Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

By Harry V. Jaffa | Go to book overview

Chapter II
1858: Lincoln versus Douglas. The Alternatives

IN A most remarkable obiter dictum, Randall observes that "one of the most colossal misconceptions is the theory that fundamental motives produce war. The glaring and obvious fact is the artificiality of war-making agitation."1 Unfortunately Randall never explains to us the ground for his distinction between fundamental and non-fundamental (or "artificial") motives. He regards it as "obvious." But every historian knows that what is obvious to one generation may not be at all obvious to the next; that the self- evident truths of Jefferson may become self-evident lies to Calhoun. In like manner, Randall contemplates the two practical questions upon which the North-South controversy focused in the immediate pre-Civil War period: "What should be done about an almost non-existent slave population in the West, or about a small trickle of runaway bondsmen, was magnified into an issue altogether out of scale with its importance."2 But again, we ask, important to whom? We agree that judgment upon such issues as those that divided Lincoln and Douglas and the North and the South is of the essence of the historian's function. But if we consider revisionism's primary aim, of historical "restoration" -- an aim we accept unreservedly -- the attempt first to see the past as it appeared in the past and not only in the light of the opinions of a later and different age, it is strange that Randall should so beg the question of why Lincoln, Douglas, and their contemporaries treated as real, fundamental, and important the differences he refers to as illusory, artificial, and slight. For the most superficial reading of the debates shows that the debaters themselves

-28-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 456

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.