“House Divided” Essay Discuss the relevance today of Abraham Lincoln’s statement, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. ” Abraham Lincoln’s statement in his 1858 speech that “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” is an extremely true statement that is as relevant today as it was when he originally stated it in 1858. Lincoln made this statement when he was accepting his nomination by the Republican Party to become the United States senator for the state of Illinois.
Lincoln was attempting to distinguish himself from his opponent for the seat in the Senate, Stephen Douglas, who was a major supporter of the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Lincoln disagreed with Douglas because he believed that the United States could not exist under two opposing forces, that of advocates for slavery and of abolition. Lincoln knew that the country would eventually have to decide between slavery and freedom, and the imminent Civil War is proof that he was right.
Lincoln’s statement in 1858 correctly predicted that the United States could not exist forever torn between the issue of slavery. His statement continues to be valid, even in today’s world, more than one hundred and fifty years later. When the country was divided about the existence of slavery, it was not able to cooperate. Proper authority could not be executed, because the leader had to choose a side. If he was pro-slavery, the north would not be devoted to his leadership. If he was pro-abolition, the south would refuse to acknowledge him as their leader.
This enormous dilemma wreaked havoc throughout the country, leading to the south’s eventual secession from the Union. Today, the concept of when an institution is on completely different terms with each other they cannot function properly can be applied to many situations, both specific and non-specific. This notion being misunderstood by the majority of the world is on display in daily life. When two parents are attempting to instill authority over their child but disagree on something, the child is erroneously disciplined.
When the child receives two conflicting views about something they should or should not do, they will not understand what is right. When two business partners are in disagreement about their business policies, the business will fail with no proper guidance. Two friends with seriously incompatible qualities or moral codes will not be able to maintain their friendship. Nothing can survive without unity, which is why slavery was unable to prevail. One specific example of the validity of Lincoln’s statement is the Civil Rights movement of the mid twentieth century.
The Civil Rights movement was an extension of the slavery issue of a century earlier. Black people were still not being treated as equal to whites in the southern part of the country. Because there was much division on the issue, there was political controversy during that time. However, just as with slavery, blacks eventually received equal rights and treatment. Another example of Lincoln’s statement being applicable many years after it was said is communism in Russia.
Communism and socialism in Russia eventually failed because it always had a clear winner and loser. One party was greatly benefitted, while the other party was severely disadvantaged. Because the country was so divided on the issue, communism collapsed in the Soviet Union in 1991. Perhaps the greatest and most relevant example of the validity of Lincoln’s statement is the current economic depression occurring in the United States. In the United States, the difference between the wealthy and the poor is by an extremely large margin.
The wealthy people of the country possess almost all of its wealth, while the vast majority of the people possess a much smaller portion. As a result, the economy of the United States crashed in the year 2008. This economic depression and the failure of the wealthy to help the poor have been the subject of much discussion and debate throughout the country. Almost everyone is divided on the issue, causing the economy to increasingly become worse. Hopefully, if the country can one day become united on the solution for the economy’s downfall, the economy will recover.
It is clear that Lincoln’s statement in 1858 that “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” was very on the point when he stated it, as well as in today’s world. Lincoln made this statement on the brink of the great Civil War, and he correctly predicted that if the United States continued to be divided on the issue of slavery, it would prove disastrous for the country. Today, this statement continues to apply to many of the world’s problems, both specifically an non-specifically.