Lincoln First Inaugural Address Analysis

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It would be more than difficult not to read Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address without some sense of pride or honor for one’s own country. He brings about a call to civility among all citizens striving for unity and harmony with one another. Lincoln understood the dilemma that slavery became for not only the Northerners attempting to abolish the practice entirely, but also for the Southerners perpetuating it in the first place. The fact that there was a faction rising in favor of slavery on a scale that would divide the country indefinitely and that Lincoln foresaw this danger demonstrates the level of prudence he was able to acquire up until his presidency. In this address, Lincoln stressed the importance of the nation staying unified and true to the principles set by …show more content…

If a minority, in such case, will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which, in turn, will divide and ruin them; for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority” (Basler, p.585). Lincoln’s argument against the South not having grounds to fight for the continuation of slavery because they are a minority is an argument based strongly on the basis of the country being governed by the majority. Just because a faction pushes for something doesn’t mean they are permitted to secede from the union. That goes against everything that the Union stands for in terms of a moral foundation and allegiance to a higher undertaking se forth by Founders from the very beginning. “Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy. A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it, does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism” (Basler,

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