Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition

Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition

Harry V. Jaffa

Language: English

Pages: 472

ISBN: 0226391183

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Crisis of the House Divided is the standard historiography of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Harry Jaffa provides the definitive analysis of the political principles that guided Lincoln from his reentry into politics in 1854 through his Senate campaign against Douglas in 1858. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication, Jaffa has provided a new introduction.

"Crisis of the House Divided has shaped the thought of a generation of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War scholars."—Mark E. Needly, Jr., Civil War History

"An important book about one of the great episodes in the history of the sectional controversy. It breaks new ground and opens a new view of Lincoln's significance as a political thinker."—T. Harry Williams, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences

"A searching and provocative analysis of the issues confronted and the ideas expounded in the great debates. . . . A book which displays such learning and insight that it cannot fail to excite the admiration even of scholars who disagree with its major arguments and conclusions."—D. E. Fehrenbacher, American Historical Review

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federal system which provided the guarantee of the SLAVERY 4g that each accession of territory and population to the Union would mean an increase of human freedom and welfare. It was this which made American imperialism, unlike every other imperialism, a blessing to all humanity as well as to itself. It was popular sovereignty which made expansion both feasible (by disarming malice and envy) and desirable (by extending republican freedom). But we must now show how, from Douglas's

the representative character of the Senate than the old Northwest or Southwest. Meanwhile, as millions. By we have already noted, the mighty influx from Europe into the was making the argument against the three-fifths free states clause highly abstract. Douglas's intention to extend the area of liberty was not an idle one either: the American constitutional system knew no way to acquire "provinces," in the old Roman sense. Congress had power to admit new states, and all lands acquired were

Lincoln in the Peoria speech: The most conclusive argument, however, that, while voting for the Wilmot Proviso, and while voting against the extension of the Missouri line, we never thought of disturbing the is found in the fact that there an unorganized tract of fine country, nearly as large as the state of Missouri, lying immediately west of Arkansas, and south of the Missouri Compromise line [the present state of Oklahoma]; and that we never original Missouri Compromise, was then, and

local selfgovernment. This connection might thus be used to neutralize, if not to defeat, the moral fervor of the anti-slavery crusade emanat- bodies in old ing from other roots in that same tradition. The spirit of local independence had, of course, received new vitality from the conditions of western community families of the old South life. It who tended was not the to migrate ruled their counties like English squires and, aristocratic the ones we might who add, were probably

Pericles or Churchill, how utterly the of the immortality of the deed depends upon the immortality that knew word. Tn the beginning was the Word." Lincoln only as the incantation the silent field renewed the sacred fire upon which had passed from those who had given their last full measure would freedom be born again. It is entirely improbable l88 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF A YOUNG WHIG and did not know what he was doing. It is impossible he should have understood the function of his own

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