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Gettysburg Address Text and Meaning

Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg Address Text and Meaning: Abraham Lincoln was the 16th American President who served in office from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865. One of the important events during his presidency was the Gettysburg Address Text.

Definition and Summary of the Gettysburg Address Text and Meaning
Summary and definition:
The Gettysburg Address Text consists of just 270 words and was delivered in under three minutes. The Gettysburg Address text is beautifully worded with additional meaning and significance to the people and the nation behind each line of text.

The words capture events of the past, present future encapsulating the ideals and principles of equality,  freedom and democracy.

The Inspirational Words of the Gettysburg Address Text: Meaning and Impact
The patriotic words of the Gettysburg Address text were written by President Abraham Lincoln. He started to write the speech the day before his arrival in Gettysburg. He then toured the site of the battlefield and was moved to
write additional entries further emphasizing the solemn dedication of the cemetery to the honored dead.  His words in the patriotic Gettysburg Address text aroused a strong impact and a highly emotional response from the audience. The impact of the words had the effect of emphasizing the Union cause of the Civil War and emphasizing the previous struggle of citizens who fought for liberty, equality and freedom in the American Revolution and the endurance of these ideals. The words of the Gettysburg Address text were so powerful that they inspired the nation at the time - and continues to inspire people today.

Full Gettysburg Address Text
The original, full Gettysburg Address Text is as follows, read this first and then go to our line by line text breakdown, meaning and analysis of the words:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not 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. 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, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Gettysburg Address Text: Poetic Prose and Allusion
The Gettysburg Address text is more of like a piece of poetic prose than a political speech. Prose poetry combines the characteristics of poetry, conveying ideas and emotional experiences, but lacks words that rhyme or a specific rhythm. Prose creates heightened imagery and emotional effect. The use of imagery heightens the impact of the words to the text. President Lincoln makes use of Allusions in the words of the Gettysburg Address text. Because allusions make reference to something other than what is directly being said, it is easy to miss an allusion, or fail to understand an allusion if you do not know the underlying story or reference point. This is why so many people ask "What is the Meaning of the Gettysburg Address Text?"

Gettysburg Address Text: What is the Meaning of the Gettysburg Address Text?
The easiest way to understand the allusions in and the meaning of the Gettysburg Address Text is to go through the speech line by line - you will be amazed at the extent of the meaning behind words and understand why the words and text in the speech known as the Gettysburg Address is recognized as an extraordinary piece of prose poetry and example of allusion and why it remains one of the most famous speeches ever delivered in the United States of America, and the world.

US American History
1850-1865: Civil War Era
The Gettysburg Address
Battle of Gettysburg

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