Lincoln and Douglas debated the slavery extension issue in 1 858, therefore, they were addressing the problem that had divided the nation into two hostile camps. The issue that threatened the continued existence of the nation. Lincoln spoke out against the union. Say that the country wont survive long if it is split. Douglas took this as an opportunity, and referred to Lincoln as a radical. Lincoln then challenged Douglas to a series of debates, and the two eventually agreed to have seven debates in the state of Illinois.
The debates, each three hours long, were convened in Ottawa held August 1 , Freeport held August 27, Joneses held September 15, Charleston held September 18, Eagleburger held October 7, Quince held October 13, and Alton held October 15. Douglas repeatedly tried to brand Lincoln as a dangerous radical who stood for racial equality and disruption of the Union. Lincoln emphasized the moral iniquity of slavery and attacked popular sovereignty for the blood it had spilled in Kansas. In the first debate in Ottawa, Douglas accused Lincoln of trying to get rid of the Whig and democratic party.
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He also said that Lincoln was taking the side f the common enemy in the Mexican War. He even decided to say that Lincoln wanted to make Illinois “a free negro colony”. Which then was not a normal view. At the debate in Freeport Lincoln challenged Douglas to reconcile popular sovereignty with the Dried Scott decision. Douglas replied that settlers could make the decision by not establishing the local police regulations that protected a master’s property. Without that protection, no one with slaves would move into that territory.
In the third debate, in Joneses, Illinois, Douglas tried to make Lincoln me unreliable. Saying that Locoing said something new, or took a new stance on an issue in the different parts of Illinois. He again repeated that Lincoln stood for racial equality. Lincoln denied all of the accusations except for the racial equality. In the fourth debate, in Charleston, Illinois, Lincoln accused that Douglas was plotting to create a constitution for Kansas allowing it to be voted upon by the people of Kansas. Lincoln gave a detailed history of the Kansas Nebraska Act and explained a conspiracy to nationalize slavery.
Douglas ended the conspiracy, and restated again, that Lincoln wanted equality of the races. In the fifth debate, in Eagleburger, Illinois, Douglas explained how he opposed the Locomotion Constitution as well as an compromise on the issue. He made a statement on how the Declaration of Independence was written by white men, and was only mean to apply to white men. Lincoln stated how he believed that the Declaration of Independence was meant to apply to all men. In the sixth debate, in Quince, Illinois, Lincoln again denied that he said different things at different debates.
He emphasized how slavery’ was morally wrong, and promised that Republicans would attack slavery where the constitution allowed them to. Douglas refused to argue whether or not slavery was right or wrong, he insisted that each local area should have the right to decide for themselves. In the seventh debate, in Alton, Illinois, Lincoln stated that the Kansas Nebraska Act repealed Henry Clay’s Missouri Compromise. Lincoln used Clay’s statements that slavery was evil and Lincoln charged that by excluding the other races from the Declaration of Independence Douglas euthanized ND tool away from their rights to strive and be free.