Short Summary: The Rise And Fall Of Steven Douglas

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The Rise and Fall of Steven Douglas Steven Douglas was the Senator of Illinois during the tumultuous period in American history regarding the issue of slavery. Through Douglas’ actions, he rose to fame and gained support in the South, but soon lost this support. By pioneering the Kansas Nebraska Act, Douglas gained immense support in the South, but his disapproval of the Lecompton Constitution and support of the Freeport Doctrine eventually lead to his political demise. The cause of Steven Douglas’s increase in political support was his backing of the Kansas Nebraska Act. Douglas encouraged the Kansas Nebraska scheme. This is because he needed the support of the South for the development of the Pacific railroad through the north of the country. This act would slice the territory of Nebraska into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, and slavery would be decided by popular sovereignty. Through this system, Kansas would most likely become a slave state, and Nebraska, a free state. To carry out this plan, Douglas needed to repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which forbid slavery above the 36 30’ line. Southern democrats did not support the Missouri Compromise, and…show more content…
This was created during a series of joint debates between Illinois senate candidates, Abraham Lincoln and Steven Douglas. Lincoln asked Douglas of his opinion on whether the state’s or Supreme Court’s decree of slavery in each state would prevail. Douglas replied that no matter how the court ruled, slavery would stay down, if the people of that state voted it down. Although Douglas defeated Lincoln for the Senate seat, he experienced an immense loss of support by Southern Democrats, and hurt his chances of winning the presidential election. Because, most of the Democratic party disagreed with his opinion, Douglas not only contributed to his own downfall, but also to the split of the Democratic

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