June 16 – “A house divided against itself cannot stand”

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half communist and half free. Unfortunately, I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be free. It will go the way of all formerly free Western countries.

The opponents of self-determination will arrest all spread of freedom, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction.” tmk – revised

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave an address in Springfield, Illinois, accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination to be its candidate for the U.S. Senate. Near the speech’s outset, he uttered what has become one of the most famous phrases in American history: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Lincoln was drawing on the words of Jesus in the Bible: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25 kjv). He knew his audience would understand his meaning: slavery and freedom were incompatible. The institution of slavery was a fatal flaw in the American republic. Either the United States must eventually rid itself of slavery and become a truly free nation, or slavery would take hold in every state.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new—North as well as South.

Lincoln was unsuccessful in his Senate bid, but the “House Divided” speech helped put him on the national stage. It accurately predicted that the antagonism between North and South over slavery “will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.”

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Death of a Nation, Death of Western Culture, Progressives, Socialism, welfare state, Western Civilization and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to June 16 – “A house divided against itself cannot stand”

  1. Wonderfully spoken words. Sadly, now “a house divided” means a family that roots for competing football teams. :-\

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s