The House Divided Speech Essay example

The House Divided Speech Essay example

Length: 799 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The House Divided Speech was an address given by Abraham Lincoln in 1858 with the goal to make a distinction between himself and Douglas, and to openly talk about a prognostication for time to come. Unlike Douglas, who had long supported popular sovereignty, under which the settlers in each new territory determine their own place as a slave or free state, Lincoln considered that all states had to be the same in order to become a united country. Although Lincoln’s intentions seemed to be pure, the complication with the speech is that it is not absolutely probable because of the fallacies within its wording. This speech may have appeared to be powerful and even authentic in its upholding points, but the fallacies must be recognized. Among these fallacies are false dilemma, ambiguity, appeal to authority, name-calling, and sequential fallacies.
One of the most acclaimed rhetorical strategies was used in the very title of the document. Lincoln used the metaphor of a “house divided” to depict the separation of the North and South over slavery. Lincoln provided an image to the audience by saying “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and made it so the audience was forced to think of the issue in a sensible perspective instead of a conceptual one. After this, Lincoln concluded the main idea of his speech by giving the audience a call to action if the form of a false dilemma. Lincoln states clearly that the country “…will become all one thing or all the other,” and by doing that he gave the audience two options, either they support slavery or they don’t. This false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy that involved a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional optio...

... middle of paper ...

...ecision finally made in the case.” This quote is example of the fallacy of name-calling saying that this all happened because Dred Scott was a Negro.
The final fallacy, sequential fallacy, refers to notion that simply because one thing happened after another, the first even was a cause of the second event. “Before the then next presidential election, the law case came to, and was argued in, the Supreme Court of the United States; but the decision of it was deferred until after the election. Still, before the election, Senator Trumbull, on the floor of the Senate, requested the leading advocate of the Nebraska Bill to state his opinion whether the people of a territory can constitutionally exclude slavery from their limits; and the latter answers” Lincoln is saying that the election caused the outcome of the Dred Scott case, committing the fallacy of name calling.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Comparison of Lincoln and Douglas on the Issue of the House Divided Essay

- The topic for the second paper is: Compare and Contrast Lincoln and Douglas on the Issue of the House Divided. Highly recommended that you read the two articles by Jaffa posted in the "Content" section. The Lincoln-Douglas debates were part of a larger campaign to achieve political adjectives from the two. Lincoln was running for Douglas’ seat in the senate as a republican. Douglas had been a member of congress since 1843, a national figure for the Democratic Party, who was running for re-election....   [tags: campaign, political, speech, government ]

Strong Essays
1005 words (2.9 pages)

The House Divided Essay

- House Divided Lincoln was a very smart lawyer and politician. During his “House Divided” speech he asked the question, “Can we, as a nation, continue together permanently, forever, half slave, and half free?" When he first asked this question, America was slowly gaining the knowledge and realizing that as a nation, it could not possibly exist as half-slave and half-free. It was either one way or the other. “Slavery was unconstitutional and immoral, but not simply on a practical level.” (Greenfield, 2009) Slave states and free states had significantly different and incompatible interests....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, American Civil War]

Strong Essays
992 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on A House Divided: Athens, Sparta, and the Inevitable Fall of Greece

- A House Divided: Athens, Sparta, and the Inevitable Fall of Greece The stunning Greek defeat of the Persians, the specter of which lurks behind the events of the Peloponnesian Wars, was for Herodotus proof of the superiority of Hellenic form of government and way of life, and Herodotus ends his history at this pinnacle of Greek history. Thucydides then accepts the task of chronicling Greece’s unraveling from a position as the dominant power of the Mediterranean, and a center of cultural, technological, and political development to the final result of the Peloponnesian Wars—a fractured, demoralized, and dependent Greece that lies wide open to foreign conquest....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
1920 words (5.5 pages)

United We Stand, Divided We Fall Essay example

- United We Stand, Divided we fall Finding the scapegoat and finger pointing is a specialty that humans have possessed all throughout history. Whether these bigoted and intolerant behaviors come from our nature or our nurture one thing is important to remember; in the United States constitution nowhere does it say that one particular religion should be treated as lesser because of an unsystematic witch hunt. Mayor Bloomberg couldn’t have represented the constitution any better than he did in his speech he gave at Governors Island after the 9/11 attacks....   [tags: United States Constitution]

Strong Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

The Constitution And The Freedom Of Speech

- There are many key points within the first amendment, regarding to the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and the right to petition. According to the First Amendment to the Constitution it states Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (“Bill of rights transcript text,” 2012)....   [tags: Supreme Court of the United States]

Strong Essays
1035 words (3 pages)

A Father of the Nation: The sacrifice Abraham Lincoln Essay

- ... Later on his speech continued to beg for the unification of the nation. He asked that the Northerners to not submit to the demands of the South, at the same time he asked the Southerners to realize that they were going against their fore fathers’ wishes. In these last two sections of the Cooper Union address it is once again seen that Lincoln truly had a sense of nationalism before he was even considered to become the president. The deep respect and love he had for the fore fathers and America was unmatched....   [tags: strong union, speech, bible, god]

Strong Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Analysis Of Pericles ' Funeral Speech

- In Ancient Greece people valued democracy, wealth, entertainment, knowledge, and many other things however what is also important is what the Ancient Greeks clearly did not value. Of the many things, people, are possibly one of the most undervalued commodity in Greece include women, and slaves. There are also many other things that the Greeks did not seem to value one of which was anti-corruption measures. The Greeks seem to put most of their time and effort into society in many different ways from Gymnastics to plays even their houses are purpose built for social events....   [tags: Greece, Athens, Alexander the Great]

Strong Essays
1256 words (3.6 pages)

House Has A New Face Up For Reelection Essay examples

- House has a new face up for reelection every two years. The Senate is the person who makes decisions based on experience and wisdom. The length of the term is supposed to insulate senators from public opinion and allow them to act the way they would like to.The system in the Senate benefits small states because all states have equal representation no matter how small or big their population. States are divided into congressional districts. Each district contain about the same number of people. The number of representatives each state has depends on its population....   [tags: President of the United States, United States, Law]

Strong Essays
1128 words (3.2 pages)

William Lloyd Garrison 's Speech

- The Free States of the North were more hostile towards the Slave States than the Slave States were to the North. Not to say the South was non-hostile, but the North was far more aggressive and often violent in their crusade against slavery, with the South mostly being reactionary to the Northern transgressions. Even their attempted secession and formation of a confederacy was in reaction to the election of an abolitionist President. Perhaps the most widely known aggression towards slavery was speech, and, specifically, speeches....   [tags: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States]

Strong Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Keeping The Republic By Christine Barbour Essay examples

- When there are two political parties running Congress, there is bound to be gridlock. Why is there more today, than in the past. Even though there is an increase of political gridlock, the way members of Congress have represented the US people has stayed the same, but some factors have changed. What is political gridlock and why do we have it. Political gridlock, according to the book, Keeping the Republic by Christine Barbour is; “The stalemate that occurs when political rivals, especially parties, refuse to budge from their positions to achieve a compromise in the public interest” (Keeping the Republic, Barbour, 2015)....   [tags: United States House of Representatives]

Strong Essays
711 words (2 pages)