Rebuilding the Government: United States History
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, was one of the most decorated commander-in-chiefs in American History, due to his never-ending push to mend our broken nation and move to the beginning. Nevertheless, many African Americans were forced to come to America to be sold into slavery in 1619. While the treatment of slaves was very unfair and, in many cases, inhumane, and was plagued with a lifetime of hard work and humiliation, after a little more than a hundred years President Lincoln took steps to not only voice his discomfort with slavery, but to do something about it.
It is because of this discomfort that Abraham Lincoln notably became known as political figure that to end slavery. Four months after the bloody Battle of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that would go down in history as one of the most influential speeches in American History1. The famous speech given by President Lincoln, the “Gettysburg Address,” had a specific purpose. It also allowed Lincoln to have a profound effect on the American people as a whole, as well as urge each American to look at themselves critically and promote change.
Rebuilding the Government: United States History Essay Example
Because of this accomplishment, and many more, Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of America’s best presidents2. An Analysis “Gettysburg Address” President Abraham Lincoln gave the speech, “the Gettysburg Address”, on November 19, 1863 at the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania3. There were two main purposes for him writing this speech: to consecrate the cemetery at Gettysburg and start to rebuild a torn country4.
Although President Lincoln’s speech was very short, sweet, and straight to the point, it was full of vital information that would begin to reshape the American society. Lincoln starts his speech in a very unique by using the term “Four score and seven years ago, our founding fathers brought forth this continent…” 5. Lincoln acknowledges the founding fathers that had discovered America eighty-seven years prior to the day he gave the speech. Due to Lincoln’s wording, this phrase became one of the most well-known and celebrated parts of “the Gettysburg Address” Although Lincoln does not
make a direct statement encouraging his audience to believe that he was talking about slavery, through the use of context clues, one can derive that this topic was definitely heavy on his heart while making his speech. Furthermore, one could argue that since slaves were not treated equally, Lincoln used the statement of supposed American equality to remind Americans of the true foundations that America was built upon. As Lincoln continues with his speech, he began to move on to the second reason for the speech: consecrating the cemetery at Gettysburg.
He accomplished this by talking about how the battlegrounds at Gettysburg should be in honor of the thousands that had lost their lives for the citizens of America. Dedicating the battlegrounds to those that lose their lives was the start of how America would honor troops the fallen and the soldiers left behind. This was a sign of respect and appreciation for all of the troops that fought during this battle. One last profound statement that Lincoln mentions in his speech is that “the government of the people, by the people and for the people….
Many presidents after Lincoln have quoted this part of “the Gettysburg Address,” but have fallen short, in some instances, of taking the statement as a blueprint for their presidency and using it to help them facilitate a more well-rounded country in which the government and the people of the country are on one accord. However, the statement was supposed to suggest that the government is a group of individuals that will stand by the American people and work for them for the better good of the country.
While the speech had many technical terms and references to the government and political leaders of the country, Lincoln was actually trying to reach a very diverse audience that spanned from governmental figures, to surviving soldiers, to the general American public. Abraham Lincoln will forever be embedded in history for delivering a presidency filled with work that was geared towards the best interest of the American people. Lincoln took the seat at a very difficult time in America’s early history, which was the Civil War. Lincoln made sure that after the war, that America rebuilds itself.
One thing from Lincoln’s iconic speech that is not forgotten is “all men are created equal”. In today’s society, all people are granted the same freedoms and equalities. It could be said that Lincolns speech though was given in 1863 was the start of the Civil Rights movement in a sense. Even though it was only around 270 words, The Gettysburg Address was a speech with many messages8. These powerful words, spoken by an influential president, was sure to promote change and equality throughout America eventually. Critical Essay 2 “I Have a Dream Speech” by Martin Luther King
There has been many influential figures in American History that have provided the American people with promising messages of hope and equality for all people. One of the most influential figures of the twenty century was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This time period was marked by the Civil Rights Movement, which was a movement that prompted a group of individuals to fight for the equality of African Americans. This is because “African Americans were granted better economic status after World War II but were still a disadvantaged group”. 9 Dr.
King started his non-violence approach to civil rights by first leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The purpose of the boycotts was to allow seating to be based on a “first come, first serve basis,” as advocated by Dr. King. Fueled by the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her seat to a Caucasian passenger resulted in her arrest. After her arrest, the court ruled out the fact that segregated seating was not lawful according to the constitution. The next step that King took was founding the Southern Christian Leadership, which worked to stop segregation.
One of Dr. King’s “ultimate goals were to unite the broken communities through bonds of Christian love. ” In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. graced America with a speech that expressed a profound optimism of equality for all individuals in America and his own dreams and hopes for better days. The speech was entitled “I Have a Dream”. His speech changed the face of America forever, even though equality for African Americans did not occur over night. It is important to consider the message with respect to the time period in which the speech is given. Dr.
King hoped for a better society as a whole; His speech was not solely in regards to the equality for African Americans, he wanted equality for all Americans in general. Analysis: “I have A Dream Speech” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. ’s speech entitled “I have a Dream” was given in Washington DC at the Lincoln Memorial. King starts his introduction by referring back to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg’s Address “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow as we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
” 10 King refers to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation because it helped free slaves. However, he called out the fallacies in Lincoln’s speech by making note of the fact that Negroes still were not free, one hundred years after slavery had officially ended. 11 During this time period, African Americans’ oppression came in the form of segregation and discrimination. Before delving into the heart of his speech, King mentions how the government had failed the African American population by pacifying them false promises and policies after the abolishment of slavery.
King states, “America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds. ”12 This means, America did not grant Negros with the same equality and opportunities as Caucasians, or any other race during this time. Although the government policies banned slavery and poor treatment of African Americans, these policies had also failed the African American population by not making sure that the policies were strictly enforced. In his speech, King answers the critics when they asked, “When will you be satisfied? ”13 King gives a comprehensive list of things that would satisfy African Americans, as a whole.
He mentions police brutalities and the unfair economic statutes of African Americans. King wanted to instill into the minds of the African American people that they should not be satisfied with these injustices, but fight against them in a non-violent way. Before King began to conduct the “I have a Dream” portion of his speech he ensured the African American people that their efforts had not taken place in vain and that they should not give up hope for better days! Dr. King began his speech by telling his audience that his dream is deeply rooted in the sought-after American Dream14.
King mentions this because he wants America’s people to believe the vales, morals, and core roots on which America was established. It was important to him to continuously advocate his never-ending hope that African Americans would obtain the American Dream, just as other American citizens of other races had done. In his speech, Dr. King mentions how all men are created equal and how the color of one’s skin should not factor into one’s ability to obtain equality. Martin Luther King Jr. emphasizes that “one day little black and white children will join hands and be as brothers and sisters15.
” Although he refers to only two primary races, his words can be applied to children of all races. He references children because they are the future and ultimately look to them to become the generation of change. King recites the lyrics to “My country Tis of Thee” because he wanted to clearly deliver the message that America is supposed to be a land of freedom and opportunities for all. By using one of America’s most prominent, national songs, King showcased that he had not lost faith in America as a whole. He believed in America, although our country had been neglecting African Americans for many years.
The most powerful part of King’s speech was when he repeated “let freedom ring. ” He believed one day that freedom would ring all over the United States for all people. This is because King wanted to live in a world where all cultures and religions could join together as one and thought that this was important to make come to pass. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ’s dream has come true in today’s society. People of all races live together as one. There are still some racial issues in the world, but it is not the noticeable issue that it once was. Children of all races go to school and join hands with each other daily.
Africans Americans are now afforded the same opportunities as white Americans in education as well as economically. The election of President Obama is another continuation of Dr. King’s dream. Furthermore, Dr. King’s hard work paid off because race is not even a huge deal in today’s society. The speech is taught in many classrooms and it is recited at many Black History programs yearly. Therefore, Martin Luther King Jr. should not only be remembered for this “I Have a Dream” speech, but as a man with a plan to make his dream come true, especially since it would become so influential as years passed!