The Four Freedoms at the RIAS

Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms occupy a central place in the history and work of the RIAS. Enumerated by FDR in his 1941 State of the Union address, these four interlinked ideas – Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear – formed the pillars of the Rooseveltian vision for the post-war world. They went on to inspire the creation of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Roosevelts

"The Rooseveltian Century": A Free Online Course

Who were Franklin, Eleanor, and Theodore Roosevelt? What values did the three Roosevelts stand for? How did these two presidents and one first lady influence the world we live in?

The RIAS, with support from Leiden University, has created an online course, freely available via the Coursera platform. The course explores twentieth century US history in an innovative way through these three unique leaders.

Follow the course and experience the Rooseveltian Century for yourself!

The RIAS is also committed to the promotion of the Four Freedoms’ legacy. Together with its local partners in Middelburg, the University College Roosevelt and the Roosevelt Foundation, the RIAS organizes educational activities to promote the Four Freedoms Awards throughout the year.

“The Rooseveltian Century” was cited by New York Magazine as one of the best courses available in 2020.

Follow the course

The Four Freedoms in the Classroom

What does it mean to live in a free society?And what happens when one person’s idea of freedom clashes with that of others? Political debate is suffused with references to “freedom” – but what do we actually mean by it?

In the autumn of 2020, guest teachers from the RIAS, University College Roosevelt (UCR), and other local partners toured the high schools of Zeeland with an outreach program centred around the meaning of freedom in the age of Covid, climate change, and Black Lives Matter. Collectively they taught a series of classes, touching on  history, rhetoric, citizenship, and politics. These efforts were subsequently bundled in the (Dutch-language) booklet, Four Freedoms in de Klas .

Containing lesson plans, including a detailed plan to simulate the founding of the United Nations in the classroom, Four Freedoms in de Klas is an inspirational guide to teaching the legacy of the Roosevelts, embedded in the challenges of our contemporary society.

Get the book