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Rhetoric In Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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It’s no joke that the Civil War is America’s bloodiest war. And throughout these tumultuous times, tensions were high among all Americans. On the last legs of the Civil War, there was considerable doubt about the future of America. Would America ever recover from its harsh divide? Abraham Lincoln certainly thought so. In his second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln sets forth a convincing argument detailing his thoughts and opinions on the future of the Union. Lincoln accomplishes this by making use of Kairos, which having his argument being at the opportune moment. He also characterizes both sides of war by addressing the Confederates’ goals as well as the Union’s. Finally, he brings the two side together with a unifying religious appeal.…show more content…
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. If both sides burn each other down to the ground, then it reasonable to say that it is the judgement of the Lord. Of course, no American would want to see ruin brought to their own nation, so it drives people further towards accepting Lincoln’s hopes. Abraham Lincoln knew what it would mean if he did not directly address what effects the Civil War had. And with high hopes, he delivered a hopeful vision for the nation while remaining respectful to all sides of the conflict. Using Kairos as well as a universal and religious appeal, Lincoln was able to make his argument respectful, engaging, and relatable. It made it difficult to disregard his argument with his well thought positivity as well as his thoughtful reasoning. Lincoln truly embodied what it meant to a leader with his
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