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Government surveillance. No one needs a history degree to know the fight for equality and popular democracy did not end, with the American Civil War, in Lincoln led a war effort which resulted in the abolition of slavery. We should never forget this — particularly when powerful reminders are available.

A Brief Overview of the American Civil War

Mark the th anniversary of Lincoln's speech with a viewing of 12 Years a Slave and you will be reminded, with a succession of terrible jolts, that in the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln simply stated the truth. The writer of that film, Tony Ridley, is American. But like me the director, Steve McQueen, is British. So is his star, Chiwetel Ejiofor. The female lead, Lupita Nyong'o, is Kenyan. The Gettysburg Address is a foundation stone of American history, but like the Declaration of Independence which it cites , it also resonates around the world.

Lincoln's words speak clearly to those of us who are from countries, however benignly governed, in which all men are not deemed to be equal. It speaks more urgently to those still living under slavery, or theocracy, or dictatorship.

We are all equal — regardless of birth, colour, religious belief or the lack of it, sex or sexual orientation. We are all equal regardless of wealth. We have made strides in recognising that equality, but in the century and a half since slavery fell we have not come close to perfecting it. Our governments should at least attempt to do so. Today, then, we might ask: called upon to read Lincoln's words, could any of our leaders possibly do them justice?

Mark H. Providing Context To gain initial background and perspective, students should become familiar with a textbook explanation of the Battle of Gettysburg. Gettysburg monument to Amos Humiston.


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How the Civil War Changed Your Life

Stefan Papp Jr. Civil War. By Dr. James McPherson. National Archives. Library of Congress. Join t Fight. Explore the American Civil War.

A Brief Overview of the American Civil War | American Battlefield Trust

North and South. States' Rights.


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    Why Non-Slaveholding Southerners Fought. Quick Facts.

    Civil War Facts. The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 51, acres in 24 states!