Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address March 4, 1865

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Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

March 4, 1865
Utilize and respond to these questions to gain a deeper understanding of Abraham Lincoln.

What name does President Lincoln have for the Civil War?

Why doesn’t the President present much information about the war in his speech?


vocabulary - insurgent – (noun – a rebel or revolutionary)

Who are the “insurgents” Lincoln speaks of in the second paragraph?

How does the President contrast the North and South?


What does Lincoln mean by “a peculiar and powerful interest”?

vocabulary - rend – (verb – tear, rip, sever)

Contrast the objectives of the “insurgents” and the “government”.

Rewrite the phrase “wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces.”

Why does Lincoln say “but let us judge not, that we be not judged”?

In Lincoln’s view, are “God’s hands” still present during the war? Explain.

Explain what Lincoln means by the last, long sentence in this paragraph.


The last paragraph of this speech begins with these familiar words:

“With malice toward none; with charity for all;…”

What does this entire paragraph reveal to you about Abraham Lincoln?

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