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Reading the American past - Essay Example

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These documents serve as a reliable source for the 21-century scholars who want to get a glimpse of the United States’ rich history. As…
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Reading the American past

Download file to see previous pages... An analysis of Lincoln’s speech concerning the controversial Kansas-Nebraska act and the antislavery constitution by Frederick Douglass will highlight the views of proslavery and antislavery.
In 1854, Lincoln gave his reaction to the opinion of Douglass who had introduced the Kansas-Nebraska act (Johnson 266-267). Abraham Lincoln presented his speech at Peoria. The bill drafted by Douglass, the Illinois senator sought to discredit the Missouri compromise. The bill sparked a heated controversy in the house. After Douglass had expressed his views for three hours, it was time for Lincoln to respond. Lincoln’s speech traced all the preceding events that contributed to the debate that they were handling. He presented an account of the Missouri compromise and its implications to Nebraska. He mentioned that Nebraska had belonged to the region defined in the Missouri compromise and any inhabitants occupying the regions could not practice slavery. He then detailed the ways in which Douglass’s suggestions in the Kansas-Nebraska bill affected the Missouri compromise. He mentioned that the bill allowed inhabitants of the Nebraska region to practice slavery if they deemed it right to do so. This suggestion by Douglass contradicted with the Missouri compromise. In addition, Lincoln highlighted Douglass’s expansion plans of splitting the controversial regions and introducing Kansas as new territory.
After outlining a brief history of the issue, Lincoln progressed to present his anti-slavery views. According to him, the Negroes were equally human and deserved a fair chance in the government as well (268). He objected Douglass’s views that only the whites had a right to form the government. He detailed the evils of slavery inn different states and made his antislavery message to Douglass and the audience very clear. His speech presents the reader with an opportunity to delve deeper into the issues defining slavery in the American ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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