Skip to comments.History Question
Posted on 11/25/2007 5:05:15 PM PST by Bear_Slayer
I am researching the phrase
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.
that was used by Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address
Specifically the part "of the people, by the people, for the people."
Is this phrase used anywhere in our constitution or DOI?
To my knowledge, no. But then again, you might want to check my knowledge.
Nope. This was Lincoln’s own rhetorical genius. The parallelism of prepositional phrases really emphasizes the stake the American population has in its government.
Will follow the thread.
The idea though is definitely found in our founding documents though? We have a particapatory government at all levels.
Apparently it was just a bunch of meaningless drivel to Lincoln, considering the fact that he was denying a segment of people from exercising their freedom.
The principle is there but the words are far later in coming.
‘For example, who said “government of the people, by the people, for the people”? Lincoln, right? Well, yes, but Theodore Parker had also said before Lincoln that the “great political idea of America” is “a government of all, for all, and by all.” At the end of the first volume of his Parker biography, Dean Grodzins thus credits Parker with coining the phrase that was immortalized in the Gettysburg Address. But a Hungarian historian I read recently, Steven Bela Vardy, credits Lajos Kossuth, the great Hungarian revolutionary, as Lincoln’s inspiration. In 1852, while touring the United States, Kossuth said democracy was “All for the people, and all by the people. Nothing about the people, without the people,” a construction that Vardy says was “borrowed in a slightly altered form by President Lincoln.” It’s not impossible: Lincoln was a fervent admirer of Kossuth during his tour, as was Parker. But how could such a question really be settled? And how would we set the bounds for the questioning? (Who first started referring to “the people” with a definite article? And how far back in the Western canon can we trace the habit of stringing the prepositions “for,” “by,” and “of” together?) Wouldn’t answering these questions be like trying to figure out who first “said” the blues? ‘
I'm grateful for the Wycliffe discovery, myself, but since I'm Catholic I suppose I should now make some pejorative remark about Wycliffe?
According to a biographer, in the late eighteenth century, playwright-politician Richard Sheridan (1751-1816) belonged to a London group called the Westminster Association for Reform, whose slogan was “Government for the people, through the people, by the people.” In 1794 an English book on America by one Thomas Cooper included this observation about it’s political system: “The government is the government of the people, and for the people.” Variations on this theme were common in nineteenth-century America. Thirty-three years before Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, Daniel Webster spoke of “people’s government, made for the people, made by the people and answerable to the people.”
” . . so that they could maintain a system in which they denied some people freedom?”
Well, sort of. Slavery was the system that the U.S maintained before, during and for awhile, after the WBTS. But if the goal for the South had been to simple maintain that system for themselves they would have simply remained in the Union.
No, actually, without expansion of slavery into new states, slavery would have been extinguished politically. This is why a Republican President was unacceptable to the South.
You’ll have to show me a reference on that.
And that segment you're talking about rebelled in order to ensure that one-third of their population couldn't exercise any freedom at all. So talk about the pot calling the kettle 'grimy arse'.
Ah, but they couldn't protect slave imports or guarantee that slavery was expanded to the territories or that no state could outlaw slavery like the confederate constitution did. So it was half a loaf under the real Constitution or the whole loaf under the confederate one. Why is it surprising they chose rebellion?
So, according to your statement, we must conclude there were no slaves in the north and slavery would have been brought to an end by Lincoln had there been no secession. Damn. I missed that in my history classes.
There is nothing to say that they would not have been able to keep the whole loaf they already possessed. And there was no reason for them to believe that they could not take their marbles and go home.
And, of course, they did not choose rebellion. They chose secession. But you knew that already.
Try reading the declarations of the causes of secession or the speeches of the secession commissioners. Link
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