Gettysburg : Success Essays


This is a big assignment, so take your time.

You will create three grammatically correct bullet points for each topic:

The intro to the Civil War

The Gettysburg Address

Three bullet points for all five videos

You will eventually have a formal writing assignment about this topic, but before that assignment you must complete this one with bullet points, I will not accept the formal writing assignment unless this bullet points assignment is done first.

                                                                                      The War Between the States

                                                                                             April 1861-April 1865

When Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States in March 1861, eleven states in the South seceded from the Union (withdrew from the country) and formed their own: The Confederate States of America. They chose their own president—Jefferson Davis—founded their own capital—Richmond, Virginia—got their own flag—known as the Stars and Bars—and one April dawn in 1861 Confederate cannons fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay, South Carolina. War began.

Slavery had been part of this country from the start: the harbor of New Amsterdam (later New York) was often the first stop for thousands of people “stolen from Africa” and “brought to America” (Bob Marley), but the South believed slavery was a ‘southern institution’. For the first two years of the Civil War the South was winning despite the North having three times the population as well as the factories to make guns and cannon. But the South had better military leadership (General Robert E. Lee, who hated slavery and to whom Lincoln asked at the start of the war to lead the Union army), the southern soldiers (“Johnny Reb”) could ride and shot better than the northern boys (“Billy Yank”), and most of the war was happening on southern land, which gave the South several advantages: assistance from the locals, familiarity with the land, and the additional passion when soldiers fight on their own land (in this case, the South).

But in early summer of 1863, General Lee took the war to the North, aiming his 70,000-strong Army of Northern Virginia for the railway hub of Harrisburg in southern Pennsylvania. But there was a small, quiet town nearby that had a warehouse of boots which the army badly needed, so Lee detoured to nearby Gettysburg. And through remarkable coincidences and fate, here the Confederates clashed on July 1,2, and 3 with 90,000 northern soldiers in the bloodiest battle ever fought in the western hemisphere. The South did well for the first day of battle, had mixed results on the second (you will see a clip of that second day) but for the South the third was disastrous: you will see a clip of that too. 55,000 men were either killed or wounded in those three days. The Southern army retreated back to the South (the Northern army too battered to pursue), and while the war lasted two more bloody years, the three-day battle at Gettysburg turned the tide.

That November, the battlefield was made into a cemetery and national shrine. It was here that Lincoln spoke less than 300 words which have lived to this day.

                                                                                                     The Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

“Fourscore and seven years ago

(a score is twenty years: four score and seven is 87 years: Lincoln gave this speech in 1863. That means 87 years ago is 1776: Declaration of Independence, signed July 4th. Also, in 1963—a century later in front of the Lincoln Memorial— Martin Luther King began his “I have a dream…” speech with a nod/salute/allusion to Lincoln’s speech: Martin began “Five score years ago…”)

our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation

(never had there been a country that would not be ruled by a king/dictator/emperor but by those elected by the people)

conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

(not black men, and no women: that would come in time and with much struggle/blood/sacrifice)

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated,

(conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal)

can long endure.

(from the beginning there was an agreement that slavery would be phased out: it was; New York ended slavery July 4th, 1827. But the South would not free its slaves whom they referred to as ‘servants’. While there were other reasons for the Civil War, this, undeniable, absolutely, was the reason: to free 4 million people, as the Constitution pledged)

We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

(Gettysburg, PA)

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field

(The cemetery)

as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

(most of those buried were never identified)

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

(that ‘unfinished work’ is ending the war and freeing slaves whom the southerners referred to not as slaves but ‘servants’)

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom

(finally the freedom from slavery)

and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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