Gettysburg Address Dbq Essay

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Though many scholars, such as Seltzer, have noted the antislavery rhetoric purposed the same ideals of the Gettysburg Address (and one could argue, even more meritoriously), this did not mean that Black were looked as equals by the majority of the nation. Seltzer argues that, “By casting his [Wills] interpretation in terms of a narrative of origins, Wills exaggerates the originary force of Lincoln 's Address at the expense of an appreciation for the cultural work of popular groups who were themselves involved in a reevaluation of national ideals through an appeal to the Declaration of Independence long before Gettysburg” (Selzer 126). She then concludes; “Abolitionists were changing in the popular eye from extremists to patriots who tried to…show more content…
Take for example the Liberty Party, who was supported by most radicalized abolitionists and the Free Soil Party, whose support came from those more concerned with white labor than Black slaves (The Free Soil Party eventually help form the Republican Party.). One could say a vote for the Liberty Party is a rough proxy of humanitarian abolitionist sentiment. In the 1844 Election, Liberty candidate James G. Birney received only 2.3% of the vote, half of the Free Soil Parties lowest percentage ever (5%, in 1852, And this was after the Kansas-Nebraska Act). Naturally, the Liberty Party had no influences in southern states, however, in the states with the largest anti-slavery activists, such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont, they received only around 8% of the vote. Other notable anti-slavery states boasted only 3% of the vote such as New York, Illinois, and Connecticut. Therefore, taking into consideration those abolitionists, such as William Lloyd Garrison who preferred to work outside of what they saw as a corrupt political system, a candid estimate of humanitarian abolitionists in Northern areas, at least starting from the 1840s up until the beginning of the Civil War, could range from 5-10%, and this number may have increased somewhat (though not dramatically) in the 1850s as sectionalism increased and attitudes toward slavery became more polarized
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