Analysis Of The Fiery Trial By David Foner

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Abraham Lincoln has always been one of the most researched and talked about presidents in American history. Lincoln historically was known for his emancipation of the slaves and his leadership throughout the Civil War. Foner digs past what a normal student would learn within their average history textbook. Foner analyzes the year prior to his election as both the Illinois Senator and his election as president. This in depth analysis allows the reader to finally fully understand how Lincoln built his ideals and his thinking behind the Lincoln-Douglas debates for the Illinois Senate seat. This new found vantage point for the reader fully enlightens the reader on the historical significance of the debates between Lincoln and Douglas along with …show more content…

Foner clearly represents this within The Fiery Trial, through the first several chapters. This build up enhances the reader's knowledge on the information not normally taught. One of these main occurrences is the Dred Scott decision which was handed down by Justice Taney. Justice Taney concluded in his final dissent declared that no African-American could become an American citizen¹. This decision immediately went against the beliefs of a large part of the American populous along with the views of Lincoln. As a Republican in this era he was fighting and striving towards the ending of the spread of slavery. This is elaborated by Foner on page ###, this is contrary to what many believe. When people discuss Lincoln and his incredible rise to power they focus on his abolishment of slavery during the Civil War. Yet, this was not his original …show more content…

This is made clear when Foner states, “appeared to suggest that they ought to be covered by the constitution comity clause”², this is speaking on how Lincoln’s rhetorical stylization within speeches and debates allowed him to utilize the middle ground of the American society’s political views. He uses rhetoric as a weapon and became a target when some began saying he was on a track towards power not the freeing of slaves. This is epitomized when George White construed his view of Lincoln in 1859 and “described him as ‘cunning, sly, crafty designing man.’”³ Lincoln’s ideals can be transformed into one simple sentence that Schuyler Colfax spoke when speaking to Lincoln in 1859. Colfax’s quote can be synopsized to meaning that in order to gain the power that Lincoln hopes to gain he must not allow the “spread and nationalization of slavery.”⁴ This allows Lincoln to remain in the middle ground of American politics through appeal to both Democrats and Republicans. This statement's meaning is merely that Lincoln wants all new territories to be free and all slave states to remain slave

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