The Significance of Lincoln-Douglas Debates
The Significance of Lincoln-Douglas debates
The Lincoln-Douglas debates where slavery, popular sovereignty, the nature of rights, and the Union’s future were the significant issues are today the basis of American institution development (pg. intro). Their contradictory views on the meaning of the declaration for independence represented a choice of values where Lincoln advocated for minority rule while Douglas was for majority rule. These debates resulted in further division between the northern and southern states, recognition of true democracy, Lincoln’s popularity, and the amendment of the constitution to ban slavery.
The deep-rooted differences between the northern and southern states become more profound due to the Lincoln-Douglas debates (pg. xxii). Southern state was a slave-labor economy while the northern state was composed of small farmers, had a new business and growing industrial economy. As a result of the convincing nature of the two skilled debaters, where the southerners supported Lincoln, and the northerners supported Douglas, the debate could not be resolve existing state’s differences. The gap between the states continued to widen, with each disregarding the other in economic, social, and political matters.
Lincoln gained popularity due to the debate, which saw him become nominated as the Republican Party president two years later (pg. 85). Without the debate happenings, Lincoln had slim chances of been selected as a nominee of the Republican Party candidate. He was liked for his eloquence, sense of humor, reputation for integrity, and self-effacing modesty. With the nomination, Lincoln defeated Douglas and consigned his doctrine of human equality, and reaffirmed American’s commitment to the principle of human equality. Later on, he led the North to victory in the civil war.
Moreover, the constitution’s amendment to ban slavery was made possible by the Lincoln-Douglas debate. Lincoln believed that unity was essential and that a nation with half slave and half free could not develop efficiently (pg.90). As a result, Lincoln championed the constitutional amendments, which abolished slavery and forbade denying voting rights based on color and race, and guaranteed equal citizenship rights.
Lincoln, A., & Douglas, S. A. (2008). The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Studies Center Edition (Vol. 11). University of Illinois Press.