AP Short Answer
To assess for understanding, students will use the historical thinking skills developed in the close reading of these two speeches and their knowledge of historical evidence to answer the following AP U.S. History Short Answer Question.
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend” it.
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
~ Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861
Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came…
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
~ Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address March 4, 1865
Using the excerpts, briefly explain (1), (2), and (3)
- One important similarity between Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses.
- One important difference between Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses.
- One specific policy of Abraham Lincoln that substantiates either A or B.