EmancipationProclamation Analysis TheCivil War was a dark and brutal time in our history. It was full of hatred andbloodshed, but it was also a crucial period packed full of important speeches,documents, and leaders. Primary documents and speeches such as: the Pacific Railway Act, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address were major turningpoints in American history. Aftera well-deserved victory on a battlefield in Gettysburg, Lincoln travels to thatsame field, a few weeks later, to deliver a short speech later recognized asthe Gettysburg Address.
He starts his speech off by making a connection betweenthe Declaration of Independence and his own cause. For example, Lincoln startsoff by saying, “… our fathers brought fourth, on this continent, a new nation,conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are createdequal.” (Lincoln 1). By using small phrases and a reliable, previously accepteddocument Lincoln makes his cause seem more credible. However, he quickly movesattention from the credibility of his cause to pray on the emotional side. “Wehave come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place forthose who here gave their lives, that this nation might live.” (Lincoln 1).
Lincoln uses the audiences’ sense of grief and pride to inspire the crowd to bettersupport the freedom of slaves. What started as a small speech to honor fallentroops turned into something much bigger. Lincoln’s address rang with words ofmuch needed motivation, and that contributes to one of the many reasons thisspeech is so proudly remembered.
Only a few short months later,Lincoln won his fight against the confederacy and signed the EmancipationProclamation to finalize the end of the war against slavery. The EmancipationProclamation, declared on the first of January 1863, freed all slaves in therebellious states. “I do order and declare that all persons held as slaveswithin said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shallbe free…” (Lincoln 6). By declaring this Lincoln designates all former slave statesas free states; with the exception of the few border states taken from theconfederacy during the war. Since Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouriwere taken from the Confederacy during the war, those states were alreadyrequired abide by Union laws. While writing the Emancipation ProclamationLincoln takes his audience in mind, but primarily focuses on getting hismessage across.
He uses little emotional appeals because the subject attractsenough emotional appeal on its own. However, Lincoln uses very strong language,repetition, and scenarios to enhance the stability of the EmancipationProclamation. Stronglanguage and repetition are both prominent in the Emancipation Proclamation aswell as the Gettysburg Address. Bothaddresses use uplifting words such as: brave, honored, gracious, and faithfullyto inspire his audiences. Repetition serves a similar purpose to the stronglanguage. Lincoln applies the repetition of motivating phrases to theGettysburg Address as well as the Emancipation Proclamation to seem moreconfident and strong with his points.
Adding repetition to his speech made iteasier for the crowd remember. Therefore, making his speech more widely spread. One hundred years after Lincolnsigned the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans still struggled withfreedom and equality. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech I Have A Dream is a perfect demonstration of the struggles andinjustice African Americans still endured.
Dr. King applied similar persuasivetechniques to his speech that Lincoln used in multiple of his documents. Emotionallanguage is one of the common themes the two leaders share. The use ofuplifting language serves as an inspiration to their audiences, and helpsencourage the audience to keep fighting when it seems impossible. When Dr.
Kinguses phrases like, “… the chains of discrimination… exile in his own land…robbedof their identity…” (King 1). he ignites a rage and sense of duty among theAfrican Americans. Meanwhile, words like honored, brave, justice, freedom, andsecurity put the motivation to keep fighting in their hearts.
Lincoln does asimilar thing during a civil war. By using emotional, inspiring language heencourages the abolitionists to continue to fight against slavery. Eventhough Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in thestates, African Americans still struggled long afterwards. One hundred yearslater African Americans still struggled with similar injustices the slavesendured.
Even now different races still struggle with many injustices that canbe related back to the Emancipation Proclamation. Though many have fought longand hard for racism to end and equality to be a part of everyday life, racism will never truly end.