157年（1863年）前的7月1日-7月3日，在美国宾西法利亚州小镇的一场战役，成了美国南北战争的分水岭。这场战役就是著名的葛底斯堡战役，或许比这场战役更为著名的是葛底斯堡演说，虽然林肯在演讲中说“我们今天在这里所说的话，全世界不大会注意，也不会长久地记住，但勇士们在这里所做过的事，全世界却永远不会忘记。” 不过，就这句话而言，林肯错了。1865年4月林肯遇刺后，国会议员Charles Sumner发表文章评论葛底斯堡演说：“世界立刻注意到他的讲话，并永远都不会忘记”。(The world at once noted what he said, and will never cease to remember it.”) 的确，对于我们很多人来说，其实正是由于这篇演讲，才让我们知道了这场战役——至少，对我来说，是在上大学读英语时才因这篇演讲而记住了葛底斯堡。
国父孙中山的三民主义思想就是受了这篇演讲的影响。他曾著文说明：“有美国共和，尔后始有政府为民而设之真理出现于世。林肯氏曰：‘为民而有，为民而治，为民而享’者，斯乃人民之政府也。”孙中山又在一段时间后补充说道，“兄弟所主张的三民主义，实在是集合古今中外的学说，顺应世界的潮流，在政治上所得的一个结晶品。这个结晶的意思，和美国大总统林肯所说的of the people，by the people，and for the people的话相通。”
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.