Can you compare and contrast the political assumptions in Robert E. Lee's "Letter to His Son" with those in Abraham Lincoln's famous speech at Gettysburg?Compare & Contrast the political...

Can you compare and contrast the political assumptions in Robert E. Lee's "Letter to His Son" with those in Abraham Lincoln's famous speech at Gettysburg?

Compare & Contrast the political assumptions in  Robert E. Lee's "Letter To His Son" with those in Abraham Lincoln's The Gettysburg Address.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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General Robert E. Lee's letter is a private document meant for his son only. Lincoln's address at Gettysburg was a public speech that effect soldiers, families, and the whole nation. Lee's letter was mostly about giving advice to his son about the qualities that he viewed were proper and right in order to be a good person in life. Among those qualities listed were honesty, courage, integrity, honor and paying special attention to remaining at one's post, or duty. After Lee states that no one should ever lower their standards for pupularity, nor hurt anyone else on purpose, nor gossip behind people's backs, he discusses a "dark day" when many thought the world would end 100 years before that time. When many from a Connecticut legislature wanted to go home because of fear of the end of the world, one man stayed at his post and vowed to do his duty till his death. On the other hand, Lincoln used words like dedicate and consecrate to make his points about duty, although he never used "duty" in his speech. Lincoln implies in his speech that since the United States was formed for the equality and freedom of all men, that the nation should start living that moral code. The thought or theory was nice up until that point, but after Gettysburg, many people had been dying for that principle. In order for those deaths not to be in vain, Lincoln advocated for change and  responsibility of Americans to live by what they believed when the nation was founded for freedom and self-governance. Lee, in fact, tell his son how to govern himself in society in the same but different way which seems more personal.  Lincoln, though, seems to say that it is time to start living the beliefs upon which the nation had been founded because so much sacrifice for it had been and would be made for it. 

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