November 19th was a sacred day at Gettysburg. With 15,000 people in the crowd and a less than two minute speech, this day went down into America’s history forever. This all started when Abraham Lincoln was asked to deliver thoughts at a dedication ceremony in Pennsylvania. These remarks later became the very famous speech known as the Gettysburg Address. Although Abraham Lincoln’s, Gettysburg Address, was not loved in his time, his words made a huge impact and lead to the abolishment of slavery as well as it shown a bright light on the darkness of the war.
The Gettysburg Address was delivered on November 19, 1863 which was right in the middle of the Civil War. While Lincoln was giving his speech, he and the audience were standing among freshly dug graves of Union men and women who had recently passed away in the war. The United States was very fragile at this time, an abundant amount of men and woman had lost their lives, and life was difficult for many. When Abraham Lincoln was asked to honor these dead men and women, he also took the chance to awaken the Union and stress that not only were they fighting to reunify the nation but also to withhold the doctrine of freedom and equality. This was a bold move by the President and little did he know, but it would go down in history for a long time.
In the middle of dreadful losses by the South and North in the Civil War, Lincoln still had positivity. In his speech, Lincoln speaks with a sense of confidence in the belief of triumph. He knew that having two different societies both inhabiting America was not going to be suitable. Sooner or later, abolitionism or slavery would take rule, and Lincoln saw what was right. In his speech Lincoln makes it known to the people of his plan for the war. Lincoln planned to expand to the land of what the North was fighting for. “With his speech’s mention of ‘a new birth of freedom,’ he affirmed the nation’s commitment to abolishing slavery, which had become a second war aim alongside preserving the Union.”
Lincoln’s speaks directly to slave owners by stating that the Declaration of Independence was the real intention that the founding fathers wanted the new nation to be under. Sean Conant states, “For him, the Civil War did not constitute a ‘second American Revolution,’ but an extension of the first one, a resumption of the nation envisioned by the founders that had been diverted from its first principles by the corrosive influence of slavery.” This was a powerful statement because slave owners would often use the Constitution to back up their reasoning to own slaves because it did not prohibit slavery. Lincoln then went on to state that “all men are created equal.” This statement was radical in this time. Slaves very often were looked at so lowly that they were often not even seen as men, let alone equal to the white man, but Lincoln meant exactly what he said. “This universal principle— that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness— this, for Lincoln, was the bedrock of the Union, the reason for its existence.” These statements reconstructed the American creed to more equal lines.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address contains a large amount of biblical phrases and themes although it holds no specific quotations straight from the Bible. Lincoln shows his detailed and thorough knowledge in the Bible by using the Bible to back up and further his message behind his speech. One big aspect that parallels the Bible in the speech is when Lincoln takes about the nations conception, birth, and death similarly to Jesus’s life in the New Testament. One of the reasons Lincoln gave this speech was to address the central meaning of the Civil War. In this Lincoln explains the cause for the nations great pain and suffering they were challenging.
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