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With Charity for All: Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and Respect

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • In what ways did Abraham Lincoln demonstrate respect in order to enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for himself and others in his Second Inaugural Address?
  • What was Abraham Lincoln’s identity during the Civil War? To what extent do you see emphasis on the virtue of respect in his words and actions?
  • As the Civil War drew to a close and he began his second term as president, how did Lincoln see his purpose as president?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Students will analyze Abraham Lincoln’s character as a leader and his commitment to respecting people who had fought against the Union during the Civil War.
  • Students will examine Lincoln’s understanding of respect as a practical virtue.
  • Students will understand why cultivating respect affects the future of the United States.
  • Students will demonstrate respect in their own lives to protect freedom.

Student Handouts