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In , as the country moved ever closer to disunion, two politicians from Illinois attracted the attention of a nation. The prize they sought was a seat in the Senate. Lincoln challenged Douglas to a war of ideas. Douglas took the challenge. The debates were to be held at 7 locations throughout Illinois. The fight was on and the nation was watching.

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The spectators came from all over Illinois and nearby states by train, by canal-boat, by wagon, by buggy, and on horseback. They briefly swelled the populations of the towns that hosted the debates. The audiences participated by shouting questions, cheering the participants as if they were prizefighters, applauding and laughing.

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The debates attracted tens of thousands of voters and newspaper reporters from across the nation. During the debates, Douglas still advocated "popular sovereignty," which maintained the right of the citizens of a territory to permit or prohibit slavery. It was, he said, a sacred right of self-government. Lincoln pointed out that Douglas's position directly challenged the Dred Scott decision, which decreed that the citizens of a territory had no such power.

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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates [prodmonkompthesdist.ml]

In what became known as the Freeport Doctrine , Douglas replied that whatever the Supreme Court decided was not as important as the actions of the citizens. If a territory refused to have slavery, no laws, no Supreme Court ruling, would force them to permit it. This sentiment would be taken as betrayal to many southern Democrats and would come back to haunt Douglas in his bid to become President in the election of Time and time again, Lincoln made that point that " a house divided could not stand.

Neither Abraham Lincoln nor Stephen Douglas won a popular election that fall. Under rules governing Senate elections, voters cast their ballots for local legislators, who then choose a Senator. The Democrats won a majority of district contests and returned Douglas to Washington.

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But the nation saw a rising star in the defeated Lincoln. The entire drama that unfolded in Illinois would be played on the national stage only two years later with the highest of all possible stakes. Report broken link. American History 1. The Iroquois Tribes 2. The House of Burgesses 3. Witchcraft in Salem 4. The Ideas of Benjamin Franklin 5. Life in the Plantation South 6. A New African-American Culture 7. The Treaty of Paris and Its Impact 9. The Intolerable Acts The Declaration of Independence Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris When Does the Revolution End?

The Age of Atlantic Revolutions The Economic Crisis of the s Constitution Through Compromise The Antifederalists' Victory in Defeat Native American Resilience and Violence in the West The Life and Times of John Adams Jeffersonian America: A Second Revolution? Gabriel's Rebellion: Another View of Virginia in Claiming Victory from Defeat Early National Arts and Cultural Independence Jacksonian Democracy and Modern America Jackson vs.


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We feel that much good would come to the community from a calm perusal of the thoughts so fitly uttered on the occasion. Blodgett, D.

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    Douglas, Joseph Mallon, James Y. Blodgett, Upton and Others: Gentlemen Your note is before me. You know the time for the preparation of that discourse was very brief. You are also aware, doubtless, that though spoken from copious notes, much of it was extemporized, and that I cannot reproduce those passages.

    But such as it is, I place it in your hands, as my humble tribute to the name and the virtues of our murdered President.

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    With much respect, gentlemen, Yours truly, T. A great grief throws its shadow over heart and hearth and home. There is such a sorrow as this land never knew before; agony such as never until now wrung the heart of the nation.