What Is the Main Idea of the Gettysburg Address?

According to History.com, the central premise of the Gettysburg Address is that the sacrifices of those who perished on the battlefield of Gettysburg were made to maintain the Declaration of Independence’s principles of human equality and self-government. Lincoln stated that the Union’s existence rested on completing the task begun by the buried troops and launching a rebirth of freedom.

During the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, fought between July 1 and 3, 1863, both sides suffered terrible losses. The Union lost 23,000 soldiers, while the Confederacy lost 28,000 men. The Confederates were ultimately compelled to retreat. Numerous Union soldiers were hastily interred in poorly designated graves, but later a national cemetery was established on the battlefield. President Lincoln was not the major speaker during the ceremony. Popular orator Edward Everett talked for two hours on the significance of the conflict. The Gettysburg Address, which had only 272 words, was delivered in less than two minutes.

The day following the ceremony of dedication, both speeches were reprinted in national publications. Lincoln’s statements were deemed inappropriate and inadequate for the occasion by Democratic media, whilst Republicans hailed them as a masterwork. According to History.com, the speech is the most memorised and quoted in American history.

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