Gettysburg address

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

ntsb

Private
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
50
Location
northern virginia
I am hoping this forum can help me understand a point of confusion I have regarding the Gettysburg address. As a kid, I memorized the address, and still recite it to myself from time to time. I now am taking time to really understand the speech, as opposed to simply reciting it. In it, Lincoln uses phrases like "Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure." Also "...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

It is my understanding that the south wanted to secede to form a new nation, but did not have intention of destroying the Union, - or "perish from the earth".

I know I am missing something here. Was the Union truly concerned it would be wiped out?
 

jackt62

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
3,663
Location
New York City
This might be an answer to that question, by historian Michael Lind who said this in his book "What Lincoln Believed:"

"The immediate threat to democracy in the United States was not slavery; it was unlawful rebellion against democratic government. This rebellion was started by slave owners, but insurrections or coups d'etat by other groups, with different purposes, would have threatened democracy in the United States-and by implication, in the world-in the same way. When Lincoln said that the 'great civil war' is a test of whether a democratic government 'can long endure,' he was not referring to the evil of slavery, but rather to the evil of armed insurrection against a democratic government. His lifelong disgust with slavery notwithstanding, Lincoln's horror of anarchy and veneration of law and order led him to support constitutional provisions that supported slavery, until the Constitution could be mended."
 

Ole Miss

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
3,286
Location
North Mississippi
I believe Lincoln was speaking about the Unites States as a Nation prior to the ACW and was trying his very best to keep the US as one united nation with the wayward Southern states returning to the fold.
Congratulations on memorizing the "Gettysburg Address" as it so hard to do but once mastered it remains in your head.
Regards
David
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top