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Abraham Lincoln: Abolitionist or Master Politician?

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Presentation on theme: "Abraham Lincoln: Abolitionist or Master Politician?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Abraham Lincoln: Abolitionist or Master Politician?

2 Slave and Free States of the United States, 1858 (from a book of the time)

3 http://images. google. com/imgres. imgurl=http://homepage. univie. ac



6 Lincoln’s quotes on following the laws of the government (1838)
The question recurs, "how shall we fortify against it?" The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;--let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children's liberty.

7 Abraham Lincoln in the 1840’s.
Lincoln’s discussion regarding the long range goals and affects of good government-as an ideal by the founding fathers (1842) And when the victory shall be complete -- when there shall be neither a slave nor a drunkard on the earth -- how proud the title of that Land, which may truly claim to be the birth-place and the cradle of both those revolutions, that shall have ended in that victory. How nobly distinguished that People, who shall have planted, and nurtured to maturity, both the political and moral freedom of their species.

8 Lincoln speaking to Joshua Speed, regarding slavery (1855)
I leave that matter entirely to yourself. I also acknowledge your rights and my obligations, under the constitution, in regard to your slaves. I confess I hate to see the poor creatures hunted down, and caught, and carried back to their stripes, and unrewarded toils; but I bite my lip and keep quiet.

9 Lincoln speaking about the Kansas-Nebraska Act and controversy (1855)
If, therefore, Judge Douglas' bill,2 secures a fair vote to the people of Kansas, without contrivance to commit any one further, I think republican members of congress ought to support it. They can do so, without any inconsistency-- They believe congress ought to prohibit slavery wherever it can be done, without violation of the constitution, or of good faith-- And having seen the noses counted, and actually knowing that a majority of the people of Kansas are against slavery, passing an act of congress to secure them a fair vote, is little else than prohibiting slavery in Kansas, by act of congress-- Congress can not dictate a constitution to a new state-- All it can do, at that point, is to secure the people a fair chance to form one for themselves, and then to accept, or reject it, when they ask admission into the union—

10 "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything."  -- September 18, Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois abraham-lincoln/quotes.htm

11 Lincoln in his famous “House Divided” Speech (1858)
Such a decision is all that slavery now lacks of being alike lawful in all the States. Welcome, or unwelcome, such decision is probably coming, and will soon be upon us, unless the power of the present political dynasty shall be met and overthrown. We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri. are on the verge of making their State free, and we shall awake to the reality instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State. To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty is the work now before all those who would prevent that consummation.

12 Lincoln’s Cooper Union Address (1860)
"I am naturally antislavery," said Abraham Lincoln early in his career. "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember a time when I did not so think, and feel." Yet Lincoln was not an abolitionist in the years leading up to the Civil War. Lincoln’s Cooper Union Address (1860) It is this: Does the proper division of local from federal authority, or anything in the Constitution, forbid our Federal Government to control as to slavery in our Federal Territories?

13 More of Lincoln’s Cooper Union Address (1860)
A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great Confederacy shall be at peace, and in harmony, one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and ill temper. Even though the southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them.

14 Lincoln’s First inaugural address in 1861
It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do not but quote from one of these speeches which I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them. And, more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read: "Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes."

15 "Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy."
“I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States.” "Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy." “There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions: -- "No person held to service or labour in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due." All words from Abe Lincoln’s first inaugural address, March 1861

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