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Abraham Lincoln

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Lincoln's address embodies the true civic virtues of what a Union represents. He encapsulates an air of dignity as he incorporates the words of George Washington in which "religion and morality" along with knowledge are indispensable supporters to political prosperity. Union, according to Lincoln, surpasses the obvious, rather than just sheltering the fundamental laws ingrained within the Constitution, its final authority rests with God. It is the moral laws of God which supersede all natural law (Winthrop). Lincoln's moralistic approach is lucid without ever descending into opportunism. His ability to empower his decisions and opinion with moral decorum in light of his aggressors is truly inspiring. Once the Union is sheltered Lincoln then fights for liberation of the slaves, for as he see it liberty and union are one, now and forever. Lincoln views the Constitution as a document which, when applied in its spirit, would eventually assure that all people in America, slave or free, would be equal before the law.

Conversely, Davis' address is sparse in the virtues of liberty and limited in its understanding of the Union and of the Constitution. Davis believes the Constitution can be used to extend either moral or amoral principles depending on whether such values extend or contain slavery. He has replaced the Constitution with the earlier Articles of Confederation and in so doing has repeated many of the errors of the early republic. He fails to recollect Jay's Treaty and Shay's Rebellion as reason for instilling a more effective central government. It is this absences of an effective political system that weakens Davis regime and renders his government incapable of fully mobilizing the material and spiritual resources needed to win the battle. His failure to regulate Generals and collect taxes are just some examples of the debilitating effects of a loose Confederacy of states.

Lincoln stresses God's purposes rather than man's. Such theology transcends the boundaries of loyalty and devotion to one's own national ideals and seeks a superior moral ground in which to view the war. His humble nature reaffirms that judgment and reunion do not come from him, but from the supreme and unfathomable mysteries of divine providence. The persuasive power of Scriptures which Lincoln has incorporated into his address clearly intensifies the greatness of his testimony. It is within the folds of Scriptures that Lincoln finds the true origin of the Civil War, the righteous judgment of God. Lincoln finds comfort in psalms and prayers and draws from them the revelation of a just and fair God. It is his belief that slavery

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