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Lincoln and Douglas Debates

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Ryan Hogue
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Lincoln Douglas Debates

The 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates pushed the United States farther from
Unionization. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglass argued in different areas of Illinois from August until October, both eager for a place in the United States Senate. Douglas of the Northern Democratic party accepted a contest from Lincoln, a republican politician of Illinois in debating the slavery issues, which eventually would play a major part in Lincoln’s political life.
The majority of the debates were over the Kansas Nebraska Act and Popular Sovereignty. Popular Sovereignty reinforced the idea of people choosing whether or not western expansion of slavery should occur. Lincoln said, “A house divided can not stand” Lincoln believed that a nation that is divided into both free and slave states would ultimately end up divided into two distinct unions, while Douglas felt it could survive and not split the nation. The deciding factor to let slavery be decided between states or a nation as a whole was a series of events that took place during the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Dred Scott was a former slave that sought for his freedom, after his master sold him; he was technically considered a free black. Scott went on trial in the Supreme Court and Lincoln and Douglas found this case revenant to their debates and used him as an example in their arguments over states rights. For example Douglas continually attacked Lincoln claiming that he opposed Dred Scott decision because it deprived blacks of their right of citizenship and accused Lincoln of desiring to bypass state laws that excluded blacks from free states. Lincoln and maintained that the Scott decision could allow slavery to spread into the free states and that Douglas ignored the basic humanity and rights of…...

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