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Gettysburg Address Analysis

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Political Speech Analysis Gettysburg Address Analysis Undoubtedly his most famous speech that he gave throughout his presidential years was his Gettysburg Address…… On the first three days of July 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, had fought the Army of the Potomac, the principal northern army, to which General George G. Meade had been assigned command only four days earlier. In early May, Lee had won a smashing victory at Chancellorsville, Virginia, over a Union force approximately twice as large, then had boldly determined to carry the war to the enemy by invading Pennsylvania. Drawn into an offensive battle at Gettysburg, Lee attacked both wings of the Union army before launching an attack on the center in the third day of fighting. That assault, led by Major General George E. Pickett, had approached success before Union forces rallied. The three-day battle cost the North 17,684 men killed and wounded; the South lost 22,638. The failure of Pickett's charge, sometimes labeled the high-water mark of the Confederacy, compelled Lee to withdraw from Pennsylvania. However, Meade failed to conduct the vigorous pursuit that Lincoln wanted. On July 7, Lincoln had spoken to a crowd assembled at the White House to celebrate the twin Union victories at Gettysburg and at Vicksburg, Mississippi, the key to control of the Mississippi River), which had surrendered on July 4. Lincoln gave an awkward speech: "How long ago is it?—eighty-odd years—since on the Fourth of July for the first time in the history of the world) a nation by its representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident truth that 'all men are created equal.'" Later, after rambling, Lincoln confessed that he was not prepared to m...


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...we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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