In National Affairs, WSPWH editor Diana Schaub reflects on the Gettysburg Address and considers its meaning. Her analysis looks at both the speech’s historical context and its literary and rhetorical devices. A snippet:
December 20, 2013
With Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the 1860 presidential election ensured, South Carolina was spurred into action. On December 20, 1860, after a 15-day convention, delegates voted 169-0 to leave the Union, approving the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession. The ordinance was soon followed by the publication of the Declaration of Causes of Secession, written by Christopher G. Memminger and explaining the reasons behind South Carolina’s decision.
December 6, 2013
On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution was ratified by the states. The amendment formally abolished slavery, declaring “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
November 21, 2013
On November 21, 1864, Abraham Lincoln is thought to have written a consoling letter to Lydia Bixby, a Boston widow whose five sons died while fighting for the Union. The letter’s author and the specific details regarding Mrs. Bixby’s sons are debated, but the simple and eloquent prose of the letter is praised.
November 15, 2013
November 19, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Delivered by Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, the short speech went on to become one of the most famous in American history, and is inscribed onto the Lincoln Memorial. Honor this important historical moment in your classroom. Here are ten helpful ideas:
October 22, 2013
We’ve just returned from the Long Island Council for the Social Studies 2013 conference, where our director, Cheryl Miller, led a session introducing our website and teaching resources as well as a (very quick!) close reading seminar on the Gettysburg Address. We had a terrific time — it’s always great to meet with dedicated and engaged educators.
October 3, 2013
October 3: Today in History: Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage is published in book form in 1895
On October 3, 1895, The Red Badge of Courage, the first American novel to portray the Civil War from the perspective of a soldier, was published in book form. The enormously popular short novel was originally published by a newspaper one section at a time.
September 23, 2013
On September 23, 1863, the Union Army was reeling from a decisive defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga at the hands of Confederate General Braxton Bragg. Keenly aware of Union General Rosecrans’ depleted army, President Lincoln diverted General Joseph Hooker from Virginia to the area, setting in place a strategy that would reinvigorate the Army of the Cumberland, and place General Ulysses S. Grant in charge of the Union … Read more »
July 22, 2013
On July 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, seeking comments for revisions. The executive order freed the slaves from the ten states in rebellion, applying to approximately 3.1 million of the 4 million slaves in the United States.
June 24, 2013
As we near the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, much less attention has been given to the man whose oration at Gettysburg was actually considered the main event. History seems to have long forgotten famed orator Edward Everett’s two hour speech, despite his status as the featured speaker for the commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg.