Lincoln - Zéro de conduite

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Lincoln - Zéro de conduite
Zéro de conduite .net
Lʼactualité éducative du cinéma
n Fiche pédagogique Anglais, Lycée
Lincoln
de Steven Spielberg, 2012
Travail à partir de la bande-annonce du film
Introduction
La sortie au cinéma du Lincoln de Steven Spielberg avec Daniel Day-Lewis (récemment récompensé
pour sa performance par un Golden Globe du Meilleur Acteur) est l’occasion parfaite pour revenir
en classe sur ce moment de la jeune nation américaine, encore fragile suite à son indépendance
acquise de haute lutte, et alors déchirée par une guerre civile sur fond d’esclavagisme.
Dans les programmes, cela correspond aux notions de « Mythes & Héros » et de « L’idée de progrès ». Le film, lui, plus centré sur la recherche d’un consensus politique pour amender la constitution, relève également de la notion de « Lieux et formes de pouvoir ».
Nous proposons donc de nous servir de la bande annonce du film pour introduire quatre textes fondateurs des Etats-Unis : le préambule de la Déclaration d’Indépendance de 1776, la Proclamation
d’émancipation, l’Adresse de Gettysburg, et le 13ème amendement de la Constitution interdisant l’esclavage. Après avoir demandé aux élèves ce qu’ils connaissent d’Abraham Lincoln (il pourrait être
utile d’écrire son nom au tableau au milieu d’une frise chronologique pour y placer les repères que
les élèves donneront), on procèdera au visionnage de la bande annonce, avant de demander aux
élèves ce qu’ils ont compris. Ensuite, on distribuera les textes en demandant aux élèves de répondre
aux questions données. Pour gagner du temps, on peut diviser la classe en trois et donner à chaque
groupe un des trois premiers textes avant de faire une mise en commun. Le dernier texte, le 13ème
amendement, est simplement donné pour donner la conclusion de cette période et faire remarquer
aux élèves que Lincoln ne verra jamais le fruit de son travail, ce qui peut être fait en commun.
On terminera par un nouveau visionnage de la bande-annonce afin d’expliciter les enjeux et les
parti-pris de Spielberg, voire d’anticiper le contenu du film si on envisage d’emmener les élèves au
cinéma.
La bande annonce en ligne :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiSAbAuLhqs
Lincoln
Steven Spielberg,
2012
Document 1
Preamble to the Declaration of Independence
July 4, 1776
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these
ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying
its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem
most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light
and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed
to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they
are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same
Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to
throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
QUESTIONS
1. What is the context of this document?
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2. Explain the phrase “a long train of abuses and usurpations”.
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3. “All men are created equal”. To your knowledge, was slavery abolished in 1776?
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Lincoln
Steven Spielberg,
2012
Document 2
The Emancipation Proclamation (extract)
January 1, 1863
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me
vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed
rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary
war measure for suppressing said rebellion, (…) do order and declare that all persons held as
slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and
that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities
thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in
necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received
into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places,
and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon
military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
QUESTIONS
1.What is the context of this document?
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2. What is the President doing with this proclamation?
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3. What are his reasons for doing so?
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Lincoln
Steven Spielberg,
2012
Document 3
The Gettysburg Address, by Abraham Lincoln (1809 – April 15, 1865)
November 19, 1863
Four score1 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. (…)
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.
1
a score = twenty years
QUESTIONS
1. A score representing twenty years, what other event is Abraham Lincoln refering to here ?
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2. Where is he precisely? What is he doing there?
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3. ”this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom” What is he referring to, in your
opinion?
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4. “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. Was
the American government in danger? From whom?
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Lincoln
Steven Spielberg,
2012
Document 4
13th Amendment to the United States Constitution
December 18, 1865
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the
party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to
their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
QUESTIONS
1. What is the connection between this document and the other three?
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2. What is ironical about it?
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Éléments de correction
DOCUMENT 1
1. What is the context of this document? War of Independence from Great Britain
2. Explain the phrase “a long train of abuses and usurpations” taxation without representation, tyranny of King George, etc.
3. “All men are created equal”. To your knowledge, was slavery abolished in 1776? clearly not.
Black people were considered to be chattel, with no rights. Women or children didn’t fare much
better…
DOCUMENT 2
1.What is the context of this document? time of actual armed rebellion against the authority of the
government of the USA > Civil War
2. What is the President doing with this proclamation? declaring slavery illegal in some states that
still recognize it
3. What are his reasons for doing so? ending slavery, weakening the South and obtaining more
soldiers
DOCUMENT 3
1. A score representing twenty years, what other event is Abraham Lincoln refering to here ? 1776,
Declaration of Independence
2. Where is he precisely? What is he doing there? on a battlefied, paying tribute to fallen soldiers
3. ”this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom” What is he referring to, in your opinion? abolition of slavery
4. “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. Was
the American government in danger? From whom? Secession -> Great Britain was trying to help the
South
DOCUMENT 4
1. What is the connection between this document and the other three?
2. What is ironical about it? Lincoln was killed before it was passed and ratified