Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address Analysis

1561 Words7 Pages
The American Civil War was the deadliest battle that Americans have ever faced, more deadlier than all the other wars we have ever fought. The ideas of south slavery clashed against the anti-slavery notion of the north. Throughout the war, people changed their opinions of the war, through soul searching after witnessing so much dead, or the idea that people had to fight their own loved ones. Other people were adamant in their beliefs that what they were fighting for was right. During the war, Abraham Lincoln had the unfortunate responsibility of presiding over the unstable Union. Throughout his many addresses to the public, including the First Inaugural Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and the 2nd Inaugural Address,…show more content…
A few months before Lincoln’s election, South Carolina felt that its rights as a state were not respected and eventually secceeded from the Union. Soon, other slave holding states followed suit except for Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky, which were known as the border states Due to this severe disturbance in the nation, Lincoln feared for the future of the Union as it was clear that a bloody war impending. So in his first Inaugural Address, he assured the Union that, “I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself. In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed…show more content…
By the time of Lincoln’s second presidency, it was obvious that the Confederacy was going to lose. But instead of Lincoln expressing happiness for the end of slavery, he tried to communicate the true purpose of the war; slavery. From the start of the war, Lincoln always said that the war was about preserving the Union, but since the war was won, he could finally say the purpose of the war was to stop the practice of slavery. He exclaims, “These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war”. For the first time, Lincoln could actually address slavery directly without the fear of distancing the border states like Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri from leaving the Union as the war was already won. Even if those states left the Union at that moment, the war would still go to the Union because of the massive advantage they had. Lincoln also makes clear that the war was the south’s fault when he says “One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves. Not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it.” Although Lincoln wanted a Reconstruction without any anger from both sides, he needed to preserve his reputation against groups like Peace democrats who blamed Lincoln for the war. Nevertheless, by the end of his address,
Open Document