Lincoln and Douglas Debates

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Lincoln and Douglas Debates The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the republican candidate, and the incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas, a Democratic Party candidate, for a seat in the United States Senate. During the time period of the debates, Senators were elected by state legislators; therefore Lincoln and Douglas were competing for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois Legislature. The main issue for the debates was overwhelmingly about slavery and anything tied into dealing with slavery. “As the fifties wore on, an exhaustive, exacerbating and essentially futile conflict over slavery raged to the exclusion of nearly all other topics.” So, with slavery at…show more content…
Lincoln as he had never before been aroused. It was at this time that he fully comprehended the fact that there was to be no peace on the slavery question until either freedom or slavery should triumph.” Lincoln was strongly opposed to popular sovereignty on the issue and believed that it would only help slavery endure for even longer. "when the Judge reminds me that I have often said to him that the institution of slavery has existed for eighty years in some States, and yet it does not exist in some others, I agree to the fact, and I account for it by looking at the position in which our fathers originally placed it-restricting it from the new Territories where it had not gone, and legislating to cut off its source by the abrogation of the slave-trade thus putting the seal of legislation against its spread. The public mind did rest in the belief that it was in the course of ultimate extinction. But lately, I think-and in this I charge nothing on the Judge's motives-lately, I think, that he, and those acting with him, have placed that institution on a new basis, which looks to the perpetuity and nationalization of slavery. And while it is placed upon this new basis, I say, and I have said, that I believe we shall not have peace upon the question until the opponents of slavery arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or, on the other hand,
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