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Rhetoric of abraham lincoln - Essay Example

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RHETORIC OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN Name Module Date His prose has received immense admiration as well as impressionistic criticism. This has been confirmed by the categorical statements abound from all quarters. Supporters consider him a great stylist while critics claim that he has no style…
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Rhetoric of abraham lincoln

Download file to see previous pages... Slavery and succession were threatening human freedom as well as American union. Therefore, without the turmoil that existed at the time, there would not have been exigency for such rhetoric and action. The following essay is a research paper that builds its argument through comparative analysis of various sources of information on the rhetoric of Abraham Lincoln. Analysis of Lincoln’s rhetoric has led to varied opinions among scholars concerning his literary skills as well as his leadership qualities. Such scholars include Mark Neely, Jr., who is a Lincoln scholar and a Pulitzer Prize winning historian. The other is David Herbert Donald, who is a leading American historian of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Neely views Lincoln as reactive and subject to changing events, while Donald sees Lincoln as purposeful and strategic. (1) (2) Donald asserted that Lincoln’s failure to respond and instead choosing to apply passivity was a political strategy. Donald Elaborated, “Repeatedly throughout the war, Lincoln’s passive policy worked politically. Because any action would offend somebody, he took as few actions as possible”3 According to Neely, the language that Lincoln uses in addressing Americans has attracted admiration, imitation wonder globally. His shaped his words in public letters, papers, and proclamations. This was meant to explain the purpose of the war and inspire commitment. His stylist success should not blind us to the rather limited nature of these communications. There was little awareness of propaganda in Lincoln or his era and only a rather limited one of shaping public opinion. The stylistic success of the rhetoric is limited to the past nature of such communications. There were no counteractive propaganda tendencies among the Americans that could distort or compromise his rhetoric. Propaganda and criticism spread in the twentieth century with the enhancement of the advertisement sector. His rhetoric prowess is evident in his first inaugural speech. During his first inaugural speech he introduced the theme through attempting to allay fears of the southern states. His words show that he had dreaded for this moment. According to Salem (2008), he went straight into assuring people that their property would not be snatched as earlier anticipated.4 The speech also indicated that he had no intention of abolishing the slave trade. This declaration portrays him as a leader concerned on the impact of interpretation of the law among the public over addressing the slaves’ peril. The first inaugural speech portrays him as a person concerned about changing the public opinion through making promises that would win their support. He had promised the states that they would be given the freedom to run their internal affairs which did not happen. A closer analysis of the speech confirms that he supported a unified nation and not a government made of independent states. The speech clearly brings out his secession fear and preservation of the unity government. However, he intended to uphold the government union without violence. His rhetoric goal was not only to express himself through the use of complicated grammar, but also capture the attention of the audience. Paying attention helps the audience to get an insight of the message being delivered. Lincoln denied of the existence of any differences between the Southerners and Northerners. 5This was meant to encourage people live in unity as equal residents of one nation. Some parts of the speech were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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