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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Frank Williams: Was the election of Abraham Lincoln a threat to the South?

By Frank Williams

Chairman of The Lincoln Forum


The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 was clearly a threat to the South. Lincoln was clear in his belief and public statements at Peoria in 1854, his response to the Dred Scott decision in 1857, the debates with Stephen A. Douglas in 1858, his "House Divided" speech the same year as well as at Cooper Union in 1860 - that he was unalterably opposed to the extension of slavery. The South viewed this as eventual strangulation of its "peculiar institution" even if left alone, as Lincoln promised, in the states where slavery already existed. In fact, some have alleged that Southern Democratic party leaders like Rhett and Yancey conspired to see Democrat Stephen A. Douglas defeated so Abraham Lincoln could win, thus making it easier for Southern states to secede.

By Frank Williams  | December 7, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Views  | Tags:  Frank Williams  
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