Circumstances

Abraham Lincoln delivered “The Gettysburg Address” on 19th of November, 1863, in the context of the American Civil War.

The address was delivered as an answer to the invitation made by the committee for the Consecration of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at the inauguration of a soldiers' cemetery in Gettysburg. The cemetery was to be built as a homage to the Unionist soldiers fallen at the battle of Gettysburg which took place at the beginning of July 1863. The battle was the deadliest one of the Civil War and is considered a turning point in the war, inclining the balance in favor of the Unionist army who supported the abolition of slavery and wanted to maintain the US as a federal state.

The American Civil War started in 1861 after several Southern states decided to secede (separate themselves) from the US because they supported slavery, while Lincoln, who was the newly elected US President, wanted to abolish it.

In the speech, Lincoln mentions both the Civil War and the battle of Gettysburg: “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.”. This is be...

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