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Abraham Lincoln's Campaigns for the Senate in 1858 and for the Presidency in 1860 - Essay Example

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Summary
The1858 campaignfor the Illinois Senate seat between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln became a glimpse into the presidential elections to follow later in 1860.Out of the seven debates held in Illinois,the most famous-the one held at the Freeport…
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Abraham Lincolns Campaigns for the Senate in 1858 and for the Presidency in 1860
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Abraham Lincoln's Campaigns for the Senate in 1858 and for the Presidency in 1860

Download file to see previous pages... Out of the seven debates held in Illinois, perhaps the most famous became the one held at the Freeport. Douglas insisted that the citizens ought to decide whether to include or exclude slavery in the new territories. Furthermore, he claimed that the federal government must focus, remain neutral and not mislead the people’s decision on slavery. On the other hand, Lincoln disapproved the notion of extending slavery to other territories. (Johnson 30).He insisted that slavery was wrong and that the government should not take a neutral stand in increasing slavery. His anti-slavery chants won the hearts of the Southern Democrats, who entirely opted not to support their own Stephen Douglas. Even though Lincoln never won the crucial battle for the Illinois senate seat, his Freeport campaign and, his take against slavery made him soar to national levels even surpassing Stephen Douglas. All Lincoln's speeches focused on the issue of slavery; he viewed it as an evil institution and denounced it against spreading to any other new US territories. He further critiqued Stephen Douglas for popularizing the concept of ‘popular sovereignty’, that would allow new states to vote on whether to embrace slavery or not. Lincoln’s opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act significantly contributed to his popularity. The Kansas-Nebraska Act got drawn by Stephen Douglas, and it sought to give the powers to the voters to decide whether slavery would be allowed. Both the pro and anti-slavery groups took demonstrations into Kansas with the aim of either voting slavery down or up. With so much tension, a key civil war broke out famously referred to as ‘Kansas Bleeding’. His firm opposition to this Act elevated his political landscape and heightened his political career. The bitter rivalry between the pro slavery and the anti slavery camps ignited Lincoln’s momentum in denouncing slavery throughout various states such as, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa. (Johnson 47). Lincolns’ invitation to speak at the Cooper Union in Manhattan impacted positively to his campaigns from his autobiography debates (Johnson 35). His speeches and debates prompted many from the East to consider Lincoln as a potential presidential candidate. He continued condemning the popular sovereignty and mobilised the republicans to oppose the extension of slavery. Furthermore, opposition made Lincoln clinch the ultimate coveted prize of being the president of America in 1860. His opponents, Breckinridge, Bell and Douglas who got the least votes attacked him with a war of words, describing him as an embarrassment to the American Nation, Unfit for office and ridiculed his looks. They insisted that the Republican Party was a platform for advocacy for the African American social and political equality. To the opposition, this would result in the economic downfall of the major industries of production. With no slaves at their disposal, free labour was coming to an end. (Johnson 54). Through opposition to slavery, Lincoln’s personality grew to be exceedingly adored by the population; he tackled down his critics with facts and critical thinking. He stood by his argument and let the whole of America know his attitude towards slavery. He managed to organize himself after the loss of Illinois Senate seat to Douglas, and establish himself as an honest and rightful president of America. Lincoln won the hearts of many republicans because of his public honesty, advocacy for freedom and abolition of slavery. He understood his limitations and his strengths and demonstrated a wider knowledge and ability in his authority. Lincoln viewed Slavery as an American problem and saw racial prejudice as most common among White Americans. He felt that the intensity of racial ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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