argumentation throughout his inaugural speech. He expresses his point of view and arguments in a clear, straightforward manner.

For example, the speaker openly states his vision for South Africa’s future after the end of apartheid: “We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in co…

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