Lesson 9 - Gettysburg Address Activity
In this lesson, the student will evaluate primary sources for the author's main point, purpose
Trace Abraham Lincoln’s political thinking by analyzing three of his most famous speeches. Short sections
of both inaugural addresses have been presented but the Gettysburg Address is presented in its entirety.
After reading each speech, copy the questions into a blank word processing document, and answer them.
Once you have answered the questions for all three speeches, upload the document to your portfolio.
Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address
“Fellow-citizens of the United States . . . Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States
that by the accession of a Republican Administration, their property, and their peace, and personal security, are to
be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample
evidence to the contrary has all the while existed, and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the
published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare
that, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this, and many similar
declarations, and had never recanted them. And more than this, they placed in the platform, for my acceptance,
and as a law to themselves, and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read: Resolved, That the
maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own
domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the
perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of
the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes. "I now reiterate these