Essay Example on History the Gettysburg Address was a speech Delivered

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Widely regarded as one of the best speeches in American History the Gettysburg Address was a speech delivered at the height of the American Civil War on November 19th 1863 by the American president Abraham Lincoln Gatewood Cameron 2004 This speech was delivered during the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg Pennsylvania four months after the battle of Gettysburg Lincoln 1980 Though not a featured speaker that day President Lincoln went on to deliver the short yet powerful speech touching on issues such as the equality of men and the liberation of the nation Gatewood Cameron 2004 In little under two minutes Lincoln was able to deliver a speech that not only struck a chord in the audience present but also resonates through time Lincoln 1980 In its context America was in the middle of a bloody civil war After suffering a tremendous loss in the battle the state sought it best to dedicate a plot of land that would serve as a cemetery for the fallen soldiers Gatewood Cameron 2004 Abraham Lincoln s masterfully crafted address was meant to achieve just that while also inspiring the people to continue the fight In his speech Lincoln reminds his audience that the government was formed on the idea of the people's liberty and goes on to quote the Preamble to the Declaration of independence all men are created equal Wills 1992 Lincoln uses this proposition to suggest that all men having being created equal should have the liberty to enjoy equal rights and opportunities Lincoln 1980 Lincoln also recognizes the brave men and women who died for their country Wills 1992 By stating that we cannot dedicate we cannot consecrate we cannot hallow this ground he acknowledges that there s nothing him nor anyone else present can say or do to match the bravery displayed by the fallen soldiers Gatewood Cameron 2004 The words dedicate consecrate and hallow are all used to essentially mean to make something sacred or honored and this was the prime purpose of the day s gathering Lincoln 1980 On the last paragraph of his speech 



Lincoln turns the proceeding around by stating that instead of coming to dedicate the ground to the fallen soldiers it is the people themselves who are there to dedicate themselves to the unfinished work the soldiers were set out to achieve Gatewood Cameron 2004 He further drives the point home by stating that if the people were to give up on civil war then the soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the country and its people would have died in vain Gatewood Cameron 2004 The Gettysburg address was unique in its own time because it was short yet packed a strong message for its intended listeners Though it lasted only ten minutes Lincoln was able to bring the entire essence of the Civil War and the people s equality and rights Lincoln 1980 In just a couple of minutes he was able to bring to life the reason for the preservation of the Union leaving no doubt in anyone s mind Lincoln 1980 In a touching yet quick speech Lincoln is able to bestow a proper farewell to the soldiers who died in the Civil War while also transferring his message of unity to his audience Lincoln 1980 It can be argued that one the reason why he kept the speech so short was so as to enable the ceremony to remain the main focus of the gathering rather than himself Wills 1992 By keeping his speech short and precise Abraham Lincoln was able to seamlessly deliver his message to his audience while subtly observing the reason for the occasion

 This allowed him to effortlessly compare two ideas together which allowed the audience to be able to view them side by side Wills 1992 By quoting the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Lincoln masterfully brings to light the goal of the emancipation of over 4 million people still enslaved in the nation Wills 1992 Lincoln indirectly makes plain the fact that the Civil War being fought was in large part a war to end slavery In the narrative End of Slavery the narrator Frederick Douglass also brings to light the plight of enslaved people in America and advocates for their rights to have the liberty to live freely and take possession of their own lives and fate Douglass 2000 He is quoted as saying Finding myself in a free state was a moment of the highest excitement I have ever experienced Douglass 2000 References Douglass F 2000 Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass an American slave Random House Digital Inc Gatewood J B Cameron C M 2004 BATTLEFIELD PILGRIMS AT GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK1 Ethnology 43 3 193 Lincoln A 1980 Address at Gettysburg At the Sign of the Bud Wills G 1992 Lincoln at Gettysburg The words that remade America Simon and Schuster


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