Reading on the history of the Civil War. This was as a result of a question from an English writing class I audited last night. One of the questions given as an assignment was to discover what Lincoln was arguing for in the Gettysburg Address. I read it. It is short. Really short. And it seems meaningless, at least when you simply read it out loud. What in the world was he talking about? (By the way, Lincoln declared his speech to be a "failure" right after delivering it. I think this lends a clue as to its emptiness.) I was intrigued to read up on why the Civil war was fought in the first place. I was surprised to find out that it was not really waged over the abolishment of slavery. It seems that this was merely a "cloak" for the actions of the Federal Government against its own people. Rather, it was the Federal North moving to crush the 11 states of the South that had seceded from the Union for very valid reasons; this was the real reason for this outrageous and deeply saddening war. The right to secession/revolution was guaranteed in the language of the Declaration of Independence out of necessity when governments breech their lawful bounds and victimize their subordinates. The states that all issued secession decrees had had their fill of the Federal Governments' increasing control and monopoly of many aspects of their lives. This was the real issue over which the wretched war was fought; many good men gave up their lives for their freedoms in this country and where crushed underfoot by the Feds. Wives and children lost approximately 618,000 husbands and fathers during the 4 year plague. This is very sad. I found it very interesting as well that Texas was recognized as a country by the major nations of the world for a time before being "allowed" into the Union. I had no idea. In light of all this information, the Gettysburg Address seems like just another political speech from another politician; blah, blah, blah. Just like nowadays. Meaningless sentiments...and then "God bless America" to round out the whole thing. Very sad and very hollow.