Nonfiction > Abraham Lincoln > Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas > Page 18
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Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).  Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas  1897.
 
Page 18
 
 
In other words, Mr. Lincoln advocates boldly and clearly a war of sections, a war of the North against the South, of the Free States against the Slave States,—a war of extermination,—to be continued relentlessly until the one or the other shall be subdued, and all the States shall either become free or become slave.  14
  Now, my friends, I must say to you frankly that I take bold, unqualified issue with him upon that principle. I assert that it is neither desirable nor possible that there should be uniformity in the local institutions and domestic regulations of the different States of this Union. The framers of our government never contemplated uniformity in its internal concerns. The fathers of the Revolution and the sages who made the Constitution well understood that the laws and domestic institutions which would suit the granite hills of New Hampshire would be totally unfit for the rice plantations of South Carolina; they well understood that the laws which would suit the agricultural districts of Pennsylvania and New York would be totally unfit for the large mining regions of the Pacific, or the lumber regions of Maine. They well understood that the great varieties of soil, of production and of interests, in a Republic as large as this, required different local and domestic regulations in each locality, adapted to the wants and interests of each separate State, and for that reason it was provided in the Federal Constitution that the thirteen original States should remain sovereign and supreme within their own limits in regard to all that was local and internal and domestic, while the Federal Government should have certain specified powers which were general and national, and could be exercised only by Federal authority.  15
  The framers of the Constitution well understood that each locality, having separate and distinct interests, required separate and distinct laws, domestic institutions, and police regulations adapted to its own wants and its own condition; and they acted on the presumption, also, that these laws and institutions would be as diversified and as dissimilar as the States would be numerous, and that no two would be precisely alike, because the interests of no two would be precisely the same. Hence I assert that the great fundamental principle which underlies our complex system of State and Federal Governments contemplated diversity and dissimilarity in the local institutions and domestic
 

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