Inside the Gettysburg Address
The Gettysburg Address is a remarkable speech. It is only 272 words long and took only two minutes to deliver. But it had a profound effect on the nation—both then and now.
President Lincoln was not even the principal speaker on November 19, 1863 at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, just four months after the battle there. The key speaker was Edward Everett, a renowned orator who talked for over two hours. Later Everett wrote Lincoln to say that "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes."
Just what was this central idea? Analyze each of these excerpts and see if you can arrive at its central idea. (75 points)
1. A “score” is twenty. Calculate the number of years in “four score and seven.” Then go back from 1863. What year is Lincoln referring to?
2. What document did Abraham Lincoln believe provided the foundation for the nation?
a. the Declaration of Independence
b. the Articles of Confederation
c. the Constitution
d. the Bill of Rights
3. What did Lincoln believe to be the key premise of the nation that was conceived?
a. A nation should be founded on liberty.
b. All people are equal.
c. There should be dedication when a nation is founded.
d. Fathers conceive nations.
4. What does Lincoln say is the challenge of the Civil War?
a. whether people are dedicated
b. whether the nation will last
c. whether the battlefield at Gettysburg was great
d. whether anyone can win
5. What does Lincoln feel is the purpose of having this cemetery serve as a final resting place?
a. to give everyone a proper burial
b. to preserve a portion of the battlefield
c. to do the right thing
d. to recognize those who died to preserve the nation
6. Why does Lincoln say that “we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow this ground,” when that is the supposed purpose of the event?
a. because those things had already been done by soldiers who fought at Gettysburg b. because not enough people attended the event to do this
c. because the dead soldiers were the only ones who could accomplish this d. because only God could do it
7. What does Lincoln think will be remembered and what will be forgotten about the cemetery dedication?
a. Those who died will be the ones remembered.
b. The sacrifices of those who fought will be remembered, but the words will not. c. The words will carry the nation forward and will be remembered. d. The people who fought at Gettysburg will be forgotten, but the words will not.
8. What is Lincoln’s hope for the nation?
a. that the nation and its government will last
b. that more people will not perish in war
c. that winning the war is necessary
d. that everyone will remain dedicated to honoring the dead
9. Looking at the speech as a whole, what does Lincoln NOT mention?
a. The country was founded on the ideal of equality.
b. Those who died stood for important principles.
c. Slavery and the Confederacy must be eliminated.
d. Freedom and the foundation of government are in the people.
10. Now that you have analyzed the Gettysburg Address, imagine that you are a commentator attending the ceremonies on November 19, 1863. Write a paragraph explaining why the Gettysburg Address will have a long-term impact. In your remarks explain why Lincoln never calls for a Northern victory.
The response provides a complete answer to the question. It addresses all parts of the question. It demonstrates thorough understanding of the concepts and facts. It is accurate, relevant, and complete. 4
The response provides an incomplete answer to the question. It addresses most, but not all, parts of the question and/or demonstrates less than a thorough understanding of the concepts and facts. It contains minor flaws. 3
The response provides a partial answer to the question. It fails to address all parts of the question and/or demonstrates a superficial understanding of the concepts and facts. It contains moderate flaws. 2
The response provides an inadequate description and explanation. It fails to address several parts of the question. It demonstrates a lack of understanding of the concepts and facts. It contains serious flaws. 1
The response is completely inadequate or so inaccurate as to be unacceptable. 0
There is no response or the response is unreadable.