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The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address

Not even five months had gone by since the bloodiest battle ever fought on U.S. soil took place.  President Abraham Lincoln traveled from Washington to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to dedicate the Soldiers' National Cemetery on November 19, 1863.  With the Civil War still raging, and its outcome still uncertain, the speech he gave that day remains perhaps the most famous oration in American history.  At just 272 words, the speech was short in length, but long on truth.  It encouraged a war-weary nation to battle on to preserve a union of states the likes of which the world had never before seen. 

Read the speech and then refer back to it to answer the questions on the accompanying worksheet. You can do the worksheet online, or print out a copy and do it on paper. You can try the practice questions first if you want.
The full text of the Gettysburg Address (the Bliss Copy*)
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 can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not 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.

*One of five copies of the Gettysburg Address, the Bliss Copy is the version most often reproduced.

Just for fun, see if you can find President Lincoln in this photo taken on the day of the speech in 1863. Watch the video for some clues.

Related Worksheets: