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Primary Source Analysis: Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Directions: Fill in the organizer as you read the two primary sources. The excerpts from the debate center on Lincoln and Douglas’s differing interpretations of Founding ideals: Is slavery at odds with the principles of the Declaration of Independence?

August 21, 1858: First Debate for the Illinois Senate between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln in Ottawa, Illinois
Stephen Douglas Abraham Lincoln
Main Ideas Main Ideas
Shrink the text: Summarize Douglas’s argument in one sentence. Shrink the text: Summarize Lincoln’s argument in one sentence.
Is a consensus or compromise on slavery possible in 1858, based on your reading of these sources? Consider all the events in your organizer that preceded this debate. Why or why not?



How did the Lincoln-Douglas debate reveal different interpretations of Founding documents (the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution) and principles?



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