Gettysburg Address is withouta doubt one of the most significant speeches ever written by an American President.In order to appeal to the emotions (pathos) of the people, President AbrahamLincoln referenced the Declaration of Independence “all man are createdequal” (Lincoln), the Civil War, and the Soldier’s National Cemetery.Abraham Lincoln delivered hisaddress on the battlefield of the Battle of Gettysburg on November 19, 1863.The main reason for the ceremony was to dedicate a little portion of thebattlefield of war as a cemetery for those who fought for the cause.
In thespeech, he used all three modes of persuasion. Since the motive of the addresswas to dedicate the cemetery, mostly of Lincoln speech was in Pathos; “Butin a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, haveconsecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract”(Lincoln). AbrahamLincoln was able to transmit the emotion to the audience by recognizing thatthe men earned the dedication of those grounds where they have died. Lincolnalso used Ethos; “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the greattask remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increaseddevotion to that cause for which they gave the last fullmeasure”(Lincoln). Abraham Lincoln used his speaking ability to show hiscompassion and admiration to those listening to the speech.
Finally, Logos; “Four score and seven yearsago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived inliberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are createdequal”(Lincoln). With this sentence Lincoln was referencing to theDeclaration of Independence and therefore signifying that the equality of allmen was what the nation’s beliefs were supposed to be. In which, in those times, after more than 100years after the Declaration of Independence, slavery in the southern states wasstill present. The Declaration of Independencewas written in 1776. This was only a year after the American Revolutionary Warstarted. The principal cause of the revolution was the constant abuse in theway the Americans were taxed by the British which lead the colonist to thedesire of independence. Great Britain was at war with France and Spain leadingto a financial crisis. The only way to recover from the national debts was totax the 13 American colonies.
For the desire of independence, a committee wasappointed to draft a document that justified the reasons of why they shouldbreak relations with Great Britain. That document was later called theDeclaration of Independence and was presented on July 2, 1775, but approved onJuly 4th, 1775 by congress. One of the sentence of the Declaration ofIndependence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that allmen are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator withcertain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty andthe pursuit of Happiness” (1776). Those principles of a land of liberty andfreedom is what Lincoln was inspiring the people to fight for.
Even though the writing of the Gettysburg Address was excellent, there weresome amounts of bias. At the time when the speech was conceived ournation was divided in two over the issue of slavery and both halves wereengaged in aggressive civil war. One half wanted an undivided union andthe emancipation of slaves, while the other fought for independence from theunion and the right to keep slavery. Lincoln was the president of thehalf that wanted a unified country; therefore his speech shows bias there.
Lincoln was advocating for a union in his speech. A person from the confederacywould most likely view his speech as irrelevant and wrong in relation toconserving the union. However, this does show a plus side to the biasbecause the speech was not directed toward southerners at the time. Thisbias that Lincoln shows does not reduce the validity of the piece, but ratherincreases its appeal to his chosen audience. In conclusion, Lincoln was able to write and deliver his message. The Presidentwas not just able to dedicate the burial ground, but was able to bring themessage and encourage all that listen to keep fighting for the cause.
Theaddress was just two-hundred and forty-six words, but in those words, a pure,sincere, and humble message was successfully delivered. The way that the speechis written has made it become one of the best speech ever written. Lincoln’sspeech was effective in reaching its goals.
The speech instills a senseof nationality and does a great job of encouraging its audience to join in andhelp preserve the union.