“A house divided against itself cannot stand” The phrase, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” became famous as a quotation from Lincoln’s “A house divided” speech delivered at 17 June 1858, in what was then the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, upon accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination as that state’s senator of the United States . The speech became the launching point for his unsuccessful campaign.
Abraham Lincoln was not the first one who used the “A house divided against itself cannot stand” phrase: Sam Huston used it during the Senate debate on the Compromise of 1850,during the War of 1812; a similar line appeared in a letter from Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren. Thomas Paine in 1776 and Thomas Hobbes, in 1651 used something very similar. We, as humans, are social beings…so we cannot live alone. We need friends and people with whom we can share our thoughts, our feelings, our life, our experiences and so on. For this reason we form all kinds of groups (friends group, school group, workplace group).
If the members of a group are not united, they will be much more easier to defeat by a “common enemy” or by nature itself. If a group (house) is divided against himself, members will be more easier to beat one by one, then if they are united and their power cumulated. Even if, hypothetically, there is only one group and there will be no external danger, if the member of that group is disunited, the group could not stand and, sooner or later, if the conflicts are not solved, the group will divide in at least two other smaller groups( each one more powerless than the original group will be if its members are united).
The “A house divided against itself cannot stand” phrase applies very well to smaller (but more bounding) groups. For example, a family where the partners are always arguing against each other, it will be very hard (if not impossible) to get over the life challenges and succeed together in life. It is even worse if that family involves at least a child, because it is very probably that he will follow his parents` example and be more rigid with his partner when he will grow up.
Another good example are the groups formed in a world full of sharks all running for the biggest prey and winning: the businessman world. If two (or more) business associates are not united they will surely lose because bigger or more cunning sharks will profit from their division against each other. In conclusion a house divided against itself cannot stand (SEE What I did there? ) because it is much more difficult conquer it if its members are united than applying the famous quotation : divide et impera! .
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