The Gettysburg Address: Maintaining America Essay

1182 words - 5 pages

From July first to the third 1863 battles ware waged between the confederate and Union forces in Pennsylvania. Two generals led the two forces, the North being led by George Meade, the South being led by Robert E. Lee. The bloody battles came to an end with casualties totaling around 51,000. People mourned the lives lost on the battle field, they mourned the lives of brothers and fathers fighting against one another, and dying with one another. The divided nation mourned as one. To memorialize the battlefield popular public speaker Edward Everette was invited along with president Lincoln. Everette was the main speaker for the event and delivered a two hour long speech. President Lincoln took the stage after the poetic performance and provided the people with only 2 minutes. His speech known as the Gettysburg address mourned the deaths of the soldiers, but held much greater meaning. The address reminded the grieving divided nation of its founding fathers intentions for the new nation. It emphasized freedom and equality. The speech was heard around the nation and around the world. In fact, the speech was broadcast in Hungary. Tack Cornelius reported in his newspaper that, “In 1956, as tens of thousands of Soviet troops and thousands of their tanks were smashing Hungary’s budding revolution, the final broadcast of free Hungarian radio was the Gettysburg Address, broadcast over and over.” The address was not only effective in America, but was moving other countries as well. The Gettysburg Address is influential because it reminded Americans of the founding fathers vision of a free nation and gave Americans a sense of pride in preserving that free nation.
The Gettysburg address is popular today because it made direct reference to the declaration of independence. This reflecting of the declaration tugged on the hearts of Americans reminding them what it felt like to be truly free. It reminded them what they fought for in the revolutionary war. The nation went to war for freedom then, and was now at war once again for freedom. Lincoln mentioned the declaration of independence when he stated, “Fore score and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Lincoln wanted the people of America to think back on their routes and the statutes on which the country was founded. This opening statement softened the hearts of Americans so that they might truly understand his message. The declaration of independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Lincoln mirrored this statement in his opening to give the nation of a sense of pride in their founding fathers belief that all men were created equal. He was reminding the people that the nation was founded on...

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