Slavery Arguments and American Civil War Essay
What were the key issues that Lincoln and Douglas touched on in their arguments regarding slavery?
The debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas focused on slavery issues (The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 1). During the debate, the constitution emerged as one of the most contentious issues. Lincoln was from South Kansas, where Congress‘s constitution supported slave law. Congressional support for slavery law resulted in heated debates across the United States. In the debates, Douglas supported the slavery law stating that the constitution legalizes the practice. On the other hand, Lincoln argued that he was against the act of slavery even though the constitution was in support of the law. However, he stated that every state was free to exercise their slavery laws without any interference from the federal government.
Another issue that arose during the debate is the rule of local law and democracy (The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 1). Douglas gave and quoted an example of a liquor law in comparison with what chief justice Taney had ruled about slavery. Taney, in his opinion, perceived slaves as property. Therefore, he believed that the owners had the right to move with their property into the territory of their choice. In the debate, Douglas argued that democracy was of the essence in determining the institution of slavery and that people would protect and promote the law if they wanted. In his summary about the local law, Davis made it clear to slaveholders of Missouri that they did not have the right to carry slaves into territory where people did not want them. He added that it was up to the people to decide.
Abolition of slavery law and politics was another point of argument between Douglas and Lincoln. Lincoln argued out that the abolition of slavery was the hardest thing to do. He added that every man must protect legislation that supports slavery in certain territory provided it was in the constitution. On the other hand, Douglas argued that if Lincoln’s views were to be adopted, the blacks could become freemen and take up the whites’ jobs.
What were some of the events in the 1850s that helped to keep the slavery issue alive? Could America have avoided civil war if these events had not occurred? Why or why not?
In the 1850s, politics surrounding the Congress party and their sentiments let sporadic to gunfire (Lecture Launcher). Since America was volatile at that time, any falsehood triggered a civil war. The Douglas’s bill on Kansas & Nebraska triggered civil war leading to the dead of over 200 Americans in the Kansas territory. During the battles, Kansas’ senator Sir Charles was attacked after delivering a passionate slavery speech about the Southern politics. The politics led to the separation of the Democratic Party into Republic party and the American Party. The American party argued for the Natives Americans and against the immigrants. The republican appealed to anti slaves’ center. The fact that most people were from the Southern territory was not in agreement with Douglas’s bill worsens the war.
America could have avoided some unnecessary civil war, which was witnessed in the 1950s (Lecture Launcher). The existence of the Northern and Southern territory enhanced the civil war triggered by the above events. Also, politics between Congress and Democrats played a great role in the slavery civil war. Based on the above, it is apparent that if Douglas had not brought the bill about Kansas and Nebraska, which revealed the Kansas slavery, then over 200 American lives would not have been lost in the war.
Lecture Launcher: Turbulent 50’s. Dir. James Madison. Perf. James Madison. Films Media Group, 2013. Web.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. 2010. Web.
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What were the key issues that Lincoln and Douglas touched on in their arguments regarding slavery? The debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas focused on slavery issues (The Lincoln-Douglas […]