analyzing historical context of lincoln

The North was on the verge of victory prior to Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural address.  He chooses words and analogies that are humble; he does not brag about victory nor blame one side. Why would he want to avoid blaming either side?

(Hint: Look at the types of words, like BOTH, that Lincoln chooses when discussing the different sides. Why would he include both sides now, at the end of the war? )

  1. Please follow the below format and the “sentence starters,” using direct quotes where necessary. 

Topic sentence: In Lincoln’s speech, he avoids placing blame on either side by choosing words that include both sides.

Concrete detail (direct quote or paraphrased evidence from speech): This is shown when…

Commentary (opinion): In my opinion…

Commentary (opinion): furthermore, I think…

Concluding sentence: In summary…

Concrete Detail (evidence)

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil-war.

All dreaded it — all sought to avert it.

Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained.

Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease.

Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.

Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.

The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully.

  • With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds;

analyzing historical context of lincoln

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