The Gettysburg Address lives in popular imagination as sweetly
poetic patriotism. While that perspective has value, deeper
meanings in Abraham Lincoln’s great words are often overlooked.
This conversation explores how the Gettysburg Address asks what it
means to be an American. What is the meaning of the phrase “all men
are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence, and in
Lincoln’s quotation of that phrase? How does the Constitution fit a
discussion of equality? Though the promise of equality now seems
ideal and inevitable, Lincoln’s foes dismissed the Declaration’s
reference to equality as mere opinion, with no legal standing, and
instead invoked the Constitution, because it allowed slavery.
Beyond equality, what was the “great task” that Lincoln said
remained? And what is the fundamental basis of our government? By
asking what it means to be an American, and what America is,
Lincoln joined a conversation that continues today.
Sponsored by NY Council for the Humanities
To RSVP, call 845-565-2076 or register online at: https://my.msmc.edu/secure/commedregistration/