Abraham Lincoln delivered the second inaugural address in 1865 when the Civil War and slavery were almost over in the USA. However, the speech was not filled with merriness or contentedness. On the contrary, it was permeated with sorrow and humility in the face of heaven’s will. Major themes of this speech were the Civil War, the unity of states, slavery, and the future development of America. The Civil War was the central subject of the address, and Abraham Lincoln covered different aspects of the conflict to support its cessation. The President underscored that he regarded “blood and treasure lost” in the Civil War as the retribution for “250 years of exploitation of black people” (Morel, 2015, p. 462). Neither of the sides of the conflict was praised or blamed, as every citizen of the country deserved criticism for condoning the injustice and forgiveness in accordance with the Divine Commandment.
The message Abraham Lincoln was attempting to convey was that the future prosperity of the nation depended on the following choices of people. The way to improvement, according to the President, was in the unity of the country, abolition of slavery, and kindness to fellowmen. The sin of slavery, which was the responsibility of the entire nation, had to be overcome forever, and the “re-United States” had to fully become “the free United States” (Morel, 2015, p. 461).
A black woman-activist of the times of the Civil War, who is the created character, should have approved the words of the President. She would have probably been the content of the slavery abolishment and filled with hopes for a brighter future. Moreover, she would have been thinking of her future actions to improve the status of women in the USA and to fight against inequality.
Morel, L. (2015). Of Justice and Mercy in Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. American Political Thought, 4(3), 455-466. Web.