Ben Martin, patriotic historian and West Point graduate, examines three major speeches given by President Lincoln within their historical context. The Emancipation Proclamation in January, 1863, as the Civil War persists, Lincoln declared all slaves in the states that had seceded from the Union to be free. Four and a half months after the Union Army defeated the Confederate Army at Gettysburg in the bloodiest battle on American soil, Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address. His profound speech is 272 words and is acknowledged as one of the most important speeches in American history. Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address was given 41 days before his assassination. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the first of three Reconstruction Amendments, proclaimed December 18, 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a convicted crime. This amendment is noted as the culmination of Lincoln’s lifetime work.
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