by President Abraham Lincoln
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The Emancipation Proclamation
- President Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the height of the Civil War. It was directed at the eleven states still in rebellion and decreed that all slaves in these rebelling states were freed.Pair “The Emancipation Proclamation” with “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” to allow students to compare two moments in history during the Civil War. How did the abolishment of slavery effect the events of the Civil War?
The War Prayer
- Mark Twain
In Mark Twain's "The War Prayer," a stranger visits a congregation praying for victory in war. In front of the entire congregation, this stranger outlines the cost on human life that this victory would entail. "The War Prayer" is Twain's scathing indictment on war and blind patriotism.Pair “The War Prayer” with “Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” and ask students to discuss any similar central ideas, themes, motifs, etc. How did the American Civil War affect American literature and how people regarded war? How do both texts portray the cost of war? How does the question of God’s will in war work within the text of the passages?
Speech on Slavery
- Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was well known for his opposition to slavery, believing that it went against the core principles of the nation’s Founding Fathers. In this text, Lincoln contrasts slavery with its better counterpart, free labor, and aligns it with the necessity of equality in society.Pair “Speech on Slavery” with “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” and ask students to discuss President Lincoln’s views on slavery. Did his views on slavery change in the time between these two speeches?
The Gettysburg Address
- President Abraham Lincoln
“The Gettysburg Address” emphasizes the importance of continuing to fight for the American principles of liberty and equality.Pair “The Gettysburg Address” with “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” and ask students to discuss President Lincoln’s outlook on the war represented in each text. In “The Gettysburg Address,” President Lincoln talks about ending the war to avenge those who have been lost – how do his motivations to end the war expressed in this text compare to the motivations discussed in “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address?”
A Nation Divided: North vs. South
“A Nation Divided: North vs. South” discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the Union and the Confederacy during the American Civil War.Pair “A Nation Divided: North vs. South” with “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” to provide students with historical context on the American Civil War. What does “A Nation Divided: North vs. South” reveal about the causes of the war? How does President Lincoln plan to reunite the nation, despite the disagreements that separated it?
Excerpt from Spirit of Laws
- Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu
In these excerpts from Montesquieu’s political theory, the philosopher reflects on the origins of slavery and inequality using both logical reasoning and satire.Pair “Excerpts from Spirit of Laws” with “Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” and ask students to discuss the common theme of the natural place of slavery in human societies.
Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth
- John Wilkes Booth
In his final diary entry, John Wilkes Booth justifies his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and wonders at his fate.Pair “Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth” with “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” and ask students to view Booth’s actions in light of Lincoln’s vision for the country after the end of the Civil War. Both men invoke God in their speeches. Why did they do so? How did they utilize God to help prove their arguments?