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between

Abraham Lincoln

and

Stephen A. Douglas Debates

Mar.

In the Senatorial Campaign of 1858-in Illinois
Together with Certain Preceding Speeches of
Each at Chicago, Springfield, etc.

With an Introduction by

George Haven Putnam, Litt.D.

G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press
1912

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INTRODUCTION

IN 1854, Douglas carried through Congress the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. This bill repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and cancelled also the provisions of the series of compromises of 1850. Its purpose was to throw open for settlement and for later organisation as Slave States the whole territory of the North-west from which, under the Missouri Compromise, slavery had been excluded. The Kansas-Nebraska Bill not only threw open a great territory to slavery but re-opened the whole slavery discussion. The issues that were brought to the front in the discussions about this bill, and in the still more bitter contests after the passage of the bill in regard to the admission of Kansas as a Slave State, were the immediate precursors of the Civil War. The larger causes lay farther back, but the war would have been postponed for an indefinite period if it had not been for the pressing on the part of the South for the right to make Slave States throughout the entire territory of the country, and for the readiness on the part of certain Democratic leaders of the North, of whom Douglas was the chief, to accept this contention, and through such expedients to gain, or to retain, political control for the Democratic party.

In one of the long series of debates in Congress on

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