Assess the values and rhetorical methods of Abraham Lincoln's "Second Inaugural Address" and Senator Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union."

Answer the following questions:

1. What are the values expressed in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address"? How do the passages from the text try to persuade you to accept these values?
2. What are the values expressed in Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union"? How do the passages from the text try to persuade you to accept these values?
3. What do these speeches have in common, in terms of values and in terms of persuasive strategies? Draw on and cite the additional readings for this lesson, as needed.

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Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and Obama’s Speech on Racism

Lincoln talks about the value of cooperation in his second inaugural address. The country had just endured a bloody civil war and the president seeks to downplay the activities of the “insurgents” who sought to break up the unity of the country and instead speaks eloquently about the need to “finish the work we are in.”

Senator Obama talks about the value of community in his speech on race he gave in 2008. In the speech, Obama tries to persuade his audience that blackness is not a concept that can be understood by just one person or even by all black people....

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