The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

848 Words4 Pages
The 1858 Election for US Senator of Illinois was a series of 7 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. The campaign covered seven of the nine major districts of Illinois. They included: Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy, and Alton. Of the many issues addressed, a major controversy throughout the entire affair, was the expansion of slavery. The debates attracted tremendous crowds from all over the nation and became known as the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

The Lincoln-Douglas debates were the result of the Illinois Senatorial election of 1858. At the time, their were two rival political parties: The Republicans and the Democrats. These opposing parties would nominate someone to go up against the other in an election. The Republicans had chosen Abraham Lincoln, a politician from Springfield, as their challenger to the current Democratic Senator. It was in his acceptance speech to represent the Republicans that Lincoln delivered his infamous line, "A house divided against itself, cannot stand." The Democrats, meanwhile, had also made their decision to nominate the current senator of Illinois, Judge Stephen A. Douglas of Chicago, as their candidate for re-election.

In the first debate at Ottawa, Illinois on August 21, thousands of people arrived from all over the country. Throughout the entire debate, spectators stood in the dry heat as Lincoln and Douglas disputed. Douglas accused Lincoln of attempting to eradicate the Whig and Democratic Party. In addition to these allegations, Douglas also named Lincoln as a supporter of the American opposition in the Mexican War. Lincoln promptly disavowed those allegations, stating that Douglas’ accounts were based solely on one mans opinion and that ...

... middle of paper ...

...Part II." Teaching American History. Ashbrook Center of Ashland University. Web. 16 Jan 2014. .
"The Lincoln-Douglas Debates 7th Debate Part I." Teaching American History. Ashbrook Center of Ashland University. Web. 16 Jan 2014. .
"The Lincoln-Douglas Debates 7th Debate Part II." Teaching American History. Ashbrook Center of Ashland University. Web. 16 Jan 2014. .
"The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858: Summary & Significance." Education Portal. N.p.. Web. 16 Jan 2014.
Open Document