Summary Of Lincoln And Douglas Debates

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Unlike many other historian’s accounts of the Lincoln and Douglas debates Allen C. Guelzo analyzes the debates by placing them into a balanced perspective, in The Debates That Defined America. For one reason, Guelzo was not bias in portrayal of either Lincoln or Douglas, their campaigns, or the political state of Illinois. Most importantly it was Guelzo’s attention to the entire state of Illinois. Along with its political happenings surrounding the time of the senatorial election and debates. Debates, as argued by Allen C. Guelzo, that would prove to be more influential in shaping american politics than deciding Illinois Senatorial Election of 1858. Both Lincoln and Douglas are quickly introduced in, The Debates That Defined America, with …show more content…

The democratic south, represented by Douglas, who took the principle approach. Douglas was also the incumbent candidate at the time, whose party dominated Illinois politics. The republican north, represented by Lincoln, who approached politics with moral principle. The Whig Party was both candidates primary target as they were in between both beliefs due to the issue of slavery - which Lincoln argued to be a moral issue. Later in the novel Guelzo uses statistical tables to prove why the debates had little effect on the outcome of the election. Largely due to the government system of apportionment present which was largely based on partisanship. Proving to favor Douglas, “combined with the failure to win over the Whig districts, the apportionment doomed Lincoln’s chances of …show more content…

Lincoln can easily be described through Allen C. Guelzo’s account as the “misunderstood underdog”, who stood no chance at winning due to the political structure in place. While it does not directly show bias from Guelzo, is does create a bias in the reader throughout the novel to favor or focus on Lincoln. Which could result in the reader misinterpreting the true meaning behind the novel by focusing on Lincoln’s unfortunate loss. Causing them to believe that the debates were more persuasive in the elections outcome than they were in the history of America

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