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Reports & Essays: History - American History

"AND""OR"

Great Leaders
Two Great Speeches Throughout history, great leaders have achieved fame by excelling in warfare or being cunning politicians. The world usually saw them as being indifferent, selfish, and cruel men. It is rare, however, for a ruler to exhibit both power and compassion for others. Two men who possessed these qualities and felt responsible for the people they ruled, were Abraham Lincoln, US President during The Civil War, and Chief Joseph, a Nez Perce Indian Chief.. The feelings were eloquently expressed in their writings, "The Gettysburg Address" and "I Will Fight No More Forever". "The Gettysburg Address" by Abraham Lincoln demonstrates the president's responsibility and care for others. Lincoln explains in this speech about why the war was going on and that the nation is made for people to have freedom. The slaves were mistreated and slavery was wrong and Lincoln tells the people this. He didn't want to go to war but if it will help the people he is supposed to be leading as the President, then the war is worth it. "...as a final resting place for those who here gave up their lives that that nation might live." Lincoln is saying right there that if it takes some people giving up their lives to help others' in need, then it is his and the Union's responsibility for the welfare of the rest of the nation and people to come. He also mentions that brave living and dead men struggled for freedom for those to come. He thinks that the people should come first and it is his responsibility to give these people the help, respect, and freedom they deserve. The second document, "I Will Fight No More Forever" by Chief Joseph demonstrates the care and responsibility he had for his people. In the tribes of Indians, the chief was the leader and the one that the people counted on to protect them. A lot of leaders would have just kept fighting to win the battles to make themselves look more powerful, but Chief Joseph doesn't do that. He takes responsibility for his tribe. He sees the people suffering and sees tribe members dying. He knows he has to take responsibility for them and protect them. He says in this letter that "..the children are dying and missing...", "...the chiefs and old men are dead...", and "...we are tired, sad, and sick...". He goes on saying that they are freezing, have no more blankets, and a lot of people were killed. These are the words of someone who puts others ahead of his own self. The words of someone taking responsibility for his people. Ending with the words, "...I will fight no more forever...", he is saying that they give up, he would rather protect and help his own if it means him loosing a battle. Both of these authors are showing as leaders the responsibility they have towards their people.

 



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