A House Divided

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, American Civil War, United States Pages: 2 (774 words) Published: November 27, 2012
“House Divided” Essay
Discuss the relevance today of Abraham Lincoln’s statement, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Abraham Lincoln’s statement in his 1858 speech that “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” is an extremely true statement that is as relevant today as it was when he originally stated it in 1858. Lincoln made this statement when he was accepting his nomination by the Republican Party to become the United States senator for the state of Illinois. Lincoln was attempting to distinguish himself from his opponent for the seat in the Senate, Stephen Douglas, who was a major supporter of the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Lincoln disagreed with Douglas because he believed that the United States could not exist under two opposing forces, that of advocates for slavery and of abolition. Lincoln knew that the country would eventually have to decide between slavery and freedom, and the imminent Civil War is proof that he was right.

Lincoln’s statement in 1858 correctly predicted that the United States could not exist forever torn between the issue of slavery. His statement continues to be valid, even in today’s world, more than one hundred and fifty years later. When the country was divided about the existence of slavery, it was not able to cooperate. Proper authority could not be executed, because the leader had to choose a side. If he was pro-slavery, the north would not be devoted to his leadership. If he was pro-abolition, the south would refuse to acknowledge him as their leader. This enormous dilemma wreaked havoc throughout the country, leading to the south’s eventual secession from the Union. Today, the concept of when an institution is on completely different terms with each other they cannot function properly can be applied to many situations, both specific and non-specific. This notion being misunderstood by the majority of the world is on display in daily life. When two parents are attempting to instill authority over...
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