The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Trent Affair was a diplomatic incident in 1861 during the American Civil War that threatened a war between the United States and the United Kingdom. The U. S. Navy illegally captured two Confederate diplomats from a British ship; the United States ended the incident by releasing the diplomats. On November 8, 1861, the USS San Jacinto, commanded by Union Captain Charles Wilkes, intercepted the British mail packet RMS Trent and removed, as contraband of war, two Confederate diplomats: James Murray Mason and John Slidell; the envoys were bound for Britain and France to press the Confederacy's case for diplomatic recognition and to lobby for possible financial and military support. Public reaction in the United States was to celebrate the capture and rally against Britain, threatening war. In the Confederate States, the hope was that the incident would lead to a permanent rupture in Anglo-American relations and even war or at least diplomatic recognition by Britain. Confederates realized their independence depended on intervention by Britain and France.
In Britain, the public disapproved of this violation of neutral rights and insult to their national honor. The British government demanded an apology and the release of the prisoners and took steps to strengthen its military forces in Canada and the Atlantic. President Abraham Lincoln and his top advisors did not want to risk war with Britain over this issue. After several tense weeks, the crisis was resolved when the Lincoln administration released the envoys and disavowed Captain Wilkes's actions, though without a formal apology. Mason and Slidell resumed their voyage to Britain but failed in their goal of achieving diplomatic recognition. Relations with the United States were strained and verged on war when Britain supported the Confederacy in the early part of the American Civil War. British leaders were annoyed from the 1840s to the 1860s by what they saw as Washington's pandering to the democratic mob, as in the Oregon boundary dispute in 1844 to 1846. However, British middle-class public opinion sensed a common "Special Relationship" between the two peoples, based on language, evangelical Protestantism, liberal traditions, extensive trade.
During the affair, London drew Washington retreated. The Confederacy and its president, Jefferson Davis, believed from the beginning that European dependence on Southern cotton for its textile industry would lead to diplomatic recognition and intervention, in the form of mediation. Historian Charles Hubbard wrote: Davis left foreign policy to others in government and, rather than developing an aggressive diplomatic effort, tended to expect events to accomplish diplomatic objectives; the new president was committed to the notion that cotton would secure recognition and legitimacy from the powers of Europe. One of the Confederacy's strongest hopes at the time was the belief that the British, fearing a devastating impact on their textile mills, would recognize the Confederate States and break the Union blockade; the men Davis selected as secretary of state and emissaries to Europe were chosen for political and personal reasons—not for their diplomatic potential. This was due, in part, to the belief that cotton could accomplish the Confederate objectives with little help from Confederate diplomats.
The Union's main focus in foreign affairs was just the opposite: to prevent any British recognition of the Confederacy. Notwithstanding a minor border incident in the Pacific Northwest, Anglo-American relations had improved throughout the 1850s; the issues of the Oregon territory, British involvement in Texas, the Canada–US border dispute had all been resolved in the 1840s. Secretary of State William H. Seward, the primary architect of American foreign policy during the war, intended to maintain the policy principles that had served the country well since the American Revolution: non-intervention by the United States in the affairs of other countries and resistance to foreign intervention in the affairs of the United States and other countries in the Western Hemisphere. British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston urged a policy of neutrality, his international concerns were centered in Europe, where both Napoleon III's ambitions in Europe and Bismarck's rise in Prussia were occurring. During the Civil War, British reactions to American events were shaped by past British policies and their own national interests, both strategically and economically.
In the Western Hemisphere, as relations with the United States improved, Britain had become cautious about confronting the United States over issues in Central America. As a naval power, Britain had a long record of insisting that neutral nations honor its blockades of hostile countries. From the earliest days of the war, that perspective would guide the British away from taking any action that might have been viewed in Washington as a direct challenge to the Union blockade. From the perspective of the South, British policy amounted to de facto support for the Union blockade and caused great frustration; the Russian Minister in Washington, Eduard de Stoeckl, noted, "The Cabinet of London is watching attentively the internal dissensions of the Union and awaits the result with an impatience which it has difficulty in disguising." De Stoeckl advised his government that Britain would recognize the Confederate States at its earliest opportunity. Cassius Clay, the US minister in Russia, stated, "I saw at a glance where the feeling of England was.
They hoped for our ruin! They are jealous of our power, they care neither for the North. They hate both."At the beginning of the Civil War, the U. S. minister to the Court of St. James was Charles Francis Adams, he made clear that Washington considered the war an internal insurrec
National Bank Act
The National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864 were two United States federal banking acts that established a system of national banks, created the United States National Banking System. They encouraged development of a national currency backed by bank holdings of U. S. Treasury securities and established the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as part of the United States Department of the Treasury and a system of nationally chartered banks; the Act shaped today's national banking system and its support of a uniform U. S. banking policy. At the beginning Second Bank of the United States in 1836, the control of banking regimes devolved to the states. Different states adopted policies including a total ban on banking, a single state-chartered bank, limited chartering of banks, free entry. While the relative success of New York's "free banking" laws led a number of states to adopt a free-entry banking regime, the system remained poorly integrated across state lines. Though all banknotes were uniformly denominated in dollars, notes would circulate at a steep discount in states beyond their issue.
In the end, there were well-publicized frauds arising in states like Michigan, which had adopted free entry regimes but did not require redeemability of bank issues for specie. The perception of dangerous "wildcat" banking, along with the poor integration of the U. S. banking system, led to increasing public support for a uniform national banking regime. The United States Government, on the other hand, still had limited taxation capabilities, so had an interest in the seigniorage potential of a national bank. In 1846, the Polk Administration created a United States Treasury system that moved public funds from private banks to Treasury branches in order to fund the Mexican–American War. However, without a national currency, the revenue generated. One of the first attempts to issue a national currency came in the early days of the Civil War when Congress approved the Legal Tender Act of 1862, allowing the issue of $150 million in national notes known as greenbacks and mandating that paper money be issued and accepted in lieu of gold and silver coins.
The bills were backed only by the national government's promise to redeem them and their value was dependent on public confidence in the government as well as the ability of the government to give out specie in exchange for the bills in the future. Many thought this promise backing the bills was about as good as the green ink printed on one side, hence the name "greenbacks."The Second Legal Tender Act, enacted July 11, 1862, a Joint Resolution of Congress, the Third Legal Tender Act, enacted March 3, 1863, expanded the limit to $450 million. The largest amount of greenbacks outstanding at any one time was calculated as $447,300,203.10. The National Bank Act known as the National Currency Act, was passed in the Senate by a 23–21 vote; the main goal of this act was to create a single national currency and to eradicate the problem of notes from multiple banks circulating simultaneously. The Act established national banks that could issue notes which were backed by the United States Treasury and printed by the government itself.
The quantity of notes that a bank was allowed to issue was proportional to the bank's level of capital deposited with the Comptroller of the Currency at the Treasury. To further control the currency, the Act taxed notes issued by state and local banks pushing non-federally issued paper out of circulation; the National Banking Act of 1863 was superseded by the National Banking Act of 1864 just one year later. The new act established federally-issued bank charters, which took banking out of the hands of state governments. Before the act, charters were granted by state legislatures, they could be influenced by bribes. This problem was resolved to some degree by free banking laws in some states, but it was not until this act was passed that free banking was established on a uniform, national level and charter issuance was taken out of the hands of discriminating and corrupt state legislatures; the first bank to receive a national charter was the First National Bank of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first new national bank to open was The First National Bank of Iowa.
Additionally, the new Act converted more than 1,500 state banks to national banks. The National Bank Act of 1863 was passed on February 25th, 1863, was the first attempt to establish a central bank after the failures of the First and Second Banks of the United States, served as the predecessor to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913; the act allowed the creation of national banks, set out a plan for establishing a national currency backed by government securities held by other banks, gave the federal government the ability to sell war bonds and securities. National banks were chartered by the federal government, were subject to stricter regulation. A high tax on state banks was levied to discourage competition, by 1865 most state banks had either received national charters or collapsed; the 1864 act, based on a New York State law, brought the federal government into active supervision of commercial banks. It established the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency with the responsibility of chartering and supervising all national banks.
On July 13, 1866, the banking Act of 1865 was extended beyond requiring every national banking association, state bank, or state banking association to pay a 10% tax on any note
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865; the amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption, it was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War. Since the American Revolution, states had divided into states that allowed or states that prohibited slavery. Slavery was implicitly permitted in the original Constitution through provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 known as the Three-Fifths Compromise, which detailed how each slave state's enslaved population would be factored into its total population count for the purposes of apportioning seats in the United States House of Representatives and direct taxes among the states. Though many slaves had been declared free by President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their post-war status was uncertain.
On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865; the measure was swiftly ratified by nearly all Northern states, along with a sufficient number of border states up to the death of Lincoln, but approval came with President Andrew Johnson, who encouraged the "reconstructed" Southern states of Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia to agree, which brought the count to 27 states, caused it to be adopted before the end of 1865. Though the amendment formally abolished slavery throughout the United States, factors such as Black Codes, white supremacist violence, selective enforcement of statutes continued to subject some black Americans to involuntary labor in the South. In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment was cited in case law, but has been used to strike down peonage and some race-based discrimination as "badges and incidents of slavery."
The Thirteenth Amendment applies to the actions of private citizens, while the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments apply only to state actors. The Thirteenth Amendment enables Congress to pass laws against sex trafficking and other modern forms of slavery. Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Slavery existed in all of the original thirteen British North American colonies. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, the United States Constitution did not expressly use the words slave or slavery but included several provisions about unfree persons; the Three-Fifths Compromise, Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons".
This clause was a compromise between Southerners who wished slaves to be counted as'persons' for congressional representation and northerners rejecting these out of concern of too much power for the South, because representation in the new Congress would be based on population in contrast to the one-vote-for-one-state principle in the earlier Continental Congress. Under the Fugitive Slave Clause, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, "No person held to Service or Labour in one State" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 allowed Congress to pass legislation outlawing the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis in Dred Scott v. Sandford for treating slaves as property.
Stimulated by the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence, between 1777 and 1804 every Northern state provided for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery. Most of the slaves involved were household servants. No Southern state did so, the slave population of the South continued to grow, peaking at 4 million people in 1861. An abolitionist movement headed by such figures as William Lloyd Garrison grew in strength in the North, calling for the end of slavery nationwide and exacerbating tensions between North and South; the American Colonization Society, an alliance between abolitionists who felt the races should be kept separated and slaveholders who feared the presence of freed blacks would encourage slave rebellions, called for the emigration and colonization of both free blacks and slaves to Africa. Its views were endorsed by politicians such as Henry Clay, who feared that the main abolitionist movement would provoke a civil war. Proposals to eliminate slavery by constitutional amendment were introduced by Representative Arthur Livermore in 1818 and by John Quincy Adams in 1839, but failed to gain significant traction.
As the country continued to expand, the issue of slavery in its new territories became the dominant national issue. The Southern position was that slaves were property and therefore could be moved to the territories like all other forms of property; the 1820 Missouri Compromise provided for the admission of Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the Senate's equality between the regions. In 1846, the Wilmot Proviso was introduced to a war appropriations bill to ban slavery in all territories acquired in the Mexican–Ameri
The Overland Campaign known as Grant's Overland Campaign and the Wilderness Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, general-in-chief of all Union armies, directed the actions of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, other forces against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Although Grant suffered severe losses during the campaign, it was a strategic Union victory, it inflicted proportionately higher losses on Lee's army and maneuvered it into a siege at Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, in just over eight weeks. Crossing the Rapidan River on May 4, 1864, Grant sought to defeat Lee's army by placing his forces between Lee and Richmond and inviting an open battle. Lee surprised Grant by attacking the larger Union army aggressively in the Battle of the Wilderness, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. Unlike his predecessors in the Eastern Theater, Grant did not withdraw his army following this setback, but instead maneuvered to the southeast, resuming his attempt to interpose his forces between Lee and Richmond.
Lee's army was able to get into position to block this movement. At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Grant attacked segments of the Confederate defensive line, hoping for a breakthrough, but the only results were again heavy losses for both sides. Grant maneuvered again. Here, Lee held clever defensive positions that provided an opportunity to defeat portions of Grant's army, but illness prevented Lee from attacking in time to trap Grant; the final major battle of the campaign was waged at Cold Harbor, in which Grant gambled that Lee's army was exhausted and ordered a massive assault against strong defensive positions, resulting in disproportionately heavy Union casualties. Resorting to maneuver a final time, Grant surprised Lee by stealthily crossing the James River, threatening to capture the city of Petersburg, the loss of which would doom the Confederate capital; the resulting Siege of Petersburg led to the eventual surrender of Lee's army in April 1865 and the effective end of the Civil War.
The campaign included two long-range raids by Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan. In a raid toward Richmond, legendary Confederate cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. In a raid attempting to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad to the west, Sheridan was thwarted by Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton at the Battle of Trevilian Station, the largest all-cavalry battle of the war. In March 1864, Grant was summoned from the Western Theater, promoted to lieutenant general, given command of all Union armies, he chose to make his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, although Meade retained formal command of that army. Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman succeeded Grant in command of most of the western armies. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the heart of the Confederacy from multiple directions: Grant and Benjamin Butler against Lee near Richmond, Virginia; this was the first time the Union armies would have a coordinated offensive strategy across a number of theaters.
Although previous Union campaigns in Virginia targeted the Confederate capital of Richmond as their primary objective, this time the goal was to capture Richmond by aiming for the destruction of Lee's army. Lincoln had long advocated this strategy for his generals, recognizing that the city would fall after the loss of its principal defensive army. Grant ordered Meade, "Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also." Although he hoped for a quick, decisive battle, Grant was prepared to fight a war of attrition. He meant to "hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources until by mere attrition, if in no other way, there should be nothing left to him but an equal submission with the loyal section of our common country to the constitution and laws of the land." Both Union and Confederate casualties could be high, but the Union had greater resources to replace lost soldiers and equipment. Despite Grant's superior numbers, he had manpower challenges. Following their severe beating at the Battle of Gettysburg the previous year, the I Corps and the III Corps had been disbanded and their survivors reallocated to other corps, which damaged unit cohesion and morale.
Because he was operating on the offensive in enemy territory, Grant had to defend his bases of supply and the lines extending from them to his army in the field. Furthermore, since many of his soldiers' three-year enlistments were about to expire, they were reluctant to participate in dangerous assaults. To deal with these challenges, Grant supplemented his forces by reassigning soldiers manning the heavy artillery batteries around Washington, D. C. to infantry regiments. The Overland Campaign began as Grant's forces crossed the Rapidan River on May 4, 1864. Grant's objective was to force an engagement with Lee, outside of his Mine Run fortifications, by either drawing his forces out or turning them. Lee, displaying the audacity that characterized his generalship, moved out
Lincoln's House Divided Speech
The House Divided Speech was an address given by Abraham Lincoln President of the United States, on June 16, 1858, at what was the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, after he had accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination as that state's US senator. The speech became the launching point for his unsuccessful campaign for the seat, held by Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln's remarks in Springfield depict the danger of slavery-based disunion, it rallied Republicans across the North. Along with the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address, the speech became one of the best-known speeches of his career; the best-known passage of the speech is this: A house divided against itself. I believe this government cannot endure, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided, it will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction.
Lincoln's goals were to differentiate himself from Douglas - the incumbent - and to voice a prophecy publicly. Douglas had long advocated popular sovereignty under which the settlers in each new territory would decide their own status as a slave or free state. Lincoln, responded that the Dred Scott decision had closed the door on Douglas's preferred option, leaving the Union with only two remaining outcomes: the country would become either all slave or all free. Now that the North and the South had come to hold distinct opinions in the question of slavery, now the issue had come to permeate every other political question, the Union would soon no longer be able to function. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government can not endure, half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided, it will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction.
Have we no tendency to the latter condition? Let any one who doubts contemplate that now complete legal combination— piece of machinery so to speak—compounded of the Nebraska doctrine, the Dred Scott decision; the Kansas-Nebraska Act opened all the national territory to slavery.... This... had been provided for... in the notable argument of "squatter sovereignty," otherwise called "sacred right of self government," which latter phrase, though expressive of the only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted in this attempted use of it as to amount to just this: That if any one man, choose to enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to object. While the Nebraska Bill was passing through Congress, a law case, involving the question of a negro's freedom... was passing through the U. S. Circuit Court for the District of Missouri; the Negro's name was "Dred Scott".... that whether the holding a negro in actual slavery in a free state, makes him free, as against the holder, the United States courts will not decide, but will leave to be decided by the courts of any slave state the negro may be forced into by the master.
This point is made, not to be pressed immediately... the logical conclusion that what Dred Scott's master might lawfully do with Dred Scott, in the free state Illinois, every other master may lawfully do with any other one, or one thousand slaves, in Illinois, or in any other free state. While the opinion of... Chief Justice Taney, in the Dred Scott case... expressly declare that the Constitution of the United States neither permits congress nor a territorial legislature to exclude slavery from any United States territory... omit to declare whether or not the same constitution permits a state, or the people of a state, to exclude it. This was a mere omission; the nearest approach to the point of declaring the power of a state over slavery, is made by Judge Nelson. He approaches it more than once, using the precise idea, the language too, of the Nebraska Act. On one occasion his exact language is, "except in cases where the power is restrained by the Constitution of the United States, the law of the State is supreme over the subject of slavery within its jurisdiction."
In what cases the power of the states is so restrained by the U. S. Constitution, is left an open question as the same question, as to the restraint on the power of the territories was left open in the Nebraska Act. Put that and that together, we have another nice little niche, which we may, ere long, see filled with another Supreme Court decision, declaring that the Constitution of the United States does not permit a state to exclude slavery from its limits, and this may be expected if the doctrine of "care not whether slavery be voted down or voted up" shall gain upon the public mind sufficiently to give p
The Gettysburg Address is a speech that U. S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, it is one of the best-known speeches in American history. Although not the day's primary speech, Lincoln's crafted address came to be seen as one of the greatest and most influential statements of American national purpose. In just 271 words, beginning with the now iconic phrase "Four score and seven years ago," referring to the signing of the Declaration of Independence eighty-seven years earlier, Lincoln described the USA as a nation "conceived in Liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," and represented the Civil War as a test that would decide whether such a nation, the Union sundered by the secession crisis, could endure.
He extolled the sacrifices of those who died at Gettysburg in defense of those principles, exhorted his listeners to 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. Despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, its exact wording is disputed; the five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand differ in a number of details, differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech. Neither is it clear. Modern scholarship locates the speakers' platform 40 yards away from the traditional site in Soldiers' National Cemetery at the Soldiers' National Monument, which means that it stood within the private, adjacent Evergreen Cemetery. Following the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1–3, 1863, the removal of the fallen Union soldiers from the Gettysburg Battlefield graves and their reburial in graves at the National Cemetery at Gettysburg began on October 17.
In inviting President Lincoln to the ceremonies, David Wills, of the committee for the November 19 Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, wrote, "It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks."On the train trip from Washington, D. C. to Gettysburg on November 18, Lincoln was accompanied by three members of his Cabinet, William Seward, John Usher and Montgomery Blair, several foreign officials, his secretary John Nicolay, his assistant secretary, John Hay. During the trip Lincoln remarked to Hay. Hay noted that during the speech Lincoln's face had "a ghastly color" and that he was "sad, mournful haggard." After the speech, when Lincoln boarded the 6:30 pm train for Washington, D. C. he was weak, with a severe headache. A protracted illness followed, it thus seems likely that Lincoln was in the prodromal period of smallpox when he delivered the Gettysburg address. The program organized for that day by Wills and his committee included: Music, by Birgfeld's Band Prayer, by Reverend T. H. Stockton, D.
D. Music, by the Marine Band, directed by Francis Scala Oration, by Hon. Edward Everett Music, Hymn by B. B. French, Esq. music by Wilson G Horner, sung by Baltimore Glee Club Dedicatory Remarks, by the President of the United States Dirge, sung by Choir selected for the occasion Benediction, by Reverend H. L. Baugher, D. D. While it is Lincoln's short speech that has gone down in history as one of the finest examples of English public oratory, it was Everett's two-hour oration, slated to be the "Gettysburg address" that day, his now seldom-read 13,607-word oration began: Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature. But the duty to which you have called me must be performed, and ended two hours with: But they, I am sure, will join us in saying, as we bid farewell to the dust of these martyr-heroes, that wheresoever throughout the civilized world the accounts of this great warfare are read, down to the latest period of recorded time, in the glorious annals of our common country, there will be no brighter page than that which relates the Battles of Gettysburg.
Lengthy dedication addresses like Everett's were common at cemeteries in this era. The tradition began in 1831 when Justice Joseph Story delivered the dedication address at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts; those addresses linked cemeteries to the mission of Union. Lincoln's address followed the oration by Edward Everett, who subsequently included a copy of the Gettysburg Address in his 1864 book about the event (Address of the Hon. Edward Everett At the Consecration of the National Cemetery At Gettysburg, 19th November 1863, with the Dedicatory Speech of President Lincoln, the Other Exercises of the Occasion.