Lincoln Douglas Debates Essay example

Submitted By trish8211962
Words: 650
Pages: 3

Seven debates in twenty-one hours helped determine the political future for both Douglas and Lincoln. The main issues in the Lincoln-Douglas debates included the fight for slavery in new territories and the freedom of slaves everywhere in which the future of the United States would rest upon.

Lincoln and Douglas both debated each other regarding which territories or states should allow or disallow slavery. Lincoln had a clear view of what the country needed as he openly talked about the “ultimate extinction” of slavery. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Lincoln remarked, in which he declared that the United States could not be half slave and half free and that it would be all one or the other. Lincoln supported the elimination of slavery everywhere, while on the other hand Douglas did not care if it remained in the south but was no friend to it either. Unsure whether Douglas was a true abolitionist, his decision regarding the Dred Scot case endorsed the idea that slavery was legal in all territories. Douglas simply did not want slavery in Illinois at all, in fact he did not want black people in Illinois at all, whether they were slave or free. Popular sovereignty was the safest way Douglas could handle issue. While Douglas did not care about slavery much at all and supporting southern rights to have slaves, Lincoln showed that he was a true supporter of removing the evil of slavery from American society all together.

Whether or not the black man had the same freedoms and rights as a white man was also another topic of discussion during the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Lincoln supported a black man’s freedom and rights while Douglas had almost an opposite view. Lincoln’s policy freed blacks and gave them equality and such privileges as citizenship and the right to vote. Lincoln knew that freedom must prevail and that Americans had to revert back to the principles of their founding fathers who enumerated in the Declaration of Independence the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all. Douglas’ views were very proslavery. He pushed in the direction not allowing the black man to vote or allowing him equality to the standard of a white man. What Douglas says affirms this, “If you desire to allow them to come into the State and settle with the white man, if you desire them to vote… then support Mr.