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date: 28 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

On March 4, 1865, at the start of his second term, President Lincoln gave what remains the shortest inaugural address in history. In it, he strove to explain how a merciful God could have allowed so cruel a war and how, from the first, the saving of the Union had been bound up with the destruction of slavery.

Source: Abraham Lincoln, “Second Inaugural Address,” from Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 8: 332–333.

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