An Analysis Of Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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Abraham Lincolns Second Inaugural Address Throughout the United States of American history, there have been many speeches made. Some for freedom from slavery, others from countries. Today, speeches consist of what freedoms Americans have now. But no other speech was as important or impactful than Abraham Lincolns second inaugural address. After completing Lincolns first term as president, he ran against George B. McClellan, a democrat that was the former commander of the Union army. Lincoln had already freed the slaves in rebelling states with his Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, but there were bigger problems facing the country. With the war still raging and no end in sight, the Union had begun to believe the they could not win the war. …show more content…
In Lincolns case, there were two major historical influences on how he presented his second inaugural address. The most influence came from the ideas of Frederick Douglas. Douglas was a leading figure in the abolitionist movement. At first, he did not like Lincolns approach to the issue of slavery. Douglas believed the Lincoln was taking the solution to slow and it was not effective, it was not until after Lincoln gave his Emancipation Proclamation speech did Douglas have a new-found respect and support for Lincoln. Although there is no direct correlation between Lincoln and Douglas in his second inaugural address, people who heard and read what Lincoln had said understood that both men were fighting for the same cause. And that even after Lincolns assassination, that legacy was carried on by Douglas. He saw that Lincolns second inaugural address had, “… laid the basis for a continuing exposition of the nation’s purpose, an exposition interrupted by the assassin’s bullet. (Wills, 1999 p. 70)” Interrupted, not halted. Douglas continued to spread the ideas of freedom throughout the country. Of course, the movement would have continued if Lincoln would not have supported it, but his second inaugural address certainly hastened freedom for all …show more content…
This is major point in the message of the speech as Lincoln address that “Both [North and South] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.” This spoke wonders to each side because it was exactly true. In times of hardship, war included if not the biggest, people will seek a higher power to affirm that they are right, and the other side is wrong. And they will ask the higher power to help them, in this case, win the war. Once Lincoln revealed this in his second augural address, people realized that it was true. This invoked the people to question which side was really right in what they were doing. “… the points he wanted to make with these verses concerned God and his oversight of the world, not a partisan promotion of himself and his party. (Christianity Today 1992, p. 16)” And this was his goal and to which people confirmed that the people voted for the right man. Lincolns goal of reconciliation was also expressed through his belief if God and the inerrancy of the bible. However, there are people who believe that Lincoln was not a true believer in God, and that he used scripture to get his message across. This has some merit because throughout the history of the United States of America, many presidents would use scripture in their speeches to sway the votes or support of the bible believing

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