Lincoln on race and slavery pdf

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This article is about the historical debates of 1858. Lincoln-Douglas Lincoln on race and slavery pdf Debates in 1858.

Locations in Illinois where Lincoln and Douglas debated. The debates in Freeport, Quincy and Alton drew especially large numbers of people from neighboring states, as the issue of slavery was of monumental importance to citizens across the nation. Newspaper coverages of the debates were intense. United States reprinted in full, with some partisan edits. Newspapers that supported Douglas edited his speeches to remove any errors made by the stenographers and to correct grammatical errors, while they left Lincoln’s speeches in the rough form in which they had been transcribed.

In the same way, pro-Lincoln papers edited Lincoln’s speeches, but left the Douglas texts as reported. After losing the election for Senator in Illinois, Lincoln edited the texts of all the debates and had them published in a book. The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute “rejoinder. The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates. Stephen Douglas was first elected to the United States Senate in 1846.

In 1858, he was seeking re-election for a third term. Decisions about whether slavery was permitted or prohibited within certain states and territories had been made previously at a federal level. Abraham Lincoln, like Douglas, had also been elected to Congress in 1846. Nebraska Act, and help develop the new Republican party. Douglas was part of a conspiracy to nationalize slavery. Both Lincoln and Douglas had opposition.

Lincoln was too closely tied to the abolitionists, and supported Douglas. Kansas a slave state, and set up a rival National Democratic party that drew votes away from him. Postage, 1958 issue, commemorating the Lincoln and Douglas debates. Lincoln said that popular sovereignty would nationalize and perpetuate slavery. Popular Sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision were a departure from the policies of the past that would nationalize slavery. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half Slave and half Free. Uniformity in the local laws and institutions of the different States is neither possible or desirable.

If uniformity had been adopted when the Government was established, it must inevitably have been the uniformity of slavery everywhere, or else the uniformity of negro citizenship and negro equality everywhere. I ask you, are you in favor of conferring upon the negro the rights and privileges of citizenship? Missouri abolishes slavery she can send one hundred thousand emancipated slaves into Illinois, to become citizens and voters, on an equality with yourselves? If you desire negro citizenship, if you desire to allow them to come into the State and settle with the white man, if you desire them to vote on an equality with yourselves, and to make them eligible to office, to serve on juries, and to adjudge your rights, then support Mr. Lincoln and the Black Republican party, who are in favor of the citizenship of the negro. For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. I believe this Government was made on the white basis.

I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity for ever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men, men of European birth and descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians, and other inferior races. Lincoln, following the example and lead of all the little Abolition orators, who go around and lecture in the basements of schools and churches, reads from the Declaration of Independence, that all men were created equal, and then asks, how can you deprive a negro of that equality which God and the Declaration of Independence awards to him? Now, I hold that Illinois had a right to abolish and prohibit slavery as she did, and I hold that Kentucky has the same right to continue and protect slavery that Illinois had to abolish it. I hold that New York had as much right to abolish slavery as Virginia has to continue it, and that each and every State of this Union is a sovereign power, with the right to do as it pleases upon this question of slavery, and upon all its domestic institutions. And why can we not adhere to the great principle of self-government, upon which our institutions were originally based. I believe that this new doctrine preached by Mr. Lincoln and his party will dissolve the Union if it succeeds.

They are trying to array all the Northern States in one body against the South, to excite a sectional war between the free States and the slave States, in order that the one or the other may be driven to the wall. Lincoln responded that “the next Dred Scott decision” could allow slavery to spread into free states. Douglas accused Lincoln of wanting to overthrow state laws that excluded blacks from states such as Illinois, which were popular with the northern Democrats. Lincoln did not argue for complete social equality.

However, he did say Douglas ignored the basic humanity of blacks, and that slaves did have an equal right to liberty. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects—certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man. This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world—enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites—causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty—criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.