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

By Harry V. Jaffa | Go to book overview

Notes

Chapter I
1. Lincoln the President ( New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1945), I, p. 127.
2. History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850, II, pp. 330, 332, 338.
3. Abraham Lincoln, Pocket Book Edition, p. 161.
4. See the introductory essay on Carl Becker by George H. Sabine, prefaced to Becker's Freedom and Responsibility in the American Way of Life ( New York: Vintage Books, 1955). Sabine explains that Becker was a "relativist" according to whom history must be "continually rewritten," not because of the discovery of new facts, but because the historian is necessarily dominated by the "preconceptions" and "value judgments" of the age in which he lives, and it is these preconceptions which determine the meaning he finds in the facts. Becker would have derided Randall's idea of restoring "reality, " as a masquerade of the historian's prejudices in the guise of "detachment." Randall, we presume, might have questioned Becker's cogency when the latter affirmed, "Everything is unstable...except the idea of instability."
5. Op. cit., Chapter V, "Lincoln and Douglas".
6. Quoted by Rhodes, op. cit., II, p. 329.
7. Randall maintains (op. cit., pp. 126, 129-31) that popular sovereignty actually did keep slavery out of Kansas and that, since the Republicans in 1861 actually organized the territories of Dakota, Nevada, and Colorado without congressional prohibitions of slavery, the Douglas of the debates was thoroughly vindicated. But, as we shall argue at length later, this assertion involves a number of hypotheses and is no mere statement of fact; e.g., did the "principle of popular sovereignty" keep slavery from these places, or did free-soil opinion and determination, which rejected that principle when it rejected Douglas's leadership, keep it out?
8. Randall, op. cit., p. 158.
9. On the conflict between the Illinois and eastern Republicans, see Don E. Fehrenbacher, "The Nomination of Abraham Lincoln in 1858," in the Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, March 1950.
10. The expression "needless war" is taken from George Fort Milton's

-410-

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