The debates between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln leave no doubt. Far from settling the issue, the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the ban on slavery in the territories has fanned the fire.
Lincoln warns that the Court could next make slavery legal everywhere. He would not “disturb slavery in the states where it exists.” But, he says, the first step toward eliminating this “evil” is to stop it from spreading.
But each state and territory must decide for itself, retorts Douglas, saying that can still be done despite the Court’s ruling. Lincoln’s approach, he says, will tear the country apart.
Each claims he’s following the founding fathers.