Lincoln Douglas Debate
In agreeing to the debates, Lincoln ND Douglas decided to hold one debate in each of the nine congressional districts in Illinois. Because both had already spoken in two, Springfield and Chicago, within a day of each other, they decided that their “joint appearances” would be held only in the remaining seven districts. The debates Were held in seven towns in the State Of Illinois: Ottawa on August 21 , Freeport on August 27, Joneses on September 15, Charleston on September 18, Eagleburger on October 7, Quince on October 13, and Alton on October 15.The debates in Freeport, Quince and Alton drew especially large numbers of people from neighboring states, as the issue of slavery was of monumental importance to citizens across the nation. Newspaper coverage of the debates was intense. Major papers from Chicago sent stenographers to create complete texts of each debate, which newspapers across the United States reprinted in full, with some partisan edits.
Newspapers that supported Douglas edited his speeches to remove any errors made by the stenographers and to correct grammatical errors, while they left Lincoln speeches in the rough form in which they had been transcribed. In the same ay, pro-Lincoln papers edited Lincoln ‘s speeches, but left the Douglas texts as reported. After losing the election for Senator in Illinois, Lincoln edited the texts of all the debates and had them published in a book.The widespread coverage of the original debates and the subsequent popularity of the book led eventually to Lincoln nomination for President of the United States by the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago. The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute rejoinder. ” The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates.
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Before the debates, Lincoln said that Douglas was encouraging fears of amalgamation of the races with enough success to drive thousands of people away from the Republican Party. Douglas tried to convince, especially the Democrats, that Lincoln was an abolitionist for saying that the American Declaration of Independence applied to blacks as well as whites. Lincoln called a self-evident truth “the electric cord that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together. Lincoln argued in his House Divided Speech that Douglas was part of a conspiracy to nationalize slavery.Lincoln said that ending the Missouri Compromise ban on slavery in Kansas and Nebraska was the first step in this direction, and that the Dried Scott decision was another step in the direction of spreading slavery into Northern territories. Lincoln expressed the fear that the next Dried Scott decision would make Illinois a slave state. Both Lincoln and Douglas had opposition.
Although Lincoln was a former Whig, the prominent former Whig Judge Audiophiles Lyle Dickey said that Lincoln was o closely tied to the abolitionists, and supported Douglas.But Democratic President James Buchanan opposed Douglas for defeating the Locomotion Constitution, and set up a rival National Democratic party that drew votes away from him. Lincoln used a number of colorful phrases in the debates, such as when he said that one argument by Douglas made a horse chestnut into a chestnut horse, and compared an evasion by Douglas to the sepia cloud from a cuttlefish. Lincoln said that Douglas’ Freeport Doctrine was a do- nothing sovereignty that was “as thin as the homeopathic soup that was dad by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death. The October surprise of the election was the endorsement of the Democrat Douglas by former Whig John Accredited. Former Whig comprised the biggest block of swing voters, and Criterion’s endorsement of Douglas rather than Lincoln, also a former Whig, reduced Lincoln chances of winning. On election day, the Democrats won a narrow majority of seats in the Illinois General Assembly, despite getting slightly less than half the votes.
The legislature then re-elected Douglas.However, the widespread media coverage f the debates greatly raised Lincoln national profile, making him a viable candidate for nomination as the Republican candidate in the upcoming 1860 presidential election. He would go on to secure both the nomination and the presidency, besting Douglas (as the Northern Democratic candidate), among others, in the process. The Lincoln-Douglas debate format that is used in high school and college competition today is named after this series of debates. Modern presidential debates trace their roots to the Lincoln-?Douglas Debates, though the format today is remarkably different from the original.