This paper reviews one of the most famous speeches in history by Abraham Lincoln – the ‘Gettysburg Address’ which can definitely be considered to be a cultural artifact. It indicates the past history and the trying times which the United States was going through at that time. It also set a historical precedence be the abolition of slavery and its ultimate success of having a colored person as its president, Barack Obama. In the process, the speech will also be analyzed using the parameters set forth in Geert Hofstede’s cultural taxonomy. The Gettysburg Address as a cultural artifact: It could be said that each and every American has read or at least heard about this famous speech. It provides the reader a succinct picture about one of the most important periods in American history. This is because of two reasons. One is that it brought about total abolition of slavery. The second was that it had been achieved at great cost namely the Civil War. Historically, this period and the artifact that reflects it are extremely significant. The following excerpt from the speech has been immortalized and will be loved by every freedom loving person on this planet. “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” (Lincoln). There are several factors that the reader gets to know from the speech as well as the above line which is in fact the last sentence. The first is the feeling of pride that it communicates. It gives the reader the confidence that America will remain united and that it will continue to be a great nation in the future also. In other words, the speech has the power to unite all Americans even today. The third is the language and the marvel in the sense that such a short speech can be so powerful. The one factor (to a person uninitiated with US history) is that there is no direct reference to slavery and its abolition. What it does indicate to such a person is that a civil war is going on and that people who believe in freedom should continue what has been started. A lot of people have given up their lives for this cause. It talks about freedom in general and also that the United States is a democratic country run by its people. The historical origin of this artifact is well-known and is a result of the South opposition abolition. Specifically, the speech was delivered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the 19th of November 1863 after one of the bloodiest battles of the War. Lincoln prepared the speech only the previous which was to commemorate the soldiers of both sides who had lost their lives in this particular battle. It was held in the newly constructed cemetery that was to become the final resting place of Union soldiers (Beardsley). As mentioned earlier this literary artifact was created by Abraham Lincoln. It could be said that it was prepared and read by the President himself. It has not been and will never be modified or changed as it is a historical document of a real life event. The
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Cultural artifact paper [Name of of tutor] Cultural artifact paper Introduction: History of humankind has shown that certain objects made or modified by men and women reflects the culture that exists during the time. Such objects which can be seen, felt, read or heard have endured the test of time and can still be used to analyze the period during which it was created are often referred to as cultural artifacts…
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