Douglas 's Indifference On Slavery

2309 Words Nov 30th, 2016 10 Pages
Short Answer I: Question 1 Douglas’s Indifference on Slavery Douglas takes an amoral stance upon the question of slavery within the union and is indifferent to the spread of it. He invokes a principle of popular sovereignty, allowing the American people to vote upon slavery. Popular sovereignty embraces a state of indifference, which does not spread nor exclude slavery within the union, but rather allows the people to decide and form laws upon it. Lincoln argued,
The doctrine of self-government is right—but has no just application, as here attempted. Or perhaps I should rather say that whether it has such application depends upon whether a negro is not or is a man. If he is not a man, why in that case, he who is a man may, as a matter of self-government, do just as he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man, is it not to that extent a total of destruction of self-government, to say that he too shall not govern himself? When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-government—that is despotism. Lincoln believes you cannot vote upon a moral issue such as enslaving another human being. Douglas, however, argued the principle of popular sovereignty is in accordance with the foundation of the union and its founders. He believed it to be just to it up to the people to vote on the issue of slavery. Lincoln argues, “If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that…
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