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Abraham Lincoln, Charleston Debate - Essay Example

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At the time of the debate, the country was divided into two parts; the north that opposed slavery and the south that opposed any measures to abolish…
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Abraham Lincoln, Charleston Debate
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Abraham Lincoln, Charleston Debate

Download file to see previous pages... From the excerpt, Lincoln desists from encouraging equality in the country. In fact, he supports that fact that races are not equal, and the white race should reign supreme. In essence, Lincoln says that equality cannot be attained without upsetting the social balance, which could have more adverse effects. He asserts that the ethnic differences between whites and black is enough hindrance for these people not to be equal. Lincoln argues that a stable society must have people to take up superior places and others to take inferior places. He claims that although Negroes cannot be denied everything, they should not take up leadership positions and reign over the white people (“Fourth Joint Debate at Charleston” para. 2).
Despite his stance on race and equality, Lincoln is opposed to the expansion of slavery in the country. The northwestern states had abolished slavery and were agitating for abolishment of slavery throughout the country. Lincoln argued that although Negroes could not have equal rights, it was improper to discriminate them when the constitution had granted their citizenship (Lincoln n.p).
The debate in the excerpt closely resembles current political rhetoric. Lincoln and Douglas used the ethos, pathos and logos to attract support from the electorate. The use of rhetoric in the then politics and today’s politics was to humiliate the opponents and pose them as against the people. In the excerpt, Lincoln uses rhetoric to attack Douglas on the issue of slavery and how he altered the law to allow Kansas choose the fate of slaves in the state (“Fourth Joint Debate at Charleston” para. 3). The rhetoric in the debate is manifest in today’s politics where politicians use issues of concern to the electorate to attack opponents.
Political rhetoric in 1858 concentrated on finding fault in the system and proposing the way forward. Lincoln attacked Douglas as a person who could not be trusted because he had changed the contents of a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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