How Lincoln Remained Neutral in His 2nd Inaugural Address

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, Confederate States of America, American Civil War Pages: 2 (798 words) Published: April 28, 2013
We will be concerned with whether Abraham Lincoln succeeded in remaining indifferent and nonpartisan towards the South in his 2nd Inaugural Address. In what is considered one of the most distinguished Presidential commencement speeches on record, as well as the shortest in length at approximately 700 words, the "Great Emancipator" understood the Herculean task ahead of him in unifying the bisected country. By illustrating how slavery was the predominant cause of hostility that halved a nation, Lincoln expresses his eagerness for tranquility while heavily referencing the role of God in the Union's endeavor to create a more perfect republic. In seeking to ensure that the Confederate States would be welcomed back to the Union amiably, I will argue that Lincoln prevailed by remaining both moderate and neutral, and in so doing, revived a nation desperate to push forward. On March 4, 1865, in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, President Lincoln articulated how both the Union and the seceding Confederate states ventured to inhibit a battle that "all dreaded" and "sought to avert" (Dolbeare, pg. 277). Yet, a lengthy and callous war between countrymen is what ensued, situated on the rights of some persons to consider certain human beings property rather than fellow citizens of one nation, under God. The rousing speech given to a crowd of an estimated 40,000 citizens called for acknowledgement of immediate resoluteness which would profoundly assist the mutual interests of the nation as a whole (Pruitt). By affirming, "with malice toward none, with charity for all," Lincoln established that discourteous behavior towards defectors should be averted by reminding the audience of how both sides employed skewed visions. As the 16th President of a budding country whose first term in office resulted in the deaths of over 600,000 American lives, "Honest Abe" possessed the clairvoyance to accept liability, while not placing blame on any one coalition...
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