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1 Name: Period: Topic: Abraham Lincoln example Speech This is an example speech. Your speech does not have to look exactly like this example, but you should try to follow this format as best you can. This speech is approximately 5 minutes long. For the copy of your speech you will turn in to Mr. Saska, make sure it is typed; double spaced; size 12 font. The heading should include your name; social studies period; and your historical figure. You may use notecards during your speech. There is no page limit to your speech. Introduction: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. You may have heard this quote before, maybe in a history class, or maybe on a patriotic holiday. But have you ever stopped and thought about what these words actually mean? Or wondered who said these words? I ll give you a hint- it s the same person who is on the $5 bill. If you haven t figured it out yet, it is I, Abraham Lincoln, that spoke these Commented [SD1]: Make sure to start your speech with a hook, something to grab the audience s attention. Besides using a quote, here are some other ways to start your speech: with a question; with a what if scenario; with a statistic; or with a powerful statement/phrase. Commented [SD2]: Remember to write your speech in the first person. words. What do they mean? Why are they so famous? The answer to that, and many other things, can be found in the story of my life, which I am about to tell. From my early struggles as a lawyer to my even greater struggles as president during a bloody civil war, I have been faced with lots of tough situations. But, as you can see today, my name is still well-known and respected in this country. Some of my most important accomplishments include signing the 13 th Amendment; keeping the U.S. united during wartime; and writing some of the most memorable and powerful speeches of all time. I hope that, by the time I m done speaking, I will have won your vote as the Historical Person of the Year. Commented [SD3]: Include a thesis statement in your introduction. It should include the accomplishments you are going to speak about. Background: I entered the world on February 12, I was born in simple surroundings, a one-room log cabin with dirt floors in Kentucky. My father, Thomas Lincoln, could not read and could barely sign his name. He was a

2 strict man whom I never really got along with. I also had my mom, and older sister, Sarah, in the house with me. Sadly, my mom died when I was nine years old. Luckily, my dad remarried a woman named Sarah Bush Johnston shortly after, and I quickly bonded with her. She encouraged my education and took my side in the many fights I had with my father. I worked really hard to become educated. But, overall, I had less than 18 total months of formal education my entire life! Since education wasn t considered important at that time, I sometimes had to walk for miles just to borrow a book- but reading was my favorite thing to do. Life was really difficult for my family during the early 1800s. Poverty, farm chores, hard work, and reading by the light of the fireplace was pretty much all that I worried about until I was seventeen, when I found work on a ferryboat. Then, when I was twenty-one, my family moved to Illinois. It was at this point that I began to live on my own, moving to the town of New Salem, Illinois. I soon became a lawyer and politician in the United States House of Representatives. This was when I really started to accomplish great things. Eventually, as you know, I was elected president, but it was at the start of the Civil War. This made my job challenging, but it was in this crisis that I succeeded the most. Accomplishments: Even though I accomplished lots of things during my lifetime, I am going to focus on what I believe to be my greatest three accomplishments. It

3 would take forever to tell you about all that I accomplished, so here are my top three. My first was signing the 13 th Amendment into law. You may not know what the 13 th Amendment is, since it isn t really spoken about anymore. But trust me, if I hadn t done this, your life today would most likely be very different. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." In other words, this amendment formally abolished, or got rid of, slavery in the United States. During the time that I signed this Commented [SD4]: If you are using words that the audience may not understand, try to define it, or use another word. amendment into law, which was the mid-1800s, slavery was a very heated issue to many Americans. People in the South argued that slavery was needed for their plantations, but it went against all that was good and right to many people in the North. Slavery was one of the big causes of the Civil War; however, my signing of this amendment changed what the war was being fought for. Now, it was being fought for freedom and that made a huge difference in the North winning the war. My second greatest accomplishment was keeping the country together during the Civil War. Before I even took office as president, 7 states had left the United States. Because of this, I had to now not only win a war for the North, but at the same time, hold together the Union of the United States. Through my many negotiations with the Border States, or states who didn t know what side to choose, I helped keep some states part of the Union, while never losing sight of

4 my main goal, which was to bring the United States together again as a whole. Many of my speeches focused on staying united, and I promised not to invade any Southern state. This helped bring the Union back together after the war. I believe without these actions of mine, the country may never have united again. This shows that I was doing my job as President of the United States by upholding the Constitution and vowing to preserve, protect, and defend the Union. My third greatest accomplishment was the powerful speeches that I delivered, which not only captured a moment in time for future Americans but helped ease the pain of those alive at the time. My most famous speech was the Gettysburg Address. In the address I explained that our nation was fighting the Civil War to see if we would survive as a country. I stated it was proper to dedicate a portion of the Gettysburg battlefield as a remembrance of the men who had fought and died there. I said that the people who were still alive must dedicate themselves to finish the task that the dead soldiers had begun which was to save the nation. Impact: So, what do all of these accomplishments prove? Well, they prove that I not only had an impact on the people of the 1800s, but on future generation such as yours. My character affects all of you because you compare present-day politicians to the example that I set. Another impact I had has to do with the words of my speeches. Politicians love to quote me because I am considered America's wisest president. Another major impact I had on the U.S. today is

5 simply through the good example I set when it came to leadership and integrity. Therefore, I still have influence on modern politicians. Without me, this country may not be a united 50 states. Slavery may still be legal, and the job of the President may even look different. I think those are all excellent reasons to name me Historical Person of the Year. Conclusion: As you know, I had one of the most famous deaths in history. On April 15, 1865, while my wife and I were watching a play, I was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor who favored the South. Within days of my death, my life was being compared to Jesus Christ. I was portrayed to the public Commented [SD5]: Your conclusion should be brief and restate your thesis. Commented [SD6]: You can mention how/when you died in the introduction or the conclusion, whichever seems more appropriate. as a self-made man, the liberator of the slaves, and the savior of the Union who had given his life so that others could be free. I have been called Father Abraham, a near mythological hero, "lawgiver" to African Americans, and a "Masterpiece of God" sent to save the United States. But the one title missing here is Historic Person of the Year. Please vote for me.

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