A House Divided Speech Analysis

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Abraham Lincoln, a Senate candidate at the time, gave his famous “A House Divided” speech on June 16, 1858, in Illinois at the Republican State Convention. When Lincoln delivered the speech his immediate audience was the Illinois Republican Party, but after reading the speech one can see that it was intended for a much larger audience. His speech was intended to impact people of both parties, and to change the way the people thought. During Lincoln’s speech, he had a few main ideas that he was clearly trying to illustrate to his audience. At the beginning of the speech Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This line drove Lincoln’s entire speech and was entirely biblical. “This quotation was one familiar to virtually …show more content…

In the speech, Lincoln never comes out and says an apparent solution to slavery or addresses the abolishment of slavery. However, Lincoln proposed solutions that may have sparked the end of slavery. Lincoln addressed that he wanted the states to agree on the subject of slavery and said, “Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new—North as well as South.” This being said, if the states eventually agreed on the extinction of slavery, even if it took a war, this would have ultimately been a solution to slavery. Lincoln also said, “We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free; and we shall awake to the reality, instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State. To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty is the work now before all those who would prevent that consummation.” Lincoln was trying to say that although many states are on their way to abolishment, many states are still allowing slavery, and it is in the hands of the people who are against slavery to take a stand and do something. Lincoln may never have come out and said a clear solution to slavery, but he used his powerful words to give rise to the beginning of a

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