Homework: Due March 8/9 – choose two questions from the list below and respond to each in a full paragraph (ie total of two paragraphs). Bring a hard copy of your assignment to class Thurs/Friday.
- Give a brief summary of the historical context that Lincoln faced as he prepared his second inaugural address.
- Is Jefferson Davis open to the idea of the Confederate States rejoining the American union? What appears to be his priority in any peace settlement?
- What do you learn from Lincoln’s address about his attitude towards the South, the apparent losers in the conflict? What do you learn from Lincoln’s address about his attitude towards the North, the apparent winners in the conflict?
- Why do you think Lincoln devotes most of his Second Inaugural Address to a recollection of the how the war came about and how the war transformed the nation? In what way does his interpretation of the Civil War (paragraph 3) prepare the nation for his concluding exhortation (paragraph 4)?
- Should Lincoln have been more specific about his recommendations for Reconstruction, or does he achieve his purposes better by stressing important themes instead of policy proposals?
- Evaluate Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. What were its strengths? Do you see any weaknesses?
- In recent years, some Americans have called for a national apology for the slavery practiced for so long in the United States. Does Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address qualify as an apology? Explain.