9. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVESStudents will be able to:
|• ||Explain the sectional tensions leading up to the Civil War|
|• ||Analyze the Democratic and Republican positions on the extension of slavery|
|• ||Evaluate the importance of slavery as a cause of the conflict|
DESCRIPTIONStudents will use the Lincoln–Douglas debates to explore the growing significance of sectionalism and the issue of slavery and its expansion in the years leading to the Civil War. In
groups, they will prepare to present the key points of each debate and discuss their meaning
TIME120 minutes (can be presented in one block or in two regular class periods)
MATERIALSFull transcripts of the seven Lincoln–Douglas Debates found at http://www.nps.gov/liho/historyculture/debates.htm.(You will need enough copies of each debate so that each member
of the group analyzing the debate has a copy.)
Analyzing Lincoln–Douglas (copies for each student)
CLASS LAYOUT AND GROUPING OF STUDENTSThe class will work in small groups before presenting their findings in a full class discussion.
|1. ||Explain that the 1858 Lincoln–Douglas debates were a series of political debates between
Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the U.S.Senate from Illinois, and Stephen
A. Douglas, the Democratic candidate. There were seven debates, and they all centered
on the issue of slavery and its ramifications. Tell the class that they will analyze the debates
to help them understand the issue of slavery in the context of the politics of the period.|
|2. ||Review the historical context of the debates, emphasizing the following:|
|• ||Compromise of 1850|
|• ||Fugitive slave laws|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History.
Contributors: Eleanora Von Dehsen - Author, Nancy Claxton - Author.
Publisher: International Debate Education Association.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 2009.
Page number: 101.
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