“The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln is a key political and patriotic speech in American history.

Delivered on the occasion of the inauguration of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, in Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the speech was meant to inspire resilience and to motivate soldiers to continue fighting for the cause of the Union.

The American Civil War started in 1861, mainly as a result of contro…


Liberty and equality

The main topics Abraham Lincoln explores in the speech are American founding principles: liberty and equality. This becomes obvious from the first lines of the speech: “…conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that ‘all men are created equal.’ ” (ll. 2-3)

The speaker chose these topics because the American Civil War and the practice of slavery in the Southern states challenged these founding values: “…testing wheth…



Speeches can be constructed by using direct argumentation, hidden argumentation, or a combination of both. Abraham Lincoln’s speech is an example of direct argumentation. In about 300 words, the speaker is extremely brief and frank about his views and arguments.

Open argumentation is about being as explicit as possible to express one’s points. Hidden argumentation, on the other hand, is about implying or suggesting certain arguments or ideas without expressing them directly.

For example, Lincoln is very straightforward when he argues that the…

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