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The Gettysburg Address

“Four score and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent…”


(Duration: 42:24)

The only known photograph of President Lincoln giving his Gettysburg address on November 19, 1863.

The only known photograph of President Lincoln giving his Gettysburg address on November 19, 1863. Library of Congress

150 years ago tomorrow, President Lincoln delivered one of the best known speeches in American history. Do you remember, without looking it up, when the battle happened that inspired the speech? Today on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with Bruce Levine about the significance of the Gettysburg address and the Battle of Gettysburg. Levine says that while the Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most important battles of the war, the Gettysburg Address is not the most important speech Lincoln gave during that time period. We’ll talk about why that speech became so famous and what that says about American history. 

Categories: History

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    four score and seven years ago these words open President Abraham Lincoln speech
    consecration of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg Pennsylvania
    150 years ago tomorrow Gettysburg Address is Lincoln’s most famous
    famous speech but it might be a little overrated so says University of Illinois


    Illinois history professor Bruce Levine guest today on Fox
    you pay more attention to the actual Battle of Gettysburg office
    describe does the turning point of the Civil War MJ meadows and Bruce Levine with a skull
    discuss Gettysburg speech and the battle today on Fox

    program continues after the news
    welcome to focus mg Meadows tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary


    reverse rid of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln Presidential
    Central Library and Museum in Springfield is marking the event with a vigil it begins
    1067 the ceiling a climax is it midnight with a picture of Lincoln portrait
    portrayed by a factor for Klein reading the address the Gettysburg
    what is burg address maybe Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speech what is it is most important
    importing one I guess today has his own thoughts on the matter as well as on the A Team
    1863 Battle of Gettysburg that inspired the speech


    Bruce Levine is the JT rental distinguished professor of history of the University of Illinois
    Illinois the author of several books in the Civil War most recently the Fall of the House
    the house of Dixie the Civil War and the social revolution the transform the south Public
    Random House fence Lavigne welcome to focus thank you Jim
    thank you for being with us in the walking your questions also during the program
    at 1 800 2229 455 toll free 1 800
    802 22 WILL you can also email us at will


    will dash talk at also welcome your questions on face
    Facebook and Twitter at focus 580 in a few minutes I’m going to play
    play a reading of the Gettysburg Address its its short enough that we can comfortably
    Comfortably do that during the program but I love but a professor Lavigne I wanted to ask you jizz
    you just a test just for starters what do you think of the Gettysburg Address concert
    considering how famous is a doesn’t do it justice of to the occasion
    casein in the themes of a Lincoln’s presidency what does I think


    Think and it doesn’t I think this is an address on
    Pacific an important aspect of the war but doesn’t answer
    emphasize everything that’s important about the war it’s a beautiful dress
    it’s quite poetic social quite sure which is a distinct advantage
    but it talks primarily about this
    how to feed of saving the republican form of government from those
    who are trying in this case in Lincoln do to destroy it


    and that is indeed the cause of least the
    immediate cause of the war and say a very important
    16 republican government with in short supply in the transatlantic world
    when was indeed the written by
    secession and war but it is not I believe fundamentally a
    a speech about emancipation in the destruction of slavery fat
    fat is the focus of Lincoln’s second inaugural address and I see a greater


    greater speech Gettysburg Address what what do you think this speech is such a
    touch a well remembered what is brevity part of the reason I do think brevity is part of the
    and literally strike it brief
    if they said a moment ago is very poetic
    it’s also a speech that appeals politically speaking to
    to a probably a larger audience at the time I’ve been
    when did the Second Inaugural because the larger number of northerners


    where on board for the Union war effort in the service of sound
    salvage in the Union then we’re the Attic about Obama
    polishing slavery and I think therefore that
    is that the appeal of the Gettysburg Address in focusing on the meatus
    protect republican government appealing to that large
    have greater staying power what lets go ahead and
    listen to the Gettysburg Address is a reading by the director of our own Illinois


    Illinois radio to service a teen guy can’t and I actually Klacid in a little
    a little shorter even Lincoln’s reading the president reading for a large crowd to go for two
    Vertu minutes Dinuba shorter than that four score and seven years ago our fathers
    our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition
    to the proposition that all men are created equal now we are engaged in a great civil war
    Civil War testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived in so dedicated
    can long endure we are met on a great battlefield is at war we’ve come to dedicate a Porsche


    a portion of that field is the final resting place for those who hear gave their lives
    what’s the destination might live is all together fitting improper that we should do this
    banana larger sense we cannot dedicate we cannot consecrate
    we cannot hallow this ground the brave men living and dead who struggled
    struggle deer have consecrated 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
    forget what they did here is for us the living rather be dedicated here


    here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have this far so no bleed vans
    advance is ready for us to be here dedicated to the great ass creaming before
    Forest from these honor dead we take increased devotion to that
    that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly
    highly resolve the 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


    that is the Gettysburg Address read there by Dean Duncan of our own
    Illinois radio readers service and it is really a very simple
    simple piece of a of a simple speech tracing from the birth of
    birth of the country to the Civil War and then calling on the audience
    audience gathered here today we the living to continue the work that the soul
    the soldiers did battle to a carry on on a note
    Kim K ring on carry on the Union in the great experiment started with the declaration of


    ration of Independence but what you are saying is missing there is the issue for men
    emancipation Sears of phrase that is off inside
    cited that it is off in class
    claim jumpers to say the words
    nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and the number
    the number of this location of Emancipation Proclamation
    slavery if that was


    engine uses a freezing
    ice cream
    Asian consecrated in Liberty and found it on the ice
    sure masturbation
    for the rest of those principles but I don’t think
    that was what Lincoln


    public no I’ve heard are you ready
    what are cute I think it was my Ronald C whitening is Lincoln biography that in
    in recalling at the beginning of the speech the all men are created equal passage
    from the Declaration of Independence Lincoln was actually choose
    choosing a line that was less popular than now in terms of lions called from the deck
    declaration and one that implied an argument for and Megaman sepation maybe
    baby to the degree that I could qualify as a as a is a political dog whistles at the time


    time for all those who favored emancipation well as I say
    is it possible
    all men are created equal that is what does worth mean to Lincoln and asses with those words
    they did not mean
    Quality Inn today equality in the sense
    free of sleep but me to Lincoln
    is party for advocating for equality


    equal rights Lincoln facts
    so um I think
    does worth signify 2008
    with slavery necessarily a dog whistle for Wells
    how to crack worth


    clear discussing
    emancipation itself with perfectly capable of doing bad as he did
    was was Lincoln when did Lincoln
    Lincoln is there a pattern of Lincoln being slow are working gradually towards
    being more open 4th write about arguing for emancipation
    I can I can see some picture there that Lincoln was trying to reach with asthma
    is broad Annette as possible perhaps even trying to us


    do I reach reach the hearts of Southerners who did not
    who did not agree with succession well I think it’s true
    true that looking for a bra it’s also true
    Lincoln further and further direction
    the time deliver the Gettysburg Address ready
    David proclamation of commitment
    55 at point is not doubt


    simply might you weather in this species particularly referring to
    Lincoln’s election cause section
    however I sleep because his party was the case
    the proposition that slavery what not to expand any further into the law
    large Federal Territory the more of because Lincoln NE
    hope this was the first step
    steps to a seat slavery extinguisher


    throughout the country of slavery is certainly pop off
    Lincoln’s battle party takes awhile for them
    Decatur worth
    Lincoln was not ready very explicit terms
    to claim that all those who died at Gettysburg has died
    service emancipation
    1865 national support for masturbation


    grown practically
    and I think he felt much for ground dedicating second
    but not in 1863 I think
    1863 ask to give a few remarks
    Marques de que ting a cemetery for those who have fallen
    battle Lincoln was primarily concerned for remind
    his listeners that the lowest common denominator causes


    was the preservation of the Democratic Republic
    note Lincoln’s address at the Gettysburg Sarah cemetery at concert
    consecration wasn’t even the main speech Indiana
    well is it was Edward Everett to Anderson was was really
    really quite well known as a beat maker at the time of the main address
    yes he was a classic 19th century Florida and politician
    fish in series of political offices president


    Harvard someone with politics different from Lincoln by the way
    our very Florida
    address and also a rabbit forgettable it is available
    on the internet so I enable my life Kem did a little more than I read it but it does
    just take a classic form including of an opening not to antiquity buy a
    comparing of the soldiers who died at Gettysburg to the soldiers
    who died at the Battle of Marathon and we’re also Barry data set up at a cemetery


    Jerry elected at the battlefield but um
    it also does not talk about emancipation barely talks
    songs about slavery besides outlining the battle in the events leading
    leading up to the battle it seems to wall painting of the Confederacy as
    as it wants to make sure that the Confederacy is seen is the offensive force
    the attackers in this case and not certainly not the other
    anoxia aggrieved party which was which was leaving morn sorrow than anger


    buy the butter force which had actually according to Everett
    Everett speech conspired Harley stunts are the stock real hard about
    about for several years before hand of trying to take over the wall of the
    the Washington DC themselves differences
    why someone would likely to emphasize this affect
    whatever it was someone who held from morphine
    conservative women of the Union cause acne


    1867 the vice presidential nominees ticket cost
    the constitutional Union
    Republicans really good for virtually nothing except
    price national unity at any price
    good for sleep because of compromises the subject of slavery
    Zach by 1860 Lincoln
    order to pay support


    Port Edward Everett is a 6yr 1860
    last minute vacations
    okay it’s a I guess it’s interesting footnote at Lincoln ever
    beverages far is a speech is were concerned seem to be assertive mutual admiration
    Mason society those records of notes between the two of them admiring each other speeches
    hope made
    remember his speech on that for happy wheels


    contributions to know
    is worth well let’s take a call now and this is Paul
    Paul from Champaign County online won the morning urine focus high
    I told the screen write a question that doesn’t really on the plaza address but
    but I do have something on that and I’m never the Campos
    composer hear that to the piece called LGA which was Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
    address it was one of the seven card pieces actually


    Memorial Concert for him this week for happy but on the
    just off what I understood from his presentation of it was that
    he was revolted by the water of the Civil War which was
    which was the first mechanized war when on a grade scale
    huge massive casualties and on
    and also included the server reticle
    cool idea that the whole idea that you consecrate


    soil with blood which is one of the images in the Gettysburg Address
    so it’s quite what the word is radical preps
    apps so I don’t know if you want to come in on that but what I have
    about about was the Lincoln slave
    inflate use on colonization I talk to about 1900
    little piece from you on YouTube something on we’re you certify
    reinforces idea that um it was president of the union


    Union with paramount in any thoughts about the
    citizen hood in the oven actual statuses
    how to save after conflate afternoon was was
    late breaking different then I have it on again
    radical book of forced into glory by M Bennett
    and from seeing him at a lake and a gathering in
    in the Old State House once where’s the baiting people they bring up the fact that


    Lincoln in very early days Cave of
    serve non authorized money to the Negro removal office
    office which was your service based at least it or Kylie on the end
    the Indian Removal Act in with the idea that the first the office that was going to continue
    attempts at the sending African stew
    never known Africa quote unquote back to Africa
    are anywhere that would take them off in the Caribbean etcetera etcetera know that’s kinda long winded


    when did but I’ve been cracker pie with this for for some time and now
    will professor Lavigne I’m wondering if you can can you dress that is too as to how much
    how much weight do we know that I love the the neighbourhood Lincoln gave the idea
    idea of love of send offs of sending off of
    sending African Americans out of the US if I hurt
    hurts to questions here colonization in one on slaughter
    and whether it was to say that


    Taco Bell
    questions starting with colonization it should be late clear for support
    colonization free black people
    country was something that Lincoln had inherited from the man
    Henry Clay
    Lincoln in 1860 61 like play before he did not
    black wife could live in harmony


    44 they advocate what they call colonization
    what should be the size of a bad as that look
    looks 21st century was always understood as voluntary
    immigration compulsory
    is worse Lincoln was simply trying to persuade
    free blacks to emigrate for their own sake
    Lincoln faces calling for colonization


    after the Emancipation Proclamation
    that allows the government to make a financial
    killer colonization experiment
    the Caribbean 5 to be part of his public
    public program and this is part of Lincoln
    Lincoln’s political party
    that’s my opinion is largely because Lincoln


    find the active assistance
    former slaves in order to win the war by the end of the war
    40 most 200000 black men who have served
    what’s that without
    could not be preserved work with Nazis
    well you can very well how to spawn
    551 as you’re trying to usher these people at the door


    so I say 666 to be part of what ministrations
    public question on weather
    about the creation of the soil
    oil by blood the war horse
    shorts and
    1 picture lady


    slavery and therefore giving slavery virtual
    haps 45
    responding to an arm
    with arms suppression icing
    I think that that was the classics
    and that was the War Z
    extinguish slavery in the United States


    something that happens for a case
    quite true life s*** soldiers at Gettysburg
    consecrated best in life
    types of Iraq and Afghanistan war in general is coming on a cloud
    retrospectively impose upon a fairy
    different for different era feelings we have


    forced okay and I want to Saint Paul
    Paul for the call by the way the piece of music setting mentioned Els GA
    Wikipedia I can tell you it was composed by Salvatore Giovanni
    Martorano who I talked for many years at the U of I and that’s considered his best
    is best known a composition that became associated with the antiwar move
    this is focusing wyll take a short break here and continue talking
    talking about the Gettysburg Address in the Battle of Gettysburg with Professor Bruce Levine


    amber back on focus on wyll
    are subject is the Gettysburg Address in the Battle of Gettysburg tomorrow is the one
    is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg
    address add a ceremony consecrating a cemetery are for the soldiers
    soldiers killed at the Battle of Gettysburg welcome your questions incommons 1 800 22
    2229 455 toll free 1 800 222
    wyll email acid will dash talk at Illinois

    00:25:35 and I as as we were noting a professor Levine
    living the the the the Gettysburg Address does
    commemorate of those who died at the Battle of Gettysburg and and really I think
    YouTube the Battle of Gettysburg was probably more important than the speech
    given after it by the way
    Charles Sumner Express
    510 speech


    is that ideas are always more important
    which that were true I don’t think it is
    Battle of Gettysburg 4
    414 what property lease
    okay um can we can we a
    can we do of a quick setting the scene for for what’s the situation
    muscle it up to the battles of Gettysburg what was the objective of America


    of the eye of the Confederate forces in the Bible
    Army of Northern Virginia had already
    racked up series a rather stunning
    battlefield success is over the hill start
    inside and now be filled with c**
    Wisconsin spaces horny Virginia into Maryland
    which slave states States States


    family hope there to draw the Army of the Potomac
    liver so powerful to it bad to change
    changes radically likelihood
    and so
    battle occurred Pennsylvania
    ranging these 2 army battle last 3 days


    severe back to the Confederacy
    what is the charge and Lee
    Lee’s army comes out of that battle badly wounded
    where is casualties difficulty higher proportion
    does suffer is it the battle that the other
    that legal to 51 if you’d make different decisions well that is
    is certainly one point of view


    lead pencil third day of Gettysburg to do something that was
    likely to succeed frontal
    charge across a large pizza open field
    entrenched opponents this kind of things sometimes
    rarely succeed certainly argument
    second in command James Longstreet are doing it


    infected the whole battle with steak
    tactical offensive formations have found the way
    self defense is elsewhere
    health force acting over open
    so yes this is often cited as a serious error
    pardon after work LeAnn self pics
    responsibility for adults


    in the meantime of this battle having been lost a man
    and in the end the Southern forces feeling to make their games is it
    is it is it is it understood by the Union that the what what’s but their own
    advantages now understanding the importance of the victory at that time
    Union Morales very low
    prior to that paddle as a result of
    the series of the fish that has suffered a fleece pants


    local news
    House of Leaves electrified
    races lyrics Ematic pics of Confederacy
    longer period absorb just how serious
    losses and effects what
    so is this
    is this a pivotal moment for the Civil War little moments in


    least once more Robert E Lee will never
    never be strong enough after the loss of he suffers here
    proximately yesterday at mans house
    at the start never be strong enough to go on
    what school district will never Londres
    territory will live to rise
    simply to the Union Army who are they


    hotels more often to take the chicken
    what this is not the end of the war
    this is not the beginning of the end of the Confederate Lee still have
    who wins this war simpli5 sauce
    patient appointment
    back fat
    so this is a float River SC has serious impact


    lease pacity as a commander
    quite a long time after
    what talking with University of Illinois history history professor Bruce Levine
    about the Gettysburg Address in the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War
    150 years ago tomorrow will be the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address
    address let’s take another phone call I want to say hello to David from Urbana online 1


    good morning in focus on 150 with comment
    up on the effect from current popular opinion of
    the War of the southern revisionist historian
    Dorian put the late 19th in the first half of the 20th
    century is it still on important
    portent I’m afraid it is um and not only
    southern version Mac Mini North Korea


    things without you so for clarification fake
    according to that use of war
    what really about slavery at all I ever had about slavery end
    rather out about states rights
    jealousy calculations on both sides
    Solon finally
    XS was the war with the fact


    side on your back
    lasted from the late 19th century
    virtually into the 1953 Leone
    the scholarship of the 1950s
    popular opinion of the Civil Rights Act of
    gas station of the world


    fly but we still see the after effect in popular
    Hmong public concerning the cause of the Civil War
    chardee of Americans as a whole
    iPad slavery was the central cause of warts
    worse does 30 years
    slavery was the central close the war


    so we still wrestling with a misunderstanding
    thank you thank you very much for calling David and it probably doesn’t
    what doesnt help than that of documents like the Gettysburg Address don’t mention
    in the slavery question directly in Factor
    going by district raising the Gettysburg Address doesn’t mention weather
    weather the war dead the Lincoln is referring to are on the Union soldiers


    are soldiers on both sides is it
    set something that’s been on thats that some people live in a different ways over the years
    I’m sure the audience at Gettysburg do what he was talking about
    well I think the emphasis was on the sacrifices made
    after all of this is a speech
    exercising the cause of preserving the Union I’m not safe to find
    course of the cause of Social Security part sew in


    Lincoln doesn’t say I’m talking on the soldiers I think it’s pretty cool
    pretty clear that that’s what primarily there no Confederate troops bear
    who is buried at Gettysburg you know I actually don’t know the answer
    questions that there are hardly imagine if you could not be
    ok I was wondering
    also as we were talking about and you were mentioned in the eye
    what are the reasons that President Lincoln moved away from the idea of c**


    call of colonizing on African Americans elsewhere was the one reason why
    fighting in the war effort were there African Americans fighting at Gettysburg
    no they were not this is not one of the major
    battles African American soldiers
    become more and more important to the war effort 1860
    4&a specially at the final confrontation
    the same two armies in around Richmond and Peters


    Petersburg size of a proportion
    okay I understand I was just just been able to dip a little bit into your most
    most recent book but the of the Confederacy was also looking at the using
    African American troops did they ever go that far will they refuse to do so
    fight song
    my health stills for the Confederacy
    military age white men


    refuse to do so because they are waiting for the preserve slavery
    and that the idea of black interior
    Central Park African American slaves
    Secretary of War on its side
    we can’t Lifehouse everything
    Alucard Asian
    however 5 November of 1864 becomes so tired


    Jefferson Davis about face
    hour and then start talking about offering Freedom 2
    black man to fight for the Confederacy
    steps of firestorm of controversy in the Confederacy
    precisely on the same grounds that the
    refuse to consider this idea all along
    Army Reserves talking about


    in order to win victory what’s the point
    victory if we lose everything back with fighting 41st
    first place watering down
    post legislation very happy
    get passed at the last minute which Actually
    not offer free and does not compel
    any slaves simply loud with Sept


    Emily slave that a slave owner chooses
    emancipate and hand over to the Confederacy
    and the end result is acetic lease Mall
    well I’m one
    I’m wondering when looking at it being very clear during the war what does what’s the issues
    shoes of the Civil War and the succession were about when did the revisionist
    Asian ISM start in the idea that this was strictly on Mars


    mostly a state’s rights battle win the winds that start to Br
    brq TX Confederate start to make this argument relatively soon
    recognizing that slavery as now
    how to become something virtually universally
    excoriated I rather Schrute calculations made
    if you want to honor the cause of the Confederacy
    not to buy it as a last


    slavery ship the grounds on which your
    aging sew a hole
    host of X Confederate officers exempt property around
    comes to centralize the Sun
    junior size as much
    accept that the second half of the 19th century is a period of growing races
    racism in the United States and eating the transatlantic world DIC


    fighting a war for the sake of African American
    even in park the climb
    popularity rather striking in the north
    so by the end of the 19th century Korean school
    talking about slavery
    war and that’s an idea that sticks around for
    infer for quite a while and afraid that’s all the time we have a very interesting ID


    ideas to ponder as we come to the anniversary 150th anniversary
    history of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address of vigil for the eyes
    River Street begin at 7 tonight at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
    library and museum I think status offense Bruce Levine of the University of Illinois
    Illinois for speaking with us today on focus
    and this is focus on will