|Analyze Abraham Lincoln's ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address and contrast them with the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis's inaugural address.
Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address – the Union must be preserved, friendship - 1861
“You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect, and defend it.’
“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Jefferson Davis’ Inaugural Address – 1861 – The North has abandoned the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution – the consent of the governed is the basis of government, and the Confederacy is based on that consent. The people’s rights and the states’ rights need to prevail. The Confederacy wants to maintain peaceful relations with the Union.
Gettysburg Address - Nov 1863 – dedication of Gettysburg cemetery on the battlefield grounds – The Civil War is elevated to a global symbol of the struggle for democracy
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address – brotherhood and reunification - 1865
“With malice [hatred or ill will] toward none, with charity [kindness, helpfulness] 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, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
William Carney – Member of the 54th Massachusetts, African American unit featured in the movie Glory. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions at the assault on Fort Wagner, SC. He planted the American flag despite being wounded several times.
Philip Bazaar –Congressional Medal of Honor winner - Naval seaman born in Chile – awarded for actions attacking Confederate Fort Fisher; he carried dispatches under heavy fire.
Antietam – Robert E Lee attempted to invade Maryland; the first of 2 attempts to invade the North; hoping to get support from Marylanders. He failed. Lincoln took that opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation – adding abolition of slavery to the goals of the war.
Lincoln’s assassination – at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, by Southern sympathizer, actor John Wilkes Boothe. Lincoln’s ideas stressed unity and brotherhood in his 2nd Inaugural Address; instead, the assassination led to a desire for vengeance.
Radical Reconstruction – after Lincoln’s assassination, Northern states wanted to punish Southern states for the Civil War. They placed the South under martial law and stripped many former Confederates of the right to vote, leading to the election of largely Republican candidates from the South
The Ku Klux Klan began spreading in this period.
Hiram Rhodes Revels – First African American Senator, elected from Mississippi in 1870, during Reconstruction. A minister before and after serving in the Senate, he worked for moderation and equality.
Homestead Act, 1862 – Anyone who had not taken up arms against the US could apply for free land in the west; the land had to be “improved” to be kept – making sure people lived and farmed on it. Women and former slaves could also apply; the law gave former slaves more economic options.
Dawes Act, 1887 - divided Indian lands to award lands to individuals, rather than tribes as a whole; “excess” land could be opened for white settlement. It was also part of an idea of pushing tribes to assimilate, giving up tribal customs. It did not apply to some tribes, like the Five Civilized Tribes.
Morrill Act, 1862 – a land-grant bill to fund the creation of agricultural colleges – was approved after Congress added that these colleges would also teach engineering and military tactics. (Texas A&M, anyone??) Each state received a certain amount of federal lands whose sale would fund the establishment of such colleges. Most are public university, except Cornell and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).