Every single moment that takes place in history arguably leaves an effect that lasts much longer than just the initial outcome. The Lincoln Douglas Debates are by far one of the truest examples of this happening. The seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas that took place in 1858 had extreme importance in Illinois that created effects that decided the presidential election of 1860.
The Lincoln Douglas debates were a series of several debates that took place all over the state of Illinois. In these debates, two men argued in order to express their beliefs and standpoints on certain issues, primarily slavery, in an attempt to be elected into a seat in the U.S. Senate. The two men that participated in these debates were Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. These debates not only primarily decided the outcome of the state election for Senate, but they greatly impacted and laid down the foundation for the presidential election of 1860 (Foner and Garraty 2)
Stephen A. Douglas was a senator with Democratic views who had previously been elected into the U.S. Senate in 1854. Before then, he was the state Supreme Court Judge (Morel 2). Therefore, he was much better known than Abraham Lincoln since he had currently been holding a seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois for the past ten years. Aside from that, he was primarily known for his ideas of Popular Sovereignty and being considered responsible for the Kansas-Nebraska Acts (Illinois Civil War).
On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln, who eventually became one of the most well known presidents, had little significance in the country or even the state of Illinois previously to the Lincoln Douglas debates. Lincoln had been nominated to run as the representative ...
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McMichael, K. N.P. Web. 20 Sept 2013.
Morel, Lucas E. “Lincoln, Race, And The Spirit of ‘76” Perspectives On Political Science 39.1 (2010): 3-11. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Oct. 2013.
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Russel, Randy. N.p. Web. 12 Nov 2013.
Ushistory.org. N.P. Web. 12 Nov 2013.
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