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Lincoln's First and Second Inaugural Addresses

            Abraham Lincoln's First and Second Inaugural Addresses, are both alike and different. When Lincoln won the presidency in 1860, the Union was divided, so he had to approach the public in a manner that would still attract the southern states. After his second election, he used his inaugural address to contemplate ways that our country could reflect on the consequences of the Civil War and how we could all move toward a better future. Both inaugural addresses spoke openly on slavery.
             Lincoln's "First Inaugural Address" was during a period when our nation was divided. Seven of the southern states had already withdrawn from the Union and were beginning to refer to themselves as Confederates. Lincoln at this time had free states and slave states. When Lincoln gave his Inaugural Address, he wanted to do so in a way that would not ruin his chances of gaining support in the southern states. This was especially a problem when it involved the institution of slavery. He had also made it clear in his address that he believed in a secure and united nation. Lincoln thought it was of utmost importance and he rejected the ideas of secession and minority rule. Lincoln's main purpose in his "First Inaugural Address" was to allay the anxieties of the southern states that their property, peace, and personal security were endangered because a Republican administration was taking office. At the same time, Lincoln argued that the U.S. Constitution was "perpetual," or indissoluble. In effect, he was denying such states as South Carolina the right to secede. The Constitution could be amended, but the Union could not be broken.
             The "Second Inaugural Address" in 1865, Abraham Lincoln contemplates that they, as a United Nation, should reflect on the aftermath of the Civil War and work towards a better future for this nation.   He addresses God and the issue of slavery in order to encourage the Northern and Southern states towards reconciliation.

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