Voices- Lincoln 1

Voices- Lincoln 1 - Levitan 1 Analyze Lincoln's first...

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Levitan 1 Analyze Lincoln’s first inaugural address in relations to the events that preceded it. In Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address his purpose was clear: keep the country united. As Lincoln mentioned in his address, he faced one of the most difficult presidential situations of his time as the country was strongly divided. Lincoln’s address was intended to be a final attempt to avoid a civil war however to some southerners it was viewed as more of a battle invitation (413). Differing views on slavery were the main divider between the North and South was the most notable cause for the division. Accordingly Lincoln tried to map out his resolution to slavery issues as clearly as possible but his resolution was not enough to regain the six states that had already seceded by the time of his inauguration. The events of the civil war that resulted following Lincoln’s speech are especially noteworthy; however it is nearly impossible to dissect Lincoln’s speech without examining the events that preceded it. Differences of opinions when it came to slavery were not a new concept. When America acquired new territories via the Louisiana Purchase the Missouri Compromise was developed to legalize the expansion of slavery to the new territories (394). Controversy arose when it came to slavery in California since it was not part of the Louisiana Purchase; eventually the Compromise of 1850 was formed. The Compromise of 1850 was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas and based on Henry Clay’s omnibus bill (394). Douglas’s bill was more successful because he was able to break the plan in to separate legal sections. The Compromise of 1850 named California as a free state while declaring slavery to be an issue of popular sovereignty in all new territories that were part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (394). A new fugitive slave law was also passed in an attempt to appeal to Southerners, which only further angered abolitionists and strengthened the Underground Railroad. The Compromise of 1850 proved only temporary relief from disputes and the differences in the way of life between the North and the South became even greater.
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During the 1850s the South remained highly agriculturally based while the North experienced industrialization at a much higher rate, this industrialization was assisted by new rail lines stretching from the Northeast to the Midwest (396).
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2009 for the course EN 274 taught by Professor Marionlevine during the Spring '09 term at Fashion Institute.

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Voices- Lincoln 1 - Levitan 1 Analyze Lincoln's first...

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