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    #1

    Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    Hi,

    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.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
    I would ask several questions about the first paragraph first and ask other questions later.

    a)Does the "brought forth" mean that "our fathers established on this continent a new nation", here refers to the US?
    b)How to understand "conceived in liberty", what puzzles me is that this is a phrase rather than a sentence, is this phrase a part of "It's conceived in liberty"? How to understand "conceived in liberty", did Lincoln mean that the country is established toward the goal of gaining liberty?
    c)How to understand the "proposition", does it mean "aim, goal, or plan or task"?


    Thanks a lot

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    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.
    Lincoln was using a childbirth image, The idea that was to become the nation was fertilised in/by the principle of liberty, and was 'delivered' into the world as the United States by our fathers 87 year before.

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    #3

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Lincoln was using a childbirth image, The idea that was to become the nation was fertilised in/by the principle of liberty, and was 'delivered' into the world as the United States by our fathers 87 year before.
    Thanks a lot, five.

    I can understand your explanation. But does the proposition mean "plan"?

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    #4

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    Hi,

    c)How to understand the "proposition", does it mean "aim, goal, or plan or task"?
    Hi,

    proposition - WordReference.com Dictionary of English. I'd go for Definition #1 of "proposition".

    Greetings,

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    You can also understand "proposition" here as the "idea" that all men are created equal.

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    #6

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    Thanks a lot.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
    a)Does the "that nation" mean "the US"?
    b)Does the "that war" refer to "Civil War"?
    c)When Lincoln said "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field", does he mean "we have come to dedicate a portion of our lives to that field"? And "that filed" means the "battle field"?
    d)The "that nation" in the last sentence means "the US", doesn't it?

    Thanks a lot

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    #7

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    a)Does the "that nation" mean "the US"? Yes. There is no other nation it can refer to.
    b)Does the "that war" refer to "Civil War"? Yes. There is no other war it can refer to.
    c)When Lincoln said "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field", does he mean "we have come to dedicate a portion of our lives to that field"? No. It means what the words say: "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place ..."
    And "that filed" means the "battle field"? Yes. There is no other field it can refer to.
    d)The "that nation" in the last sentence means "the US", doesn't it? Yes. There is no other nation it can refer to.
    5

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    #8

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    Thanks a lot.



    a)Does the "that nation" mean "the US"?
    b)Does the "that war" refer to "Civil War"?
    c)When Lincoln said "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field", does he mean "we have come to dedicate a portion of our lives to that field"? And "that filed" means the "battle field"?
    d)The "that nation" in the last sentence means "the US", doesn't it?

    Thanks a lot
    Why would Lincoln go to the site of a recent battle during the middle of a war and give a speech about some other war in some other nation? Does that make any sense at all?

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    #9

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    Thanks a lot.

    How to understand "dedicate a portion of"


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    #10

    Re: Some questions about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

    The battle took place over a larger area - a whole town. The dead were burried in a portion of that area.

    If you care, this is pretty near where I live. We visited last year. The number of injured left behind outnumbered the entire population of the town by about 2 to 1, if I recall.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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