One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. Note: Is it significant that Lincoln presents his providential interpretation of the war as a supposition and not as a demonstrable fact? Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. With a war within a whole country between two appendages from the same body, it took incredible patience and the right choice of words to create unity once more. As the class discusses tone, be sure to ask for evidence in the text that supports their suppositions about tone. The Almighty has his own purposes. They will write their own inaugural address, taking into account what they just learned about where the country was in early 1865. Lincoln knew the southern states were apprehensive of him being the man in charge and assumed their rights may be endangered and he wanted to ease their mind.
Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Some see this speech as a defense of his pragmatic approach to , in which he sought to avoid harsh treatment of the defeated South by reminding his listeners of how wrong both sides had been in imagining what lay before them when the war began four years earlier. Historical Context for Lincoln's Speech: Reactions to the Waning Conflict To gain context for the speech that Lincoln wrote, students will read primary and secondary sources as given in this section. United States Capitol, Washington, D. Many men are honest with each other. What would it be like to write an inaugural address, if you were a newly re-elected president who was presiding over the end of a Civil War that had cost the country around 600,000 deaths during four agonizing years? Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented.
The Almighty has His own purposes. According to Lincoln, the Civil War was about slavery; slavery caused the war, he maintained, and that should be evident to everybody. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Procedure Although the lesson is asking students to listen to the Second Inaugural Address first, it provides a jumping off point for a whole-class discussion on what challenges Lincoln faced in his first administration. The country had been embroiled in Civil War for nearly four years, and the conflict had taken its toll on the President. Abraham Lincoln: Second Inaugural Address. In the popular mind, both sides of the Civil War assumed that they could read God's will and assumed His favor in their opposing causes.
In this religious belief, Lincoln had found strength to persevere, and at the time of his Second Inaugural when it was apparent that the Union cause would eventually be won, he publicly acknowledged its tenet that the final outcome had been foreordained all along. At a White House reception, President Lincoln encountered Frederick Douglass. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. In fact, his plan for Reconstruction included an easy readmission to the Union, pardons for any Confederates willing to take an oath of loyalty, and the full restoration of rights and property except for slaves to the South. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. Lincoln thought the reunification of the American people required a common view of the wrong of slavery, as well as a common acceptance of the ravages of the Civil War as due punishment from the Almighty for the national exploitation of black slaves.
By the summer of 1864, the Civil War stretched into its fourth year, and Union and Confederate troops seemed mired in a bloody stalemate. Lincoln suggests that the two sides are very similar because they both believe in the same higher power. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. What appears to be his priority in any peace settlement? Rather than denouncing or blaming the Confederacy, Lincoln humanizes them. The first question was: 'What was the war really about? The teacher models prosody, inflection, and punctuation.
Was Lincoln wrong to do so? Never prone to condemn the Southern states for causing the Civil War, Lincoln offered instead reflections on the judgment God had handed down upon both the North and the South for the American sin of slavery. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is somewhat different from the purpose of either party — and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect this. Choose a question or two from each of the categories below, and have students write a one- or two-paragraph response. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. By the time of Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, twenty-one of the required minimum of twenty-seven states had ratified it, including two of the so-called Border Slave States, Missouri and Maryland, which had also abolished slavery in their state constitutions. A shorter excerpt from the Proclamation is also , and can be printed out for student use. Perhaps, however, the time was near for the war to end.
He began by downplaying the significance of this inauguration in comparison to his first one, when the nation hovered on the brink of war and all waited to hear what Lincoln planned to do about it. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. . Even the president commented in surprise about it. Lincoln suggests that because the American people allowed slavery to occur, they are being punished in the form of civil war.
A few weeks after his election, South Carolina had a state convention in which several Southern states declared independence as a confederacy, drafted a constitution, and elected a president. During the time of the speech, it is four years into the Civil War and it is about to end. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. They can read this online, or. Fellow-countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first.