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Lincoln/Douglas Debate Answer Key Opening Statement

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Lincoln/Douglas Debate Answer Key
1.) Opening Statement:
Douglas- Cares about states’ rights and not blacks

Would not endanger the Union or white rights for black rights

Govt. has no right to interfere with property without peoples’ consent (remember the Revolution)
Lincoln- Issue is really between people who oppose slavery and people who support it

Only thing threatnting the Union and that has always threatened it is slavery

Making slavery bigger, then, can never help the Union.

Cancer- no way to cut cancer without bleeding to death but can’t cure it by spreading it all over your body)

2.) Kansas-Nebraska
Lincoln- Not in favor. It repeals Missouri Compromise

It is wrong to repeal the Compromise and to let slavery spread.

Douglas- It is neither putting slavery in territories or excluding it

It is leaving it up to the people

Kansas should be able to choose (and govt. will accept them either way)
3.) Equality of blacks and whites
Douglas- No equality

Does not want blacks as voters, jurors, congressmen, or to marry whites

Two races can never be equal based on traits. They must live together so one must be superior (whites).
Lincoln- If we say blacks are not entitled to the rights granted by the Dec. of Independence that says all men are created equal, who could be next? Who might get denied in the future?
4.) Blacks as Citizens
Douglas- Asks people should they have rights, citizenship, equality, they reply No!

He then says he is opposed as well.

Government made for whites.

If you want those things, elect Lincoln and the Black Republican Party

Citizenship to whites only. Blacks are inferior so are Indians

Blacks entitled to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness from the Dec.

Does not thing they are equal to whites (intelligence, etc.)

They are equal in their deserving of rights

No equality in politics (voting, offices, jurors, white marriage, etc.). Could never live together, whites are superior.

Send them to Liberia

Doesn’t seem in favor or citizenship
5.) Fugitive Slave Laws
Lincoln- South entitled to a federal slave law

If roles were reversed Southerners would not own slaves and he would be reluctant to give them up.

In favor of the law but grudgingly (because of Constitution he supports it)

This, however, should be no excuse to bring slavery into free territories.

Seems like he tried to slyly state that he is not in favor of it.
Doulas- Compares Lincoln to King George (Lincoln trying to control property without consent)

Stands by the Constitution

6.) Closing Thoughts
Douglas- Framers knew that each place in America was distinct and was deserving of distinct laws.

No interests are the same so different places need different laws.

Seems to be saying that he thinks slavery should exist where it is needed
Lincoln- House divided against itself cannot stand (U.S. is divided)

Cannot endure half slave and half free

U.S. will either become all 1 or all the other (Free or Slave)

Cannot stand with both.

Douglas- for people deciding but see blacks as inferior.

Lincoln- no slavery in new territories and sees blacks as inferior but thinks they are deserving of all the Dec. of Ind. Rights that whites are.


Lincoln’s Beliefs

Douglas’s Beliefs

Opening Statement

Issue is those who oppose slavery and those who want it.
Do not expand slavery; it will only threaten Union more.

Care about states and white rights and that is it.
Govt. has no right to interfere with property without consent (Rev War).

Kansas-Nebraska Act

Against it.
It is wrong to repeal Missouri Comp and spread slavery.

For it.
It is not putting or excluding slavery in territories.
Let people decide.

Equality of blacks and whites

All men are created equal.
If we deny it to some, who will be next?

No equality at all for blacks (no voting, congress, marrying whites, etc.)
Whites must always be superior.

Status of black citizenship

Blacks entitled to rights of life, liberty, and happiness.
No voting rights, government jobs, or jurors
Send them to Africa.

No citizenship or any rights to blacks.
Government made for whites only.
Blacks are inferior.

Fugitive Slave Laws

South entitled to it under the Constitution.
However, he says it is no excuse to bring slavery into the territories that are free (trying to say he disagrees with the laws)

For them
Compares Lincoln to King George

(taking property with no consent)

Closing thoughts

U.S. cannot survive being half free and half slave.
One will be dominant or U.S. will not exist at all.

Different laws work well in different places.
Allow slavery where people think it is needed.

Answer the following question in at least 5 complete sentences:

How can we understand the conflicts and issues afflicting the U.S. prior to the outbreak of the Civil War by examining the Lincoln Douglas Debates? In other words, how does the debate help us understand the various feelings and viewpoints of the country’s citizens prior to the start of the Civil War?
We can tell how the two main sides felt about the issue of slavery.
Northerners mostly did not consider blacks as their equals and many were not for giving blacks citizenship rights. They merely thought that slavery was morally wrong and should be stopped. They were also afraid that the expansion of slavery would allow the South to dominate the country (in the government and economically). Many, like Lincoln, favored freeing the slaves and then sending them to start new lives in Africa. Northerners were against the spread of slavery in the territories and thought that the federal government, not the people in each state, could decide whether to allow slavery in new territories. Finally, they thought blacks should be entitled to the basic rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness so they should be set free, but, at the same time they thought blacks should not be able to serve in governmental jobs, be able to vote, or be social equals of whites.
Southerners were trying to preserve their way of life. They did not see blacks as equals and simply saw them as parts of the economy (and as the property of whites). They did not want to end the spread of slavery into the territories or in general because it would destroy their economic system. Finally, they thought that if they could not extend slavery, the North would dominate politics and pass laws that would hurt the South. They were for the right of people to choose whether they wanted slavery or not. It seems like most Southerners did not really care about slaves or the conditions they suffered, they merely wanted to continue their ways of lives that depended on slave labor. This is the reason they were willing to fight so hard for it.

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