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Additional resources for Abraham Lincoln, A Legacy of Freedom
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. After his long introductory sentence, Lincoln led his audience rapidly forward from the American Revolution to the Civil War. With quick brushstrokes he summarized the war’s meaning.
Lincoln also remained, for a man of the early- and mid-19th century, free of social prejudice. ” The Real Issue Defined Before attaining the presidency, Abraham Lincoln’s signature political issue was a determined opposition to the extension of slavery into the western territories. The issue was for Lincoln a moral one, and in his final 1858 Senate campaign debate with Stephen A. Douglas, he made that point with stunning clarity, defining “the real issue” as a conflict on the part of one class that looks upon the institution of slavery as a wrong, and of another class that does not look upon it as a wrong.
He employed alliteration, placing together the same consonant and sound five times in the final two sentences, encouraging the listener to link those words: break bonds battlefield broad better Lincoln used powerful images to remind the nation of its past and announce his political vision for the future. Gettysburg Address (1863) On July 1-3, 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought a great battle in the small Pennsylvania village of Gettysburg. After three days, nearly 50,000 dead, wounded, and missing lay among the peach orchards and farm pastures.