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Permissions and Citations But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! June 16, 1858. “Attracting national attention, Lincoln’s house-divided speech sounded very radical. House Divided Project Introduction. Springfield, Illinois. On June 16, 1858 more than 1,000 delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. Eric Foner Abraham Lincoln's 1858 "House Divided" speech catapults him into the national consciousness with its bold moral assessment of the future of American slavery. … How to Use, Emancipation Digital Classroom Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863 Catherine Clinton The House Divided Speech was an address given by Abraham Lincoln in 1858 with the goal to make a distinction between himself and Douglas, and to openly talk about a prognostication for time to come. Lincoln's Gettysburg Addresses Guide to Spielberg's Lincoln Pete (talk) 17:43, 5 February 2014 (UTC) “I think that there’s a fairly good argument to be made that the ‘house divided’ speech ended up hurting Lincoln in the 1858 election and was one reason why he lost,” Guelzo says. But the future president was quick to deny that accusation. The "House Divided" Speech When Lincoln was nominated to be the candidate of the Illinois Republican Party for U.S. Senate he delivered a speech at the state convention on June 16, 1858. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, “A HOUSE DIVIDED”: SPEECH AT SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS (16 JUNE 1858) Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention. The new law stipulated that “no person imported, introduced or brought into this State” could be held in bondage. ``A House Divided'': Speech at Springfield, Illinois June 16, 1858 The Speech, immediately succeeding, was delivered, June 16, 1858 at Springfield Illinois, at the close of the Republican State convention held at that time and place; and by which convention Mr. Lincoln had been named as their candidate for U. At a time when many white politicians wanted to compromise on slavery, Abraham Lincoln said that wasn't possible. House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858. Cooper Union Address, February 27, 1860. '”, —David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 209, “As a senatorial candidate in 1858, Lincoln fought Douglas on ground of the incumbent senator’s own choosing: the legitimacy of popular sovereignty as a republican principle. Did we brave all then,  to falter now?—now—when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered and belligerent? On the previous day the Convention had taken the unprecedented move of naming Lincoln their candidate for the Senate [normally Senate candidates were chosen in January when the new legislature convened]. Mr. PRESIDENT and Gentlemen of the Convention. Yet Republicans weren’t too concerned about Lincoln’s race because they thought Senator Douglas, a Democrat, might be open to working with them against expanding slavery. The result is not doubtful. The antebellum period included a series of events and legislation about slavery, especially the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision, which exacerbated existing tensions about the expansion of slavery into the west. Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new—North as well as South. Lincoln issued these statements in acceptance of his nomination to run as the Republican candidate for a US Senate seat in the 1858 … Tips for Multi-Media Projects “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. His avowed mission is impressing the “public heart” to care nothing about it…. PO Box 1773 / 61 N. West Street I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. Lincoln’s now-famous “house divided” line, which is drawn from the Bible, was actually part of a campaign speech he delivered at the 1858 Illinois Republican State Convention. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. “Because it made him sound too unacceptably radical on the subject of slavery, even to people who were opposed to the extension of slavery … but they really didn’t wanna have a civil war over it.”. It was a debate that would be resolved not with invasion or threat, but through the political discourse that would lead the people and their government toward their original idealism. “Lincoln’s saying, ‘No, there is no compromise,’” Foner explains. Harold Holzer The case was pending in 1858 and not argued before the New York Court of Appeals until 1860.”, —Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 volumes, originally published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) Unedited Manuscript By Chapters, Lincoln Studies Center, Volume 1, Chapter 12 (PDF), pp. ‘Popular Sovereignty, as now applied to the question of slavery, does allow the people of a Territory to have slavery if they want to, but does not allow them not to have it if they do not want it.’”, —Nicole Etcheson, “A living, creeping lie”: Abraham Lincoln on Popular Sovereignty,” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 29 (2008), “So did the charges that Republicans were disunionists. But “a living dog is better than a dead lion.” Judge Douglas, if not a dead lion for this work, is at least a caged and toothless one. But it did suggest how a healthy political-constitutional process could bring to life the Declaration’s egalitarian promise. This simply stated yet compelling speech in 1858 marked the beginning of Lincoln’s campaign for the U.S. Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln Douglas Debates Classroom, Named "Best of the Web" in Nov. 2013 by NEH EDSITEMENT. Many thought it had done too much, says Allen Guelzo, director of Civil War era studies at Gettysburg College and author of multiple books about Lincoln. Date of Speech This article states that the speech was given on June 16, 1858, but this source and others from 1860 identify the date of the speech as June 17, 1858. We shall not fail—if we stand firm, we shall not fail. Address at Independence Hall, February 22, 1861. . Despite the fact that it was given in 1858, Lincoln's famous "House Divided" speech is often lumped in with the general history of the Civil War, which didn't start until 1861. This serves a dual purpose in that it helps give the speech structure and also bolsters the logic of Lincoln’s assertions. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. David W. Blight Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented. Americans may differ sharply on issues like immigration and abortion, but there is no single issue that geographically and economically divides the country in the same way that slavery did in the 1850s. #6 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents, Abraham Lincoln, “Fragment of a Speech, c. December 28, 1857, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, “First Debate,” Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858, John L. Scripps to Abraham Lincoln, June 22, 1858, Abraham Lincoln to John L. Scripps, June 23, 1858, R. P. Stevens to Abraham Lincoln, June 24, 1858, Chicago Press and Tribune, “New Orleans Delta on the Illinois Republican Convention,” July 5, 1858, Oliver P. Hall, et al. 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