By PATRICK HEALY AND AMY CHOZICK
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, who sacrificed personal ambition for her husband’s political career and then rose to be a globally influential figure, became the first woman to accept a major party’s presidential nomination, a prize that generations of American women have dreamed about for one of their own.
Declaring that the nation was at “a moment of reckoning,” Mrs. Clinton, 68, urged voters to reject the divisive policy ideas and combative politics of the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump. She offered herself as a steady and patriotic American who would stand up for citizens of all races and creeds and unite the country to persevere against Islamic terrorists, economic troubles, and the chaos of gun violence.
“Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart, bonds of trust and respect are fraying,” said Mrs. Clinton, who worked on the speech until the early hours of Thursday morning, adding, “We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.”
Mrs. Clinton radiated confidence, and she smoothly acknowledged her own limitations and trust issues as a public figure.
And after 25 years in a sometimes brutal national spotlight, Mrs. Clinton tried to explain who she is and what drives her.
“I sweat the details of policy,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid — if it’s your family. It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.”
It was one of several contrasts she drew with Mr. Trump, who has barely explained how he would carry out his policy goals. Mrs. Clinton offered a positive portrait of America that felt like a different country than the nation in decline that Mr. Trump often describes and that many voters fear has come to pass after years of terrorism at home and abroad and the growing gap between rich and poor.
Mrs. Clinton, facing a three-month general election campaign against an unpredictable Mr. Trump, who has risen in the polls since his convention speech last week, hoped that her remarks here would not only energize her party, but also help her connect with undecided and independent voters who are skeptical of her candidacy.