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Part: 6 The Moment of Truth > Seven Speeches to Study and Remember (or: Only Cr... - Pg. 285

Sample Speeches 2. 285 3. 4. 5. 6. Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address (1801). Jefferson is revered as one of the finest prose stylists America has ever produced. This speech contains his famous reference to the United States as "the world's best hope" and his praise of "wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, [and] shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits." At the time, the fact that Jefferson's election marked the first real change of the party control of the government made his promise to respect the rights of the Federalist minority seem the most important point in the address. Daniel Webster's second reply to Hayne (1830). In this speech, the silver-tongued Webster called the American flag "the gorgeous ensign of the republic" and concluded the speech with this sentence: "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable." Abraham Lincoln's "House Divided" speech (1858). Lincoln delivered this speech on the oc- casion of his nomination as the Republican candidate for senator from Illinois. It was probably Lincoln's most radical statement about the implications of the slavery issue, the one he pre- dicted that "this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech (1896). Bryan made the speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention. Bryan, arguing for a plank in the party platform calling for the free coinage of silver, ended his speech with this sentence: "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." "You" were the Gold Democrats, the supporters of the incumbent President Grover Cleveland, who opposed the unlimited coinage of silver. The speech made Bryan a national figure and led to his nomination for the presidency. Woodrow Wilson's call for declaration of war against Germany (1917). This speech contains the famous line: "The world must be made safe for democracy." The speech is also remarkable for Wilson's insistence that "we have no quarrel with the German people.... We fight without rancor and without selfish object." Such self-restraint and Wilson's promise that victory would