From: The Great Debates to a Rail Splitter Splits the Union

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From: The Great
Debates to a Rail
Splitter Splits the Union
The Great Debate: Lincoln vs.
Douglas
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The Lincoln vs. Douglas debates lasted from August to October of 1858
Lincoln was a fierce debater
Lincoln argued if a state should vote slavery down. Who would prevail? The
Court or the People?
Douglas argued for popular sovereignty or power to the people
The Great Debate continued…
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Douglas publicly answered the Freeport Question: Which asked whether
the court or the people decide the future of slavery in the territories, which
became known as the Freeport Doctrine
Douglas eventually defeated Lincoln for the Senate but Lincoln won the
moral victory
Lincoln made a name for himself while Douglas was left in shambles after
his opposition to the Lecompton Constitution
Helped Lincoln’s run for presidency later on
The debates marked an early battle in the civil war
John Brown: Murderer or Martyr?
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Plan: invade South, arm slaves,
and establish a black free state
Seized federal arsenal at
Harper’s Ferry
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7 innocents killed- including 1
free black
~ 10 injured
Slaves didn’t know about
Brown’s plan  didn’t revolt
Brown captured by U.S.
Marines under command of
Lieutenant Colonel Robert E.
Lee
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Convicted of murder and
treason  hung
John Brown Continued…
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Last words: “This is a
beautiful country.”
Effects:
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Southerners questioned how
they could remain in Union
Northerners openly deplored
exploit
Abolitionists infuriated by
execution- outraged that VA
hung reformer working for
“so righteous a cause”
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Brown compared to Jesus
The Disruption of Democrats
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Democrats met in Charleston, SC
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Southern “fire-eaters” thought he was a traitor
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Delegates from most cotton-states walked out  couldn’t get 2/3 vote
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Due to his unpopular stand on Lecompton Constitution and Freeport Doctrine
Became a trend
Democrats met again in Baltimore
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Many cotton-state dele3gates walked out again, but Douglas was nominated
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platform: popular sovereignty and against obstruction of the Fugitive Slave law by
the states
Angry southern democrats organized rival convention in Baltimore
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Many northern states unrepresented
John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky selected as leader
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Platform: favored extension of slavery into the territories and annexation of slavepopulated Cuba
Continued…
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Constitutional Union party
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Feared for Union
Aka “Do Nothing” or “Old
Gentleman’s” party
Consisted mainly of former
Whigs and Know-Nothings
Met in Baltimore 
nominated John Bell of
Tennessee
A Rail Splitter, Splits the Rail
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The Republican Party met in Chicago and nominated
Abraham Lincoln as their presidential Candidate.
The Republican platform had an appeal to nearly every
part of the nation.
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For free-soilers, non extension of slavery
For northern manufacturers, a protective tariff
For the immigrants, no abridgment of rights
For the northwest, a pacific railroad
For the west, internal improvements at federal expense
For farmers, free homesteads from public domain
The Southerners claimed if Lincoln was elected as
President, the Union would split.
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