Abraham Lincoln. Stephen Douglas. Objective: To examine the importance of the Lincoln – Douglas debates. Lincoln – Douglas Debates. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln challenged incumbent Stephen Douglas for his seat in the Senate. ( Incumbent – the holder of an office or position).
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Objective: To examine the importance of the Lincoln – Douglas debates.
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln challenged incumbent Stephen Douglas for his seat in the Senate.
(Incumbent – the holder of an office or position)
Abraham Lincoln (left) and Stephen Douglas (right)
• A series of 7 face-to-face debates held throughout Illinois.
• Douglas & Lincoln gave 200 additional speeches to towns and cities across the state
• Debates followed familiar themes – Douglas defended slavery while Lincoln opposed it
Thousands gathered to watch - bands, parades & fireworks & scenes like this were common
Debates were as much about the men as it was about slavery.
“The Little Giant”
“He was gawky, unkempt, and unassuming. He traveled alone, a forlorn figure with a tattered carpetbag on his lap, lost in silent contemplation.”
Refined, passionate speaker
Traveled in high style in a private rail car, surrounded by advisers & his beautiful wife
• Chairman of the Committee on Territories
• Crafted the Compromise of 1850
• Self-taught lawyer
• Elected to the Illinois State Legislature
• Lincoln was wrong for wanting to end slavery.
• If Lincoln tried to end slavery, the U.S. could face a civil war.
• Douglas believed that each territory should be able to decide on its’ own whether or not to allow slavery by using popular sovereignty.
• Douglas won the election by a slim margin – at that time, the state legislature chose their senators, not the people.