The speech “A House Divided” was delivered by Abraham Lincoln at the Republican Convention organized to nominate him as the party’s Illinois candidate for US Senate against Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas.

Consequently, the speech was delivered in front of a live audience formed by members of the Republican Party, as indicated by the opening of the speech: “Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: If we could first know…”

However, Lincoln also made his speech public nation-wide, as a transcript of it was published in the written press of the time, even though he was advised against publication.

Lincoln’s biographers claim that many of the members of the Republican Party believed Lincoln was too openly against slavery and that his position would turn away voters. At the same time, the members of the Democratic Party were happy that they could use Lincoln’s anti-slavery statements against him.

In the speech, Lincoln does not only address members of his party, but the Ameri...

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