Regarded by many people as the greatest president of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln has made many great speeches and was considered an eloquent speaker. Lincoln is noted for his views on equality, abolishment of slavery and his leadership of the United States during its most trying time, that is, the American Civil War. Apart from this, Lincoln is also responsible for the rapid modernization of the American economy.
Now, more than 150 years later, his speeches are still as relevant today as they were earlier. His finesse and dexterity in writing and delivering speeches propelled his political career and made him the eloquent speaker that he is now known as. So, let’s discuss some famous speeches by Abraham Lincoln.
- The Lyceum Address: One of the earliest recorded speeches given by Abraham Lincoln in 1838 at Springfield, Illinois was titled ‘The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions’. He was 28 years old when he gave this speech and in it he talked about slavery and the dangers it imposed. One can gauge from this speech, Lincoln’s attitude towards the government as he asks his listeners “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us”.
- The House Divided Speech: “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, you might have heard this quote somewhere. This famous quote is from Lincoln’s landmark speech ‘A House Divided’ given in 1858 at the Illinois State Capitol to his party members upon the acceptance of the Illinois Republican Party nomination as a senator. He gave this speech in front of a thousand member delegation of the Republican Party. The most famous passage of this speech is “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other”.
- The Gettysburg Address: Perhaps one of the most monumental speeches ever to be presented in the history of mankind, the Gettysburg Address was given in 1863 at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania at one of the most important battle sites in the American Civil War. This historic speech was just about 3 minutes long and in those 3 minutes Lincoln talked about equality, liberty and told his audience and the nation to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers of the battle of Gettysburg. One of the most famous lines of this speech is “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”.
We can learn a lot from Abraham Lincoln’s speeches, not only can they help you become a better writer but also help you in giving better speeches.