Home > Free Essays > History > American Civil War > Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review

Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

Introduction

The Gettysburg Address is a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln, the then president of the United States of America, on November 19, 1863. It was delivered during the American civil war, at the consecration of the Soldiers National Cemetery; it was four and a half months later that the union armies defeated those of confederacy during the battle of Gettysburg.

Main body

New York City draft riots, 1863, are about “the largest and deadliest city riots in American history that took place in New York on July 13-16, 1863” (Denver, p. 435). They originated from the fear of cheap black labor competition which posed a threat to Irish unskilled workers. They were “a culmination of the mounting economic, political and social tensions that existed among New York’s so-called melting pot of cultures” (Blankfein).

Lincoln started his address with the words “four score and seven years ago”, referring to America’s great revolution of 1776 in which the founding fathers had set foot of democracy that “ the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” (qtd. In Wikipedia). He viewed those principles in the context of the civil war.

The ongoing civil war had made it difficult for President Abraham Lincoln to raise enough troops to run the war. Therefore, using the powers granted to him by the Militia Act of July 17, 1862, and by the overwhelming show of support by the U.S. Congress on March 3, 1863, the first conscription law was passed that forced all-male between age 20 and 45 be eligible to be drafted into military service. Many Americans viewed the law as a violation of their rights of freedom on which the country was founded. To soften the populace, a commutation fee of $300 was introduced, that any draftee capable of paying such amount would avoid service in the military, and instead, his fee would be used to pay bonuses to volunteers.

To add to that, the emancipation proclamation of January 1, 1863, that freed the slaves, most of the black community, was viewed by many critics that it had changed the characteristic of war from saving the Union to saving humans from bondage. Considering that then, America’s populace was filled with immigrants of either skilled Germans or unskilled Irish who had come to America on the promise of leading a good and better life and instead found the promise to be false, and therefore, they became frustrated. In addition to that, the gap between the rich and poor was huge. The rich were viewed as exploiters of the poor, and as Jobs became scarce for the lower classes and hence competitions for similar jobs became fierce, these served to add to the frustrations already in existence.

These two, thus, served as a spark to ignite the most violent riots in New York, 1863, in American history up to that time, which was largely inclined along with racism.

Therefore, President Abraham Lincoln, by referring to the American Revolution, wanted to invoke the principle of liberty and equality for which the declaration of independence stood for, “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” (Shane).

That all men were created equal and therefore, no race ought to be viewed superior to the other. The black race was viewed as the inferior race, that even after the emancipation declaration made them free, they still enjoyed little freedom. Just before the riots, they were viewed as the source of all misery to the American natives and the unskilled Irish workers, that they accepted all jobs at lower rates of wages than other races. Therefore, as the riots broke out, they were the target of the mobs who lynched any black in the vicinity.

Liberty means human beings are free to govern themselves and take responsibility for their actions. The conscription law was largely seen to violate this principle because a person was forced by the government to offer military service against his will. The law was also viewed to favor the rich against the poor that the rich would pay the commutation fee to escape being drafted into military service. These created resentment against the rich class, and as a result, were one of the aims of the New York riots.

Conclusion

President Abraham Lincoln, therefore, described the civil war as a test and struggle to deliver men of all races to freedom, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure,” “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”(qtd. In Wikipedia) The New York riots were seen as a culmination of the rot in the society and therefore a struggle for freedom and prosperity for which the American country stood for. These riots later played an important role in gathering support for government involvement in reforms; the passing of Tenement House Law in 1867.

Works Cited

  1. Blankfein, Alex. “The causes and effects of the New York Draft Riots of 1863.” 2003.
  2. Danver, Steve L. Revolts, Protests, Demonstrations, and Rebellions in American History. Vol 1. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2001. Print
  3. Shane, Knites. “American revolution, Declaration of Independence. “1997.
This essay on Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, January 14). Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincoln-the-gettysburg-address-review/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, January 14). Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincoln-the-gettysburg-address-review/

Work Cited

"Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review." IvyPanda, 14 Jan. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincoln-the-gettysburg-address-review/.

1. IvyPanda. "Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincoln-the-gettysburg-address-review/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincoln-the-gettysburg-address-review/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincoln-the-gettysburg-address-review/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'Abraham Lincoln “The Gettysburg Address” Review'. 14 January.

Powered by CiteTotal, essay citation creator
More related papers