Shortly before the American civil war came to an end, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the president of the United States for his second term in the year 1860.
It was during his second inauguration when he delivered a public speech where he speaks about the civil war and its effects on the future of America. It is worth noting that the whole point of him addressing the nation was to direct his thoughts about the civil war instead of giving a congratulatory speech. During this time, insurgent agents were aiming at making the war rather than letting the nation survive. Through the analysis of his speech, it is evident that Lincoln was aiming at preserving the union and this made a great contribution to American Civil War.
His act of preserving the union was for the sole purpose of strengthening the country and bring it closer through his ideas that were open minded. Through his speech we can point out the cause of the civil war, the people responsible for it, the consequences of the war and also why his inauguration speech is considered important in early history of America. The actual event was propelled by the victory of the Union which was attained only after a lot of blood was shed and the results were the abolition of slavery. Even though slavery had lasted for a longer period of time, the civil war was also long. The victory was not easily acquired considering that the black supremacists had a different mindset built up on the concept of slavery.
Lincoln, during his second inaugural speech suggested that even if the civil war was as a result of slavery, the relations between the blacks and the whites would be one of the greatest challenges in the reconstruction of ta self-government in the United States. Cause of the Civil WarBoth in his second inauguration, Lincoln pointed out slavery to be the main case of the Civil War even though there are other political and economic factors linked to it. During this time, slavery was a very sensitive and controversial issue that led to the division of the South and North America serving as the primary catalyst of the Civil War. This war is still considered as the most critical and significant period in the history of America. This is so because after the end of this war, there was an end to slavery and there were a lot of changes in both the social and political fields. The urge to abolish slavery in America led to the disruption of the union creating a dispute over the future of slavery. This dispute later led to secession and in turn secession brought about the war during this war, the terrorists, the northern and the western states were fighting in order to preserve the Union.
Aside from the speculations that the Civil War was catalyzed by slavery, Abraham Lincoln had a different thought on this. He suggests that the war was brought about by taxes and not by slavery. “I have no purpose, directly or in-directly, 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”.
He is quoted saying this during his second inauguration ceremony. According to scholars, there is no point in time when Lincoln declared that the war was being fought because of slavery. This is supported by the fact that even after the war, slavery was not abolished but instead took a different shape and was called sharecropper. Even after the war was over, there were approximately three million Southern blacks and over five million Southern whites who worked on farms that were stolen by the Wall Street bankers this is further supported by his action of offering the south at least three months to return to the union and keep their slaves and also proclaimed the exemption of millions of slaves from being freed.
This clearly suggests that he was in no way an anti-slavery supporter. Instead, Lincoln declared a war to collect taxes. He had proclaimed war twice while in presidency against the confederate states.
“Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein.”According to president’s Lincoln second inauguration speech, he said that the civil war was not coming to an end any time soon. This means that he had forecasted that it would last long after he moved in to office because neither the union nor the citizens were in harmony with what he wanted.
“Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”. This statement suggested that it was not within his power to stop the war but it was within the power of God.
He had no plans of interfering with the war until it came to an end by itself. While the war was still continuing, Abraham Lincoln was re-elected for presidency in 14th of April 1865. During his re-election, he already had plans for America long after the civil war had come to an end. He had initial plans for reconstruction which suggested a swift and tolerant policy for readmitting the confederate states. However, he never had the opportunity to work side by side with the congress to fulfill his initial plans after he was assassinated. This reconstruction was aimed towards reuniting the nation within the shortest time possible using his so called “10% Plan. Abraham Lincoln’s nationwide address is considered so important in the early history of America because it invoked the principles of equality of every human being which is directly linked to the sacrifices made during the civil war.
In one way or another, his speech contributed to the birth of freedom in America. Moreover, it acts as a preservation of the union that was created in 1776 which is basically ideal for self-government.