Paideia High School/Gettysburg Address

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Gettysburg Address is a Paideia Unit Plan.


Column One[edit]

Exordium[edit]

Memorial version

This is the version of the text inscribed on the walls at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. This instructional version includes clickable links to certain words to help with vocabulary and background knowledge.

Text[edit]

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth
 on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and
 dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing
 whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so
 dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-
field of that war
. We have come to dedicate a portion of
 that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave
 their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether
fitting and proper that we should do this.
  But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot
 consecrate…we cannot hallow…this ground. The brave men,
 living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it
 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 what they did here. It is for us, the
 living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
 work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly
 advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the
 great task remaining before us…that from these honored
 dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
 they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here
 highly resolve that these 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.

November 19, 1863

Listen[edit]

Watch and Listen[edit]

Video rendition of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Interpretation[edit]

Interpretation

Analysis of the first two sentences: (Fourscore and seven years ago) our fathers brought forth (on this continent) a new nation, conceived (in liberty), and dedicated (to the proposition) that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged (in a great civil war), testing whether that nation, or any nation (so conceived) and (so dedicated), can long endure.

Parallel Structures in the ending:

It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…

that from these honored dead we take increased devotion

to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion;

that we here highly resolve that these 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.

Erudition[edit]

The Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln's most famous speech and one of the most quoted political speeches in United States history, was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

There are several sources of the speech, five known manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address are each named for the associated person who received it from Lincoln. All versions differ in their wording, punctuation, and structure.

— Excerpted from Gettysburg Address on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.


The Five Manuscripts[edit]

The five manuscripts transcribed below comprise a complete collection of the drafts and copies of the speech that Lincoln personally composed. They are all essentially the same, with minor differences of phrasing and punctuation.
Nicolay Draft[edit]
Lincoln gave the earliest draft to his private secretary John Nicolay. The Nicolay copy is often called the "first draft."
Copy of Nicolay's draft of the Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal"
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow, this ground—The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, 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.







Hay Draft[edit]
This draft was given to Lincoln's other secretary John Hay. The Hay copy, which is sometimes referred to as the "second draft," was made either on the morning of its delivery or shortly after Lincoln's return to Washington.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battle field of that war. We are now have come to dedicate a portion of it as the a final resting place of for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our ^poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished ^work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before ^us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the that cause for which they here gave gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Everrett Copy[edit]
Mr. Edward Everett was collecting the speeches given at the Gettysburg dedication into one bound volume to sell for the benefit of stricken soldiers at New York's Sanitary Commission Fair. The Everett Copy, also known as the "Everett-Keyes" copy, was sent by President Lincoln to Edward Everett in early 1864.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it 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 what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these 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.

Bancroft Copy[edit]
Mr. George Bancroft requested this copy for inclusion in “Autograph Leaves of Our Country's Authors”, which he planned to sell at a Soldiers' and Sailors' Sanitary Fair in Baltimore. However it was unacceptable for "Autograph Leaves" as it was written on both sides of the paper, and Lincoln was asked to produce a more suitable copy.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it 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 what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these 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.

Bliss Copy[edit]
The Bliss Copy, once owned by the family of Colonel Alexander Bliss, Bancroft's stepson and publisher of "Autograph Leaves", is the only manuscript to which Lincoln affixed his signature.

Address delivered at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, 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 what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these 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.

Abraham Lincoln.

November 19, 1863

Four Score and Seven Years Ago (1776)[edit]

Events of 1776

Musical Perspectives and The Gettysburg Address[edit]

Songs of the Confederacy and Union

Battle Hymn of the Republic

God Save the South

The Martyr of Liberty

We Conquer or Die

Yellow Rose of Texas

Spirituals

Don't be weary, traveler: motet on a negro folk song motif : for six-part unaccompanied chorus of mixed voices

Free At Last

Gettysburg Address in Latin[edit]

The Gettysburg Address in Latin.

Column Two[edit]

Vocabulary Activities

1. Define the following words, as they are used in the Gettysburg Address:

Fourscore:

Proposition:

Engaged:

Dedicate:

Fitting:

Consecrate:

Hallow:

Detract:

Devotion:

Resolve:

Perish:

2. How long is “fourscore and seven years”?

3. Do the math—what year was “fourscore and seven” years before Lincoln gave this speech?

4. List the three active verbs used in the first sentence:

5. Contrast the imagery of those three verbs and their usage in the first sentence with the images in the last sentence:


Analysis Activities

1. What focus does Lincoln provide for his speech in the introductory sentence?

2. List the segments of speech that parallel each other in structure in the first sentence of paragraph three:

3. Copy sentences four and five (up to the second use of the word “devotion”) of paragraph three:

4. What is parallel in between these two sentences?

5. How does the parallel structure between those two sentences vary?

6. Where does Lincoln directly quote the Declaration of Independence?


Comprehension Questions

1. What idea does he say the civil war is testing?

2. What are the people there that day to do?

3. Who has hallowed that ground, and how did they do it?

4. What job is left for “us the living”?

5. If “the living” fail in their job, what will be the result?

6. If “the living” succeed in their job, what will be the result?

Column Three[edit]

Great Ideas Addressed in this Work[edit]

The term "great ideas" refers to the list of 102 ideas prominent in Great Books of the Western World.[1] and the 4000+ ideas listed in the "Index of Terms" in the same work [2]


Great Ideas Addressed in the Gettysburg Address

For each entry below, see Great Books of the Western World's Syntopicon at the volume and page numbers indicated. This information is quoted from Gateway to the Great Books.[3]

COURAGE, Vol. 2, pp. 252-267, especially

Topic 7c: Courage in war

DEMOCRACY, Vol 2, pp. 303-322, especially

Topic 4b: The deocratic realization of popular sovereignty: the safeguarding of natural rights

LIBERTY, Vol. 2, pp. 991-1012, especially

Topic 1f: The freedom of equals under government: the equality of citizenship

WAR AND PEACE, Vol. 3, pp 1010-1037, especially

Topic 2a: Civil war and war between states or international war

Sample Seminar Questions[edit]

The following table serves to guide teachers in understanding the types of questions that guide good seminars and how to write them. Good seminars follow the general structure given by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren in their classic How to Read a Book published by Simon & Schuster in 1972. Column one gives the four main questions that a demanding reader should ask of any book. These questions guide the types of questions and the purpose of each type used in good seminars. The last column serves to illustrate questions that might be asked of The Gettysburg Address.

From How to Read a Book

Adler & Van Doren (1972)

Question Type Purpose of Question Type Sample Seminar Questions

Answers to Be Supported from the Text

What is the book (work) about as a whole? Opening Identify main ideas What is the most important word or phrase in the Gettysburg Address?
What is being said in detail and how? Analytical Root out main ideas, assertions, and arguments What is the most important point Lincoln makes in the Gettysburg Address?
Is the book (work) true, in whole or part? Evaluative Make and support judgments Why does Lincoln say that those gathered cannot hallow the ground? Is he right?
What of it? Closing Relate judgments about ideas to one's own life Do you think the Gettysburg address has helped preserve the nation to the present day?

Sample High School Seminar[edit]

GETTYSBURG ADDRESS SEMINAR 25 March, 2011 Presentation Notes: 1. Queue up the No Casino Gettysburg - "The Gettysburg Address" video for viewing. 2. Queue up quotes by section. Introduction to the Seminar and Group Goals Seminars are “conversations, conducted in an orderly manner by the teacher who acts as leader or moderator of the discussion.” The purpose of seminars is for participants to deepen their understanding of the great ideas that shape us as human persons and citizens. In this seminar, let us set the goals of: 1. Speaking one at a time, and 2. Asking if the previous speaker is finished before voicing our own thoughts. These two goals enhance the “orderly manner” in which a good seminar unfolds. Introduction to the Work Welcome to today's seminar on the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln’s carefully crafted speech, delivered on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19th, 1863, has become one of the best-known in American history. In just two minutes, Lincoln kindled the ideals of courage, democracy, liberty, war, and peace in his listeners and all of us. He anchored us to our founding principles in the Declaration of Independence, which had been adopted exactly four score and seven years ago prior to the Battle of Gettysburg fought on July 1st through 3rd in 1863. He pointed us to our future, one in which democracy was an absurdity if it could not long endure and another in which that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Opening Questions—Breaking Open the Large Ideas In preparation for our seminar and our first question, let’s watch a modern video portrayal: No Casino Gettysburg - "The Gettysburg Address". As you watch, I want you to consider this question: Lincoln did not give his speech a title—it has simply become known as The Gettysburg Address; what is the most important idea in the speech? Would this idea serve well as a title? Analytical Questions—Breaking Open the Details of the Text Sentence One: Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Why does Lincoln invoke the Declaration of Independence in this sentence? [Students may need coaching to see that the first and last five words make this reference.] Why does Lincoln couch these opening words in birth imagery? [Students may need coaching to see that the words “fathers,” “brought forth,” and “conceived” provide this imagery.] Sentence Two: Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. What parallelism between the first and second sentences do you see. Why does Lincoln do it? Is his rhetoric successful? [Students may need coaching to see parallelism between references to war (the revolutionary war and this great civil war, repetition of the idea of the nation being conceived, and the addition of the idea of mortality in the words can long endure to complete the life/death imagery begun in sentence one.] Why does Lincoln introduce death imagery here? [Students may need coaching to see that the question of whether or not the nation “can long endure” provides this notion.] Sentences Three through Five: We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. Building on the discussion thus far, what rhetorical elements do you see in these lines? Sentences Six through Nine: But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow…this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it 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 what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. How does the rhetoric of life and death continued in this passage add to the power of the speech? The word “great” is used three times in the speech in a way that shows forethought; why did Lincoln do this? What was he saying? What is the rhetorical effect? Sentence Ten: It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these 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. How does Lincoln continue the life and death imagery? How does it tie into the first two lines? Why is this rhetoric so effective? There is a cadence to this speech, a meter, a rhythm. Note Lincoln’s use of the word “that” in these final lines to build to a final crescendo. Why is this important? Evaluative Questions—Evaluating the Presence of Truth The Battle of Gettysburg claimed 51,112 American lives. Yet, Lincoln called for continued fighting; he indicated that we were fighting for “a new birth of freedom,” for our “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Yet, the claim “war is not the answer” appears from headlines in major papers to bumper stickers. Was Lincoln right? Was war the answer? Closing Questions—Reflecting on the Significance You boys are from one to four years from registering for the draft. You girls may be called upon to sacrifice those you love to war or even to enter battle yourselves if you choose to pursue military service. For what are you willing to give the last full measure of devotion? For what ideals or causes are you willing to give your life or the life of one you love?   THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth

on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and
dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
 Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing
whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so
dedicated, can long endure. 

We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

 But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot
consecrate…we cannot hallow…this ground. The brave men,
living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it
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 what they did here. It is for us, the
living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly
advanced. 

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the

great task remaining before us…that from these honored
dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here
highly resolve that these 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.

References[edit]

  1. see especially Vols. 2 and 3, <enter additional bibliographical information>
  2. see especially vol. 3>
  3. <enter bibliographical information