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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

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Overview

One of the most significant and far-reaching events in U.S. history, the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 sharpened and brought to a head a number of crucial questions concerning slavery, states' rights, the legal status of blacks, the effects of the Dred Scott decision, and other issues facing the country. Indeed, some thought the future of the nation rested on the outcome of the debates. "The battle of the Union is to be fought in Illinois," declared one Washington newspaper.

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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

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Overview

One of the most significant and far-reaching events in U.S. history, the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 sharpened and brought to a head a number of crucial questions concerning slavery, states' rights, the legal status of blacks, the effects of the Dred Scott decision, and other issues facing the country. Indeed, some thought the future of the nation rested on the outcome of the debates. "The battle of the Union is to be fought in Illinois," declared one Washington newspaper.

The debates were held as part of the campaign for the Illinois senatorial seat in 1858, pitting the two-term incumbent, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, against the lesser-known Abraham Lincoln, a successful lawyer and state politician who was the Republican candidate. Held in seven congressional districts around the state, the debates (somewhat reluctantly agreed to by Douglas) focused on issues of critical importance to the nation, resulting in close attention by the public and the media. As it turned out, the question of the extension of slavery into the new territories acquired from Mexico dominated all seven meetings.

This volume includes two speeches -- one by each candidate -- and the texts of all seven debates. Paving the way for modern discussions between political candidates, the Lincoln-Douglas debates fascinated nineteenth-century America and catapulted Lincoln into the spotlight. Although he lost the senatorial race to Douglas, the stature and recognition Lincoln gained during the confrontations with his opponent helped propel him to the presidency in 1860.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781230430850
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 9/12/2013
  • Pages: 42
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Rodney O. Davis and Douglas L. Wilson are codirectors of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois, and the coeditors of Herndon's Lincoln and Herndon's Informants.

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Table of Contents

Preface

General Introduction

Textual Introduction

Ottawa, August 21, 1858 1

Freeport, August 27, 1858 43

Jonesboro, September 15, 1858 83

Charleston, September 18, 1858 127

Galesburg, October 7, 1858 173

Quincy, October 13, 1858 211

Alton, October 15, 1858 251

Acknowledgments 295

Textual Annotation 297

Glossary: Persons, Issues, and Events 319

Index 335

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Samael

    What kind of relationship are you talking about?

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