Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Freeport, Illinois

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The Second debate between Lincoln and Douglas was held at Freeport in Illinois, a small town of five thousand people located in the northwest corner of the state. 15000 people, which is three times as much as the population of the town came to watch the debate, which had become the most famous of the seven debates.

As the debate started, Lincoln first answered a series of seven questions thrown at him at the end of the first debate and then started attacking Douglas into a corner by asking four of his questions. Lincoln argued over the popular sovereignty which Douglas believed in that grants a territory's residents an opportunity to decide whether to allow slavery or not. Lincoln directed him to choose popular sovereignty proposed by Kansas-Nebraska Act that he used on the purpose of organizing the lands west of Iowa and Missouri and the case of Dred Scott V Sandford. Lincoln argued the validity of this principle of popular sovereignty that Douglas had been advocating for a long time. Dred Scott V Sanford was the case of black man, Dred Scott along with his family, who sued his owner for his emancipation when they moved into Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other territories where the Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery. This case became a heated issue however the outcome of the case disagreed with the popular sovereignty, which the Supreme Court judges concluded that Black slaves had no rights and Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional and Slaves kept their status wherever they go. Lincoln wanted to show antislavery voters that Douglas's position differed from their own and pushed Douglas in to the corner.

It was Douglas who had to answer this inescapable question. The Dred Scott decision that disallowed Congressional power to exclude slavery from a territory could only have a...