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Essay Example: Corner Stone Speech by Alexander Stephen

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Sewanee University of the South
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Alexander Hamilton Stephen was a politician and served as the vice president of the Confederate States of America during the civil war in 1861-1865. Alexander was a politician who was elected in his home state Georgia and also served in the U.S House of Representatives in 1843. He was elected to the position of vice presidency just before the onset of war. His early life was full of problems because he grew up as a destitute after his parents died at the age of 14. He lived with relatives and did law making him a successful defense lawyer. Alexander suffered health complications and always weighed below hundred pounds as an adult. Despite his condition, he became a very popular statesman in the 1840's. The speaker fought against the secessions of the southern part of America. When he took office, he played a vital role in drafting the Confederacy's constitution. On March 21st1861 he delivered the "cornerstone speech, " and the main theme of the speech was the need to fight against the enslavement and racial discrimination of the Africans and African Americans. In his speech, he says the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man.

In his speech, he commends the states that have adopted a new government and shed the old regime without the shedding of blood. He argues that the new constitution is that that allows everyone to have a say in how the government should be run. Explaining about rights and freedoms he says that he wants a government that will enable people to have rights and liberties where anyone can own property, exercise religious freedom, right to life among others. From his point of view, the new government is better than the old one.It is evident that he points out the significant changes that have been made in the state, for instance, he says that the classes that people gave some people privileged and deprived others have been abolished. Alexander further explains that he does not advocate for the treatment of one type of people as superior in business than another, but his desire is the need to treat all the people with equality and respect.

The superiority of the white person over the black Is the inequality that he is talking about from the way the black community was being enslaved by the white peoples is what brought pain and anger in Alexander .he wanted to see states where the whites and the backs were treated equally. Honest and free labor is what should be adopted unlike enslavement of the black people with little or no pay at all. The audience that he is addressing is the black people who have long suffered discrimination and rejection by the whites. They were only accorded the position of slavery and viewed as human beings who have no rights but slaves and property of the landowners. He revolves around the people of the south who are majorly the blacks who have been marginalizing even in the business sector and happy that the new government has accommodated them. It is because the power of the Congress to regulate trade activities has been put to rest and therefore all the people have the right to do business regardless of their origin.

The speaker is ready for the fights to freedom and rights of the black people regardless of the efforts that it will take. He vows to use any means possible to achieve secession of the south, and if not done amicably he is ready to die in the course of fighting. He argues that without integrity, virtue, and respect for the people no government can stand. According to the speaker, nothing good can be achieved in a nation without integrity patriotism and principles. He says that peaceful ways of finding solutions are better than engaging in a war which will lead to the shedding of blood. Alexander means that the government is founded by favoring the white person and neglecting the black people regardless of both communities being Americans. He says "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man." In his opinion the slavery and subornation of the black people to the white community is reasonable and the right thing to do according to the old government. Alexander commends the new rule for making history in the world. He says that even the people in the north should respect abandon the old ways of the past government and adhered to the new forms of the new regime.


It is paramount to note that the speech by Alexander Stephens is a call to freedom from slavery and equal treatment of the black people as the white. It is an emotional speech addressing the black community and any other person willing to hear the plight of the discriminated people who are the minority group. He argues that nation that has no virtues, principles, and integrity is not going to prosper in maintaining peace for its citizens. In the effort of fighting for the secession of the south, he vows to use any means possible if issues cannot be resolved amicably which includes but not limited to war. He commends the new government that has decided to shed the ways of the old.

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