R03bc_President Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address- Instructions
Where necessary, take targeted notes and keep the notes organized in your notebook. Sources are listed separately at the end of this document.
Our previous discussions since the development of the British colonies, but most recently since the War of 1812, we’ve witnessed the increasing sectional divisions on political and economic issues. But, the leaders of seceding southern states were certain that this Republican president was hostile to their prized institutions. The 1860 election revealed the divisiveness among the electorate as well. Abraham Lincoln won a plurality of the popular vote, but not a majority. The election had to be settled in the Electoral College where Mr. Lincoln became President Lincoln.
What To Do!? What happened?
Imagine, you just won an election to the Presidency of the United States. The major slave-holding states have now severed their relationship with the Union because of your election (States like Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware did not ‘officially’ secede). Those same (seceded) states then form a new and independent state: The Confederate States of America (CSA).
This is an awful position to be in. Though the Civil War begins officially with the bombardment of Ft. Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, SC., we begin in Washington, D.C. and the 1st Inaugural Address of President Abraham Lincoln in March 1861.
Let’s see what President Lincoln has to say.
President Abraham Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address: A Wordle Analysis.
1. Mr.V will provide you a full transcript of the speech via the link below. However, in order to employ an analysis tool, we’ll need to to do something a bit different.
2. Copy and paste the text of President Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address onto a plain text editor (“Notepad” on Windows PC, “TextEdit” on Macs). Remove the paragraph numbers from the text.
3. Select and copy the entire text as it appears in your text editor. Navigate to Wordle (see link below) and paste the text you copied into a blank Wordle page for analysis. If you never used this online tool, read the introductory instructions on the site’s home page.
4. Run the analysis. Take a screen capture of the results of your Wordle analysis for your records. In your digital notebook, identify the frequently used words (they appear largest) and intermediate used words (they appear mid-sized). Disregard the smallest as well as connective words like ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘it’, etc.
5. Based on your analysis of the words, what do they reveal about the speech’s emphasis?
6. Go to a pdf copy of the 1st Inaugural Address embedded just below the text version I provided on the course website (just scroll down). This is a PDF copy of an image of the original printed speech found on the Gilder-Lehrman website (see link below).
a. Read page 1 until the end of the paragraph at the top of page 2.
b. Read paragraph starting at the bottom of page 7 and spilling onto page 8. Just the paragraph, not the page.
c. Read paragraph starting at the bottom of page 8 and spilling onto page 9. Just the paragraph, not the page.
d. Read paragraph starting at the bottom of page 9 and continuing through to the end of page 10.
From these selections, consider the following as you analyze:
A. What is President Lincoln attempting to express in each of these selections?
B. Do any of the sentiments expressed, as interpreted by you, parallel your analysis of the Wordle speech tool results?
C. Do any of the sentiments expressed in these selections support or contradict what you have come to understand as Abraham Lincoln’s stance on these issues? (Think back to assigned readings, your own knowledge of the subject, and classroom discussions).