The main intention of Alexander Stephens’ Cornerstone speech is to inform the audience of the changes made to the new constitution of the Confederate States. Stephens uses a mix of ethos and logos to highlight the improvements made to the constitution of the Confederacy and to show people their benefits. We notice in the composition of his speech that he is careful to address some of the changes made to the constitutions one at a time, so his listeners can reflect on them. 

The main focus of Stephens’ speech is the idea that inspired the title: that the cornerstone belief of the Confederacy is that black people are fundamentally inferior to white people. Through this lens, Stephens argues that their enslavement and servitude is the natural order of things. In this way, it can also be argued that Stephens’ hidden intention is to convince people from Confederate or bordering states who may not agree with Stephens’ s...

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