The Gettysburg Address

By Mae Cowden-Garofalo


On July 1, 1863, there was a battle at Gettysburg Pennsylvania. This battle was a turning point of the Civil War having 7,500 deaths in 3 days. The leaders of the Union decided to make a Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg on a portion of the battleground to honor the soldiers who died there. On November 19, 1863, Lincoln was asked to make a few comments after Edward Everett's speech. Lincolns speech is considered one of the best in U.S. history.
Abraham Lincoln started with "fourscore and seven years ago." A score is 20, so fourscore and seven years is 87 years. 87 years ago, in 1776, was the singing of the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln reminds the audience of the creation of the new nation and is saying that the country needs to put the words of the declaration in the nations actions. They will have a new nation come out of this "great civil war" with a "new birth of freedom" coerced in liberty. The civil war was testing if the nation could continue after the war and move on afterwards. Many people were wanting to stop the war, but Lincoln said that they needed to continue it so that the people that died during it would not die "in vain" or for no reason. Lincoln ends with "the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." This is a perfect example of democracy and means the government will be great and will continue after the Civil War.

Key Points:

  • Battle of Gettysburg on July 1-3, 1863
  • Nov. 19 Lincoln made great speech
  • portion battleground national cemetery honor dead
  • alludes to signing of Declaration of Independence in 1776
  • need to continue so soldiers deaths meaningful

Connection to Gettysburg

The Gettysburg Address can connect to the battle of Gettysburg because the battle was what caused the speech. Without having the battle there wouldn't have been a need for a cemetery because so many people wouldn't have died.