The subject of Abraham Lincoln’s “Cooper Union Address” ostensibly concerns the Republican position on the question of weather the federal government has the power to prohibit slavery in federal territories (Lincoln, Cooper Union Address). However he also uses the speech to carry out several other partisan goals. In Lincoln’s introduction he states, “The facts with which I shall deal this evening are mainly old and familiar” (Lincoln, Cooper Union Address). Additionally, the first part of his speech is given in a highly legalistic and logical f...
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...s it sound like an absolute and final judgment on the question of responsibility for the war. Lincoln contends that both directions on the compass shared guilt for the sin of slavery and both where justly punished so it is better to hold “malice toward none” (Lincoln, Second Inaugural).
Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to be the greatest President in American History. I think one of the many reasons for this are the great speeches he gave. Great political speeches are timeless; they manage to transcend the politics of the time and while still a part of history, move forward with us into the future. Despite being an iconic figure, Abraham Lincoln was still a politician with his own self-interested goals. While great speeches transcend the politics of their time, we still need to understand those politics to understand the context in which he speech was given.
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