POL_SC 1100 Lecture 15: Lincoln-Douglas Debate

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University of Missouri - Columbia
Political Science
POL_SC 1100
Stephen Seagrave

Lincoln-Douglas Debates • “The assertion that ‘all men are created equal’ was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, not for that, but for future use.” – Lincoln, “Speech on Dred Scott Decision” o Talking about DOI and how “All men are created equal was intended to apply to the future” o Asserting himself as opposed to slavery. Doesn’t identify directly with abolitionist but makes it clear he’s opposed to slavery • Missouri Compromise (1820) o What is our stance of a nation going to be to expanding slavery in new territories • Compromise of 1850 • Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) o Steven Douglas authored that opened up Kansas and Nebraska to popular sovereignty when choosing whether or no they want to be a slave state • Stephen Douglas’s Position o Popular Sovereignty ▪ “If the people of any other territory desire slavery, let them have it. If they do not want it, let them prohibit it. It is their business not mine” – Stephen Douglas ▪ States should have right to choose o States’ Rights ▪ Every state has a right to regulate its own institutions ▪ “This government was made upon the great basis of the sovereignty of the States, the right of each state to regulate its own domestic institutions to suit itself” – Stephen Douglas o Racial Inequality ▪ Emphasizes inequality between the races. He is a white supremacist thinks whites are superior ▪ “I hold that this government was established on the white basis. It was established by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity
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