Saturday, October 12, 2019
Lincolns Beliefs Against Racism and Slavery :: American History Abraham Lincoln
* What were Lincoln's beliefs concerning race and slavery? How did they change over time, and in what ways did they remain the same? How were they evident in the Lincoln-Douglass Debates, and the history of emancipation? On October 16, 1854, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech denouncing the Kansas-Nebraska Act at Peoria, Illinois. He stated that it was too modified and it was a repeal to the Missouri Compromise. The Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery in the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase north of 36Ã °30'N lat. The Kansas-Nebraska Act gave the territories popular sovereignty which was the direct opposite of the previous decision. "This declared indifference, but as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I can not but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself (Johnson 45)." In a fragment that Abraham Lincoln wrote in 1854 about slavery, he protested that both blacks and whites had the same right to enslave each other and neither had more superiority. He used a theory to prove all of the whites' reasons for slavery were incorrect and could be turned around to enslave them. "You say A. is white, and B is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own." He also went on to use the same reasoning towards disproving the arguments that whites are intellectually superior to blacks (Johnson 49). On June 26, 1857 Lincoln gave a speech on the Dred Scott case. He expressed his disapproval of their decision but maintained that he offered no resistance to it. The point that the court had over-ruled its own decisions before was brought up and he said, "We shall try to do what we can to have to over-rule this (Johnson 56)." Lincoln realized the necessity to respect and abide by the law, but he also recognized the ability, through legislative power, to change the law. In the Lincoln-Douglass Debates, Lincoln stated that he had no lawful right to interfere with the institution of slavery. Lincoln also goes on further to say that he doesn't believe in full political or social equality for blacks, but he says that whites and blacks share the inalienable rights that are listed in the Declaration of Independence.