Lincoln's Inaugural Address

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Our nation has a way of repeating history, especially when the country is in need of unification. After the Battle of Gettysburg, during the Civil War, many Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives and while the Union soldiers were buried right there on their home soil, the Confederate soldiers were brought back to the South. Four months after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address to honor those who had lost their lives. Lincoln began the Gettysburg Address by reminiscing of the signing of the Declaration of Independence 87 years ago from that day. The Declaration of Independence unified everyone together under one nation and stated that all were born with inalienable rights and therefore should be equal. Lincoln’s speech ultimately was about honoring the ones who died, but he also sought to use his speech as tool for unification. Through the rhetoric use of juxtaposition and repetition, Lincoln brings everyone together as one nation in his central message of unity.

The use of juxtaposition helps convey Lincoln’s message in his speech by comparing two different thoughts. Lincoln includes the different ideas that the North and South have about slavery in hopes to bring them together to one. His sorrows for those who died in the war were heard in his speech, but he did not specifically state whether he was addressing the Confederacy or the Union. Through this vagueness, Lincoln wanted to let the people know that all were included. It did not matter whether it was a Confederate or Union soldier that fell; that person was still one of us- an American. Lincoln continues by juxtaposing the living and the dead as he includes the phrases “new birth” and a “perished” nation in his final statement. These words were meant to remind the people of their liberty, and what is America without liberty? Lincoln called on his fellow Americans to put their differences aside and focus on the main aspects of life in America: freedom...
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