Lincoln-Douglas Debates The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of formal political debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in a campaign for one of Illinois' two United States Senate seats. Although Lincoln lost the election, these debates launched him into national prominence which eventually led to his election as President of the United States.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate • Senator Douglas • Democratic Party • Illinois • What legislation did he propose that was very controversial?- Kansas-Nebraska Act • Faced a difficult Senator reelection campaign in Illinois in 1858 where views on slavery were sharply divided • Believed whites were superior to blacks • Tolerated slavery b/c it is the absolute right of white citizens to choose the kind of society and government they wanted (popular sovereignty)
Lincoln-Douglas Debate • Abraham Lincoln • Born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1809, studied law • Ran against Douglas for SENATOR in the state of Illinois in 1858 • Member of new Republican Party • CLASHED WITH DOUGLAS’ VIEW ON POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY • Did not believe that a majority should have the power to deny a minority their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. • Lincoln shared many of Douglas’s views on African Americans • “I am not nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races.” • Federal government does not have the authority to forbid slavery in the south • Similar stance to “Containment” during the Cold War
Lincoln-Douglas Debates • Issues of the Debates • Expansion of slavery • Douglas- Popular sovereignty should determine • Lincoln- stop expansion • Popular sovereignty • Douglas- Essentially the law of the land • Lincoln- hurts the liberties of minority • Dred Scott decision- made slavery in territories legal for vote • Douglas- supported decision • Lincoln- questioned decision • Freeport Doctrine- GAME CHANGER • Douglas- stated that slavery could be refused in western territories in people do not want it, angers Southerners • Lincoln- made Douglas chose between popular sovereignty and slavery • African Americans • Both agreed that African Americans are NOT EQUAL • Douglas wins election BUT Lincoln receives national attention
Election of 1860 • Split in the Democratic Party • Southern Democrats nominate John C. Breckinridge- argued that the government should protect slavery in the territories • Northern Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas who supported popular sovereignty • Moderate Southerners along with politicians from the border states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri) formed the Constitutional Union Party nominating John Bell of Tennessee • Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln captured the presidency without winning a single electoral vote in the South • 39 percent of the vote • 180 electoral votes- FEAR of John C. Calhoun became a reality!
Lower South Secedes • December 20, 1860- South Carolina left the Union officially • Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia (LOWER SOUTH) seceded shortly after • Delegates from all 7 states created the Confederate States of America • They elected Jefferson Davis as their president
Fort Sumter • During Lincoln’s Inaugural address, he pledged to Southerners that “the government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors”. • He also promised to defend and protect the Union • Federal troops continued to occupy Fort Sumter- ISLAND off the coast of South Carolina • Considered Federal Land • Federal Soldiers under the command of Major Robert Anderson were running out of supplies- if no more supplies were given, it would have to be abandoned to the Confederates • April 6, 1861- Lincoln told the governor of South Carolina that he was sending food, but no soldiers or arms to Fort Sumter. • April 10th, before supplies could arrive, Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered General P.G.T. Beauregard to demand that Fort Sumter surrender- if Anderson refused, Beauregard was to take it by force • Anderson refused- April 12, 1861 Beauregard opened fire on the fort • After 34 hour bombardment, Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter to Confederate troops
Upper South Secedes • Lincoln called for volunteers to fight the seceding states • Upper South- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas secede in response to Lincoln
Keep in mind: • Lincoln’s primary goal during the war was to “preserve the Union” at all costs. • Should Lincoln be given more power during war? • Did Lincoln abuse his power? If yes, what should be done? • What is meant by the phrase “Commander in chief”? • Were Lincoln’s actions Constitutional? • Can Congress approve Lincoln’s decisions, even if they are unconstitutional? • Does Lincoln’s actions weaken Congress’ power?
Case 1 Suspending the writ of habeas corpus • What is the writ of habeas corpus? • Requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or a court • Ensures that a person can be released from unlawful detention-lacking sufficient cause of evidence • Roots tied to the Magna Carta!!! • What are the border states and why are they called this? • Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, Missouri • Southern but had people supporting both sides! • Article I Section 9, clause 2!!!!!!!
Case 2: Calling Troops: • (Deep South-Not border states) Southern States violated federal law! • Union property?? #3 • Commander in Chief??? • Article 1 section 8 clause 12!!!!
Case 3: Union Blockade • Purpose of a blockade?? • Imagine if Great Britain was not a huge empire and could only rely on the South…what would have happened???? • Article I Section 8 Clause 11 • FIRST TIME!!! NEW BAR SET FOR THE “COMMANDER IN CHIEF”
Case 4: Taking money from US Treasury $2,000,000 Article 1 Section 9 Clause 7
Case 5: Suspending Newspapers 1st Amendment!!!!!!! False Information?
Case 6: Emancipation Proclamation: Rebellion Border States---yes or no?? Time of war you are allowed to do what?? PEOPLE OR PROPERTY??? 5th AMENDMENT!!!
The Great Health Care Debate!Will this debate be remembered like the Lincoln Douglas debates??