The second inauguration address of Abraham Lincoln is as powerful as it is brief. He wrote a speech prompting for the end of the Civil War and the lasting vision he has for the future of the Union. Throughout the speech he uses comparisons, religion, and the moral high ground to move and rally the nation split over four years of civil war. Lincoln compares the response and lengths the North and South would go to obtain their interests. The slaves, to the South, were a “peculiar and powerful interest” since it greatly supported the Southern economy through the cotton industry.
The speech Abraham Lincoln gave on March 4th, 1865, titled the ‘Second Inaugural Speech’, was mainly political theology, in which he sought to address the major issues in which he would face in his presidency. His voice was very strong and clear, and he used diction, a passive voice, and a very well mannered tone in order to achieve the full purpose of his speech to the ‘fellow countrymen’. He achieves this effect very well, while speaking to both the North and the South about binding up the nation’s wounds that have stricken them in the core. The diction that Lincoln chooses to use displays that he is very educated, and that he wished to establish that he was speaking to both divided parts of the country, the north and the south, and that he planned on bringing the two together in his words.
The spirit of unity of the nation is emphasized in the address and it is also shown in the “We must not be enemies.” (Waugh page 406) “His wife, Mary whom he accompanied to church, observed religion was a kind of poetry in his nature.” (Rawley page 162) Mary Lincoln describes religion as second nature to Abraham Lincoln.
He asked his listeners if the nation was to become endangered, would it sprout from overseas or from within the nation. He was referring to the mobs and others going against the laws of the nation. In the Lyceum Address, Lincoln went on to say that if danger “ever reach us it must spring up amongst us,” and that “we must ourselves be its author and finisher”. He thought that “as a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide”. Lincoln believed that if the nation continued on its destructive path by ignoring the rule of law, the nation in return would destroy itself.
As most men and women in America are Christian, Lincoln’s references to bible and God evoke a powerful message. “With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right…” Despite America being divided at that time, Lincoln claims that all of America is under God. And although many southerners have reasons to despise Lincoln, but they can’t blatantly ignore his appeals to the Christian faith. Lincoln also brings up the alternative to his optimism using religion.
He ends his hopeful message by saying “to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations” (Lincoln). This final message from President Lincoln in his address clearly demonstrates his overarching purpose- to instill a sense of togetherness in the American people as a whole. It was purposeful when Lincoln ended his address with this message. It held a strong message of peace and bonding together so that Lincoln’s address would have a lasting impact on Americans. Lincoln uses optimistic diction when employing words such as "cherish" and "lasting peace" to convey a message of harmony.
Lincoln urges the people to “strive on to finish the work we are in,” “to bind up the nation's wounds,” he is trying to get the United Sate Citizens to become one again to unite and be one strong country, showing that even after a huge war that the country can remain strong and unified and that this war will allow for a strong brotherhood in the US. Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address is significant because Lincoln offered and objective point of view. Lincoln did not speak of the unloyalty of the South nor did he praise the North. Rather, Lincoln used multiple points to show that the Unification should be the main focus of his speech not that the states should be divided because of
But for other words, helps to endorse this general theme, those being: care, judge, and cease. All of these words foreshadow his expectations for the future, and his feelings to come, proving he knows the nation will unite again, even if others don’t believe him, therefore allowing his main argument to gain more foot holding because it seems as though Lincoln already knows the outcome of future
Abraham Lincoln in the speech, The Gettysburg Address, constructs a point of achieving a "just and lasting peace" between the North and South without retribution. Lincoln supports his assertion by justifying his beliefs of unity between the states. Lincoln's purpose is to influence the people to not allow what has been done to go to waste. He wants his audience to realize that this division will only persist if no one settles the current issues in society. Lincoln speaks in a sympathizing, determined tone to address the Americans who are mourning the loss of their loved ones and to the rest of Americans who he wants to see a change from.
Lincoln also brings to surface the most natural difference mankind has ever known: race. It's a hard thing to deny especially when we learn about slavery based on skin color, and use words that negatively describe a person of a certain race. The sickening, but true fact is that people are judged, and receive unequal treatment based on what color they see when they look into the mirror. Even though we have no control over what color we see, America has faced this racist mind set since its existence. From slavery, to African American segregation in the and 60’s, skin color has caused people to be treated unfairly, all because of the choices nature has made for us.
Through imagery, symbolism, and diction, the two passages collectively offer a pessimistic critique on opportunity in America: although the American dream can certainly reinvent one’s future, the dream cannot alter one’s past,
With the beginning of his second term and the Civil War coming to a close, President Lincoln was burdened by a country torn apart by war. Speaking to a nation of divided loyalties, Lincoln hoped his humble approach of divine strength would convince both the North and the South to put aside their prejudices against each other and restore the shattered Union. Lincoln’s allusion, parallel structure, and syntax helped restore the nation with dignity and grace. The newly elected president began his speech by suggesting that he would not repeat what others have said in the past; little progress had been made, and the public was very aware of the negative progress the troops were making.