Circumstances of the appeal – the historical situation, the issues at stake, the purpose of the argument, and the reasons it is memorable.
Abraham Lincoln, the U.S president in 1863 and the most famous in American history delivered Gettysburg Address. The speech was read during the dedication of the national soldier’s cemetery after civil war in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was four and a half months after a defeat of the confederacy by the union armies at Gettysburg battle. David Wills, the chief executive, invited President Lincoln during the consecration of the national cemetery at Gettysburg to formally sanctify the grounds for burial of soldiers. In the speech, Lincoln stated human equality principles supported by the declaration of independence (Voelker 1).
The president postulated that civil war preserved the union through birth of freedom. In addition, civil war brought equality among citizens thus becoming the principle of human equality. The president began with
“ standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the warning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and nature. But the duty to which you have called me must be performed; grant me, I pray you, your indulgence, and your sympathy.” The speech ended with, “But they, I am sure, will join us in saying, as we bid farewell to the dust of these martyr-heroes, that wheresoever’s throughout the civilized world the accounts of this great warfare are read. Down to the latest period of recorded time, in the glorious annals of our common country, there will be no brighter page than that which relates the battles of Gettysburg.’ (Common core unit 2).
Gettysburg address was written to act as a reminder to American citizens of their ancestors who brought a new nation in liberty four scores and seven years ago. It was the time when their nation was conceived in liberty and through dedication towards achieving equality among all men. Freedom fighters fought to get American nation with a claim that all people are equal. The president stated that civil wars have come to test whether the nation can endure through its dedication and positive conceptions.
The president added that although they are finally dedicating the ground to be a resting place for fighters of that freedom, they are only doing it to make it formal so that the nation might live. However, the land was already dedicated by the brave men some living and others dead, they hallowed it and consecrated it. The president stated that American citizens have a duty to continue with the work that was begun by fore fathers, of increasingly devoting themselves to the maintenance of freedom. The practice would avoid more deaths. The president further remarked that with god’s help and the government, the nation would have new freedom, which will be for the people and by the people and shall never end from earth (Thomas 1). The president also honored the dead by declaring that they are dedicated and devoted through its government in maintenance of freedom.
Issues at stake
The issue at stake in the civil war is to test the enduring nature of a nation that has been conceived and dedicated to equality and liberty. In addition, civil war tested for workability of democracy of America. If Union breaks, democracy will fail the whole earth and not America alone (U.s Department of education 8). Further, the war was a struggle against totalitarianism. The revolution liberty invoked for rights of individuals, of the state and the strong notion that they were gained through vigorous wars. As a result, the nation was declared independent with a free government. Freedom was also a replacement of slavery making men their own masters. It ended the cry of free soil, labor, and men (U.S department of education 8).
Purpose of the argument
Gettysburg Address was issued as a civic eulogy and praise for soldiers who lost their lives in the battle as they fought for American freedom. The president quotes “the dead gave their lives for preservation of the union” which explains that honor for the dead is expressed through dedication to preserve the union by fighting for it in the battle. As a result, the speech stresses on the importance of self-dedication to preservation of the union and the newly born freedom. As a result, the dedication shows that freedom fighters never died in vain.
The speech outlines that preservation of the union is unfinished and is a continuous task. In addition, it is a worthy cause. The president explains this by stating, “The civil war tests whether the union can endure. The union is dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. The union is a government of, by, and for the people.” Moreover, Gettysburg address was a declaration of independence and meant to stress that all American citizens are equal and central to the government of America. Finally, Lincoln through his declaration of independence argued that the war gave birth to freedom (Lillian Goldman law library 1). Lincoln in his speech commemorated for the dead. It appreciated their dedications, respect, and good order followed to save the nation.
Reasons it is memorable
Gettysburg address is a memorable event because civil war acts, as a connection of American is past and future. The president begins by stating that civil war tests democratic ideals stated in 1776 and he concludes by explaining that civil war is the opportunity for Americans to have a new birth of freedom. The speech interprets America’s birth as a nation, that it was conceived in liberty and dedication to equality of all men. He added that the government is for the people and by the people. As a result, civil war forms American identity.
Secondly, civil war is a connection of American fate with its identity and a connection of identity with democracy. The speech outlines that that civil wars are a test whether a nation born and conceived through liberty and equality can endure for long. Civil wars test the workability of democracy in America.
Third, Lincoln explains that the ground has been dedicated by the people who actually fought to get American nation, it is only a formal dedication of the ground making it a powerful and effective rhetorical strategy (Basley 1).
In conclusion, Gettysburg address aimed was a eulogy aimed at praising the works of the dead and living soldiers who fought for the American nation. It also aimed at consecrating the grounds on which dead American soldiers were buried although it had been dedicated by the fire fighters of freedom. Through civil wars, American was tested on the dedication to conserve the freedom given to them and the ability to continuously maintain it.
Thomas, William. “Lincoln and the Gettysburg address”. William G. Thomas 111. (2008). Retrieved 16. March 2016 from http://railroads.unl.edu/blog/?p=5
Voelker, David. ‘The Gettysburg address”. Abraham Lincoln. (2006) Retrieved 16 march, 2016, from http://historytools.davidjvoelker.com/sources/lincoln-gettysburg.pdf
U.s Department of education. “A close reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address”. Common core unit. (2012), 1-31. Retrieved 16 march 2016- fromhttp://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/communities/day-1-gettysburg- address.pdf
Lillian Goldman law library. “Gettysburg Address”. Yale law school (2008). Retrieved 16 March 2016. From http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/gettyb.asp
Basler, Roy.. “The Gettysburg Address”. Abraham Lincoln online. (2016). Retrieved 16 March 2016. from http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm