Literature Study GuidesEisenhowers Farewell Address

Eisenhower's Farewell Address | Study Guide

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Course Hero. "Eisenhower's Farewell Address Study Guide." October 16, 2018. Accessed September 28, 2023.


Course Hero, "Eisenhower's Farewell Address Study Guide," October 16, 2018, accessed September 28, 2023,



Dwight D. Eisenhower

Year Delivered



Primary Source


History, Speech

At a Glance

  • About to leave office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969) wanted both to thank the American people for their support during his presidency and to warn them about giving too much power to the military-industrial complex he perceived as a threat to the nation's future.
  • Eisenhower's speech was broadcast live on television on January 17, 1961, three days before John F. Kennedy (1917–63) was sworn in as president.
  • With 37 years of military service, Eisenhower presented a strong case for needing to maintain a balance between the pursuit of the country's security and the protection of its people's liberty. His thesis was that the United States could not retain its preeminence based on military might alone. The country should use its power to bring about peace in the world and improve life for all.
  • At the time Eisenhower's address was well received but did not cause many ripples. It was seen as an extension of the conversation already underway about how the Cold War (1945–91) affected relationships between the United States and its perceived enemies.
  • Eisenhower's speech stands out as remarkably prescient of the challenges the United States faces as one of the world's major policing powers.


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