The Emancipation Proclamation vs. The Gettysburg Address
Where necessary, take targeted notes and keep the notes organized in your notebook. Sources are listed separately at the end of this document.
The Emancipation Proclamation
Please read a background summary of this document at https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured-documents/emancipation-proclamation
Begin an analysis of the document by considering the questions below. The document is found at http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html
- By what presidential authority does the president issue this proclamation?
- What is the president’s goal with this proclamation?
- How does he intend on accomplishing this goal according to the proclamation?
The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History poses this question:
Why is it so bland? Surely, the author of the Second Inaugural and the Gettysburg Address could make an Emancipation Proclamation the occasion for the most stirring and sublime prose in American political history. Instead, the Emancipation Proclamation is written in the flat legal language of “whereas and therefore and military necessity.” As historian Richard Hofstadter said, “The Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, had all the moral grandeur of a bill of lading.”**
- Why would Richard Hofstadter say this and do you agree?
- Why would the style of this proclamation differ so much from President Lincoln’s other great writings?
The Gettysburg Address
Please read a background summary of this document at http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm
Begin an analysis of the document by considering the questions below. The document is found on the same webpage as the background summary above.
- What is the purpose of the speech? (Paraphrase, rather than repeat the words used)
- There are no persons or places mentioned in the speech. In addition, references to slavery and the battle/ war are similarly missing. Why? A dedicatory speech without a reference is weird. What is he doing?
- Mr.V may provide a WORDLE analysis for your dissection.
Resources: Accessed 7 Dec. 2014
The Emancipation Proclamation: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html
‘Bliss Copy’ of the Gettysburg Address: http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm
Gilder-Lehrman Inst. of American History: https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/african-americans-and-emancipation/essays/emancipation-proclamation-bill-lading-or-ti
Note: “Bill of lading” is a document issued by a carrier which details a shipment of merchandise and gives title of that shipment to a specified party. Bills of lading are one of three important documents used in international trade to help guarantee that exporters receive payment and importers receive merchandise.