This is a radical change from the The words that remade america theory that kings have the divine right to rule, and people have no rights except those bestowed by their king.
By examining both the Address and Lincoln in their historical moment and cultural frame, Wills breathes new life into words we thought we knew and reveals much about a President so mythologized but often misunderstood.
We must not be enemies. Both Lincoln and Everett were aware of the traditions and rules of Greek oratory, as the United States was experiencing a fad for ancient Greek. Wills argues that Lincoln defines the United States as a people united by three ideals of freedom that were first articulated in the Declaration of Independence.
Rural cemeteries, in particular, offered the best opportunity for people to contemplate the meaning of life and death and have a "transcendent" experience of God and the universe, according to the current philosophical movement called "transcendentalism.
Now Garry Wills explains how Lincoln wove a spell that has not, yet, been broken. Freed slaves could help the Northern Army quell the rebellion. Both speeches followed the forms of Greek funeral oratory. Nevertheless, Lee never again tried a full-force invasion which, changed the course of the war.
God requires the entire country to pay for the sin of slavery by shedding blood during the Civil War. Wills shows how Lincoln came to change the world, to effect an intellectual revolution, how his words had to and did complete the work of the guns. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War.
The people of this era were living in what Wills calls "a culture of death. He thought of himself as president of both the North and South, and that the Civil War was a police action to quell rebellion in one section of the country. In his Second Inaugural Speech, Lincoln refers to Southerners as "neighbors," and implores "We are not enemies, but friends.
Lee had tried to invade the north with his Confederate Army of about 75, Lincoln spoke at a ceremony held November 19, about four months after the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln was asked to memorialize the gruesome battle. Lincoln was unique as a war leader in that he never used the language of victory and triumph.
He was called upon to give only a few brief remarks. After three terrible days of fighting, Julyover 40, lay dead. In the Second Inaugural, slavery becomes a sin. Indeed, throughout his presidency, Lincoln referred to the Confederate Army as "rebels" not an enemy, and caught up in a "rebellion" not a war.
The Civil War is, to most Americans, what Lincoln wanted it to mean. His entire life and previous training, his deep political experience, went into this, his revolutionary masterpiece.
By referring to the ideals of the Declaration, Lincoln implies that slavery is wrong because all men, regardless of race, nationality or origin, have inalienable rights.
By referring to the United States as one people, he does not acquiescence to the fact that the South has already seceded from the Union. Instead he gave the whole nation "a new birth of freedom"--by tracing its first birth to the Declaration of Independence which called all men equal rather than to the Constitution which tolerated slavery.
Wills believes that Lincoln found the words that "remade America. The Greek revival was particularly evident in architecture and oratory. The main speaker, Edward Everett, spoke for over two hours and gave a detailed account of the battle.
This gave him more political leeway to sign the Emancipation Proclamation as a military measure. The style of the Gettysburg Address influenced subsequent politicians to speak more plainly.
Lee retreated into Virginia, and Meade was faulted for not pursuing him. In the space of a mere words, Lincoln brought to bear the rhetoric of the Greek Revival, the categories of Transcendentalism, and the imagery of the "rural cemetery" movement. The Constitution is a work-in-progress, constantly changing and becoming updated to better reflect the ideals of the Declaration.Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America Summary & Study Guide Garry Wills This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lincoln at Gettysburg.
The book "Lincoln at Gettysburg: Words That Remade America" by Garry Willis was a tough read for me. It took me nearly two-and-a-half weeks to read, and for most of the time, I didn’t understand what I was reading.
When I did, however, I found the book extremely insightful, interesting, and thought-provoking/5. Lincoln at Gettysburg The Words That Remade America The power of words has rarely been given a compelling demonstration than in the Gettysburg Address Lincoln was.
Lincoln at Gettysburg: the words that remade America. [Garry Wills; Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana (Mississippi State University. Libraries)] -- Examination of the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln in their historical moment and cultural frame breathing new life into the words and revealing much about the President.
Lincoln at Gettysburg combines the same extraordinary quality of observation that defines Wills's previous best-selling portraits of modern presidents, such as Reagan's America and Nixon Agonistes, with the iconoclastic scholarship of his studies of our founding documents, such as Inventing America/5(12).
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