Lincoln and Rhetoric

Lincoln occupies different rhetorial positions in public discourse because he did not want to be the final voice as far as the issue of slavery was concerned. His main objective was to “save the union” and whether in the process slaves were saved, it would just be a bonus. Lincoln chose to be the voice that got many talking about slavery and attempted to promote public discourse over the issue without giving his two cents. Because of the divided state of the country, Lincoln understood that both sides would not be pleased by his decision to “destory slavery” or “save slavery.” Ultimately, the states would have to decide for themselves whether the insitution of slavery would be worth saving or the country. Though Lincoln has gotten tons of credit in regards to freeing 4 million slaves with his Empanciation Proclamation, Lincoln did not really free slaves. Because this was during the civil war in 1863, he did not have any control over the southern states since they had already seceded from the country. Giving Lincoln credit for freeing slaves is giving credit someone who in reality didn’t really do much.

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