In mid 19th century, Abraham Lincoln's three speeches mirrored the changes in his ideals and themes throughout the Civil War from a political view to a more spiritual level.

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In mid 19th century, Abraham Lincoln’s three speeches mirrored the changes in his ideals and themes throughout the Civil War from a political view to a more spiritual level.

In Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, he rhetorically illustrated the North’s concern about morality of slavery, the preservation of the Union, and the increased and conflicted demands of the South. For example, Lincoln exemplified the immoral changes in Negro rights through the actions of the Supreme Court, Senator Douglas, and President Buchanan that coincidentally set the country in motion toward legalized slavery. They established three drastic changes that denied Negroes citizenship, permitted slavery in United States territories, and prohibited Negroes from appearing in United States courts. Lincoln then revealed that these political leaders corruptibly cheated the Negroes of their rights by cooperating together in order to establish a “niche, for the Dred Scot decision…and [declared] the perfect freedom of the [Negroes], to be just no freedom at all.” Furthermore, Lincoln affirmed that a division in the government will only weaken its infrastructure by stating, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” In light of failed compromises, Lincoln then explained that the increased tensions over slavery are an inherent flaw in the political system when he said, “I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.” Moreover, Lincoln showed the augmented authority in Southern states over the federal government through Judge Nelson’s words that “the law of the state [was] supreme over the subject of slavery within its jurisdiction.” Nelson’s words showed that state’s governing power was increasing due to their ability to manipulate federal laws toward their needs, such as the legalization of slavery. Finally, Lincoln concluded, “the result is not doubtful. We shall not fail-if we stand firm, we shall not fail.” These parted words served as an inspiration for the Union to remain strong through the difficulties that might arise. Thus, Lincoln raised these issues in order to bring the conflicted issues of slavery, national unity and state power to reality for the American audience.

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In Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”, he articulated the significance of war with a new theme that serves as a turning point for both Abraham Lincoln and the United States. For example, before the Civil War, Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech emphasized national unity, limitations of state power over national authority, and the injustices toward Negroes, but in the “Gettysburg Address,” Lincoln stressed the “proposition that all men are created equal.” This highlighted statement expressed a change in the definition for war from a fight for constitutional value to a fight for the values of liberty that “four scores and seven years ago ...

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