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In both cases the very dispirit actions served the same purpose of inflaming the public sentiments towards the sticking points between the the North and the South by grabbing headlines in the media for a sustained period of time during which very little was being published in the pop media of the times that lauded the positive aspects of the relationship between the two factions. In each case the extremes of the slavery system as well as the underlaying Humanity, or lack there of, of the morality of each side was exposed in a atmosphere of distrust and misunderstanding that was rapidly pushing the both sides into entrenched positions leading them ever closer to a breaking point, and was exacerbated by a howling media wanting and willing to publish what ever inflamed the public most to rally to their respective view's both politically and philosophically. Had the media had it sites focused elsewhere the split may not have been enevatable.

The seven debates between Douglas and Lincoln were eventful in the State of Illinois. There, the new Republican Party, less than 4 years old, nominated Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the Senate. The Party at that time was "radical" in that they named Catholicism and slavery as the two greatest threats to democracy. Lincoln had served in the House of Representatives for one term in 1846-48. Douglas was a national figure and the incumbent Senator. Lincoln made it clear that as Senator he would support measures that would stop the expansion of slavery and support any measures to abolish it. Since the US Supreme Court already ruled that slavery was legal under the US Constitution, either an amendment to the Constitution would be needed to abolish it, or individual States had that power.

Lincoln made it clear he was not in favor of granting freed slaves the right to vote or the right to hold public office. He was adamant that Blacks and whites were not on an equal basis with each other.

Douglas continued to cite his socalled popular sovereignty policy of allowing citizens in a territory to vote for being a slave State or a free State. This would be decided prior to statehood.

The debates did not cause tensions between the North & South inasmuch as Lincoln had only served 2 years in national office back in 1846-48. He was relatively an unknown political figure outside of Illinois.

The John Brown issue is a separate question. This needs to be fixed or the question can be extended to cover not only these two events but any other that relates to tensions between North & South. Then we are stuck with a multitude of comparisons within one question.

The John Brown case has two issues within it. One was whether the public, no matter what they believed about slavery, could be supportive or not to the Brown case. And, whether people who had no stake or interest in the problem, would have an opinion.

There can be no doubt that, except for the six people funding John Brown's plan, who believed in "righteous violence ", could support using armed force to take control of a Federal arsenal and attempt a "slave revolt". Therefore, that aspect of John Brown's activities, which resulted in a number of deaths, could not be tolerated by any clear thinking person.

The second issue regarding the slavery issue was another matter. The act of treason & Brown's execution drew allot of attention. It not only brought slavery to the forefront again, it also tarnished some anti slavery opinions in that Brown's record of murder in Kansas was highlighted.

Certainly the publicity that Brown created did polarize people, but only those who had an interest in the issue. Few would advocate violence to solve the matter. Only radicals on both sides of the issue would continue to be polarized.

Pushed out of view was the problem that existed in the entire nation up until the 20th century. This issue was that Afro Americans were discriminated against in varying degrees in various places.

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โˆ™ 2014-03-27 18:21:11
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Q: Why did the lincoln-douglas debates and john brown increase tension between the north and the south?
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