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therefore couldn’t sue, (2) residence in free territory didn’t
make him free and (3) Congress couldn’t ban slavery
from any territory anyway. This was a big time victory for
the Slave Power, and stimulated all sorts of complaints
and protests from the North.
- This is where the famous Abraham Lincoln speech
comes in…in 1858, while announcing his campaign for
US Senate, he talked about the divided house and all
that. Since the DS decision had made the Republican
position unconstitutional, they could only appeal to
voters’ overriding morals or hope to change the SC
justices – actually, they used both and it ended up
helping them politically.
- But for Northern Democrats [ex. Stephen Douglas] the
case was a big problem – they had to reassure the North
about the territories being opened but not scare off the
South. Douglas ended up decided to stick w/PS, e/t it
ticked off the South.
- One incident involved the Lecompton Constitution,
which had been drafted in Kansas but voted down. Still,
Buchanan tried to force it through – infuriating the North
and finally causing Douglas to side against the
administration [no LC] and against the South. Douglas
only made it worse for himself by continuing his PS idea
[Freeport Doctrine] in his debates against Lincoln for
the Senate seat in 1858.
- Things like this made the possibility of a split in the
Democratic Party increase.
116 *John Brown and the Election of 1860*
- Although slavery was a big deal, most people weren’t
thinking about it 24/7…until John Brown gave it a whole
new slant with his attack on the federal arsenal at
Harpers Ferry on October 16, 1859.
- Brown was an obsessive abolitionist, and his capture
and execution made him a symbol of all evil for
Southerners and an almost holy martyr for much of the
- So things were clearly pretty hyped up for the
Presidential Election of 1860, which many felt would
decide the fate of the Union. It was totally sectional, as
even the Democratic Party had split at its 1860 SC
Convention b/c Douglas refused to accept the Southern
position on the territories...
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- Fall '10