Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address

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On March 4, 1865 Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address as president of the United States. The inaugural address came at the very end of the American Civil War, and just a month before the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Prior to this address, the United States had been split into two different independent states, the Union and the Confederacy. Throughout Abraham Lincoln’s first term and the very beginning of his second, Lincoln had to deal with the secession of the eleven states that made up the Confederacy. Also during the war, Lincoln competed in the 1864 presidential election in which his leadership was challenged by George B. McClellan. This inaugural address was important at the time, and remains a relic of Abraham Lincoln’s powerful speaking ability. In the late 1850’s, tension were rising between the northern states and the southern states. These tensions began long ago, but continued to rise before the election of 1860. The main topic of debate at this time was slavery. Southern states relied on slavery for economic production. Many in the north wanted to limit the spread of slavery, or outright ban it. Those opposed to slavery had numerous reasons from political to ethical and religious reasons. The election of 1860 had 4 large candidates: Abraham Lincoln, John C Breckinridge, John Bell, and Stephen A. Douglas. Abraham Lincoln won the popular vote and electoral vote and was elected president in 1860, taking over from James Buchanan. In the

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