Nicole Etcheson, “A living, creeping lie”: Abraham Lincoln on Popular Sovereignty,”, Phillip S. Paludan, “Lincoln’s Prewar Constitutional Vision,”, Letter to Horace Greeley (August 22, 1862). Still, Lincoln emerged from the campaign as a prominent political figure. We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Despite the fact that it was given in 1858, Lincoln's famous "House Divided" speech is often lumped in with the general history of the Civil War, which didn't start until 1861. Guide to Spielberg's Lincoln They do not tell us, nor has he told us, that he wishes any such object to be effected. It was a debate that would be resolved not with invasion or threat, but through the political discourse that would lead the people and their government toward their original idealism. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. Introduction. “Douglas had been seeking a middle ground between North and South, some way of comprising on the slavery issue,” says Eric Foner, a history professor at Columbia University who has written several books about slavery and the Civil War. Lincoln gave the House Divided Speech at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on June 17, 1858, upon accepting the Republican nomination for U.S. senator for Illinois. But clearly, he is not now with us—he does not pretend to be—he does not promise to ever be. Anne Sarah Rubin, Contributing Editors If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. Tips for Close Readings We shall not fail—if we stand firm, we shall not fail. But the future president was quick to deny that accusation. PO Box 1773 / 61 N. West Street By the time Lincoln spoke, both antislavery and proslavery writers had used the metaphor of the house divided to argue that the United States could not be both free and slave. In the twentieth century in view of the developing issues identified with medication misuse, government control of medications started to come to fr House divided Speech uition. Eric Foner Abraham Lincoln's House Divided Speech-Rhetorical Analysis 12/14/2014 7 Comments Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln, gave his "House Divided" speech to let the people of America know that being split down the middle based on beliefs on the morality of slavery would not last long, and that eventually the nation would be all one ideal or all another. Lincoln's Gettysburg Addresses James Oakes '”, —David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 209, “As a senatorial candidate in 1858, Lincoln fought Douglas on ground of the incumbent senator’s own choosing: the legitimacy of popular sovereignty as a republican principle. This serves a dual purpose in that it helps give the speech structure and also bolsters the logic of Lincoln’s assertions. Back then, the U.S. was so divided that many feared it would break out in civil war—a fear that Lincoln unwittingly stoked. Abraham Lincoln was pretty annoyed with how the debate over slavery was going, so when he had a chance to get up and make a political speech, he did notmince words. Advanced five months before William H. Seward offered his prediction of an ‘irrepressible conflict’ between slavery and freedom, it was the most extreme statement made by any responsible leader of the Republican party. At a time when many white politicians wanted to compromise on slavery, Abraham Lincoln said that wasn't possible. “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand” Abraham Lincoln. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. Since Lincoln delivered these remarks verbally, maintaining his audience’s focus was an area of concern. What was at stake, he claimed, was a struggle for the minds of men over the question of whether slavery or freedom controlled the territories and hence the future. “All they heard was the ‘house divided’ part and they immediately assumed that what Lincoln was calling for was civil war, that the only way to resolve the slavery injustice was going to be civil conflict.” On the campaign trail, Douglas used the perception that Lincoln was advocating for war against him. Whenever, if ever, he and we can come together on principle so that our great cause may have assistance from his great ability, I hope to have interposed no adventitious obstacle. He thought the country couldn’t remain half-free, and that it would end up becoming one or the other. “House Divided” speech A speech made by Abraham Lincoln to the Illinois Republican convention in 1858. Lincoln, then a relatively unknown politician, had just won the nomination to run for U.S. Senate against one of the most important politicians in the country, Stephen A. Douglas. In general, Democrats then were the party of the slave-holding south and Republicans were the party of the free north that opposed slavery’s expansion. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Lincoln’s acceptance came in the famous ‘House Divided’ speech. These things look like the cautious patting and petting of a spirited horse preparatory to mounting him when it is dreaded that may give the rider a fall. Meet our Contributing Editors “A house divided against itself cannot stand. Lincoln not only rejected that premise, he questioned Douglas’s sincerity in asserting it, arguing that Douglas really intended to nationalize slavery . . Why would someone from the South who followed the ideological discussions around the question of slavery have reason to be concerned about Lincoln’s opinions as stated in this address? June 16, 1858. Catherine Clinton “‘You’ve got to be on one side or the other.’ In effect, he’s saying, ‘I’m on the side of freedom and Douglas … is on the side of slavery.’” Or, to quote the man himself: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. But “a living dog is better than a dead lion.” Judge Douglas, if not a dead lion for this work, is at least a caged and toothless one. Harold Holzer Lincoln's House Divided Speech June 16, 1858, at the Illinois Republican convention Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: If we could first know where we are and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do and how to do it. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. House Divided Speech. . ABRAHAM LINCOLN, “A HOUSE DIVIDED”: SPEECH AT SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS (16 JUNE 1858) Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention. On the previous day the Convention had taken the unprecedented move of naming Lincoln their candidate for the Senate [normally Senate candidates were chosen in January when the new legislature convened]. Wise councils  may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later the victory is sure to come. It will become all one thing or all the other.”, Lincoln at the Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858, where he delivered his now-famous “house divided” line. The case was pending in 1858 and not argued before the New York Court of Appeals until 1860.”, —Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 volumes, originally published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) Unedited Manuscript By Chapters, Lincoln Studies Center, Volume 1, Chapter 12 (PDF), pp. ``A House Divided'': Speech at Springfield, Illinois June 16, 1858 The Speech, immediately succeeding, was delivered, June 16, 1858 at Springfield Illinois, at the close of the Republican State convention held at that time and place; and by which convention Mr. Lincoln had been named as their candidate for U. ‘Popular Sovereignty, as now applied to the question of slavery, does allow the people of a Territory to have slavery if they want to, but does not allow them not to have it if they do not want it.’”, —Nicole Etcheson, “A living, creeping lie”: Abraham Lincoln on Popular Sovereignty,” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 29 (2008), “So did the charges that Republicans were disunionists. Many thought it had done too much, says Allen Guelzo, director of Civil War era studies at Gettysburg College and author of multiple books about Lincoln. How to Use, Emancipation Digital Classroom He don’t care anything about it. House Divided Speech Mr. Lincoln spoke at the close of the Republican State Convention. to Abraham Lincoln, January 9, 1860, Abraham Lincoln to Oliver P. Hall, Jacob N. Fullinwider, and William F. Correll,” February 14, 1860, Abraham Lincoln, “Certified Transcript of Passage from the House Divided Speech,” December 17, 1860, “Lincoln’s other prediction – regarding a second Dred Scott decision – was not far- fetched.197 The Bloomington Pantagraph had mentioned the possibility of a second Dred Scott case less than a week after the Supreme Court ruled in the first one.198 Lincoln was probably alluding to Lemmon vs. the People, a case which had begun in New York in 1852 and dealt with the right of slaveholders to take their chattels with them into Free States. “As soon as he used those words ‘house divided,’ he articulated the fear that everybody had at that point that the slavery controversy was indeed going to lead to some kind of civil war,” Guelzo says. Abraham Lincoln's 1858 "House Divided" speech catapults him into the national consciousness with its bold moral assessment of the future of American slavery. In 1841, the New York legislature had overturned an earlier statute permitting slave owners to visit the Empire State accompanied by slaves for temporary sojourns. Lincoln’s now-famous “house divided” line, which is drawn from the Bible, was actually part of a campaign speech he delivered at the 1858 Illinois Republican State Convention. … Lincoln Douglas Debates Classroom, Named "Best of the Web" in Nov. 2013 by NEH EDSITEMENT. Abraham Lincoln's "The House Divided" Speech (1858) The escalating crisis drew a country lawyer back into the political fray. David W. Blight Yet Republicans weren’t too concerned about Lincoln’s race because they thought Senator Douglas, a Democrat, might be open to working with them against expanding slavery. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. The purpose of the “Divided House” speech was for Lincoln to tell the public what he thought the future would hold. How can he oppose the advances of slavery? The House Divided Speech was a speech given by Abraham Lincoln on June 16, 1858, at what was then the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, after he had accepted the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination as that state’s US senator. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. 1292-1293, “Attracting national attention, Lincoln’s house-divided speech sounded very radical. June 1858. Of strange, discordant, and even, hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy. Pete (talk) 17:43, 5 February 2014 (UTC) (Credit: Bettmann Archives/Getty Images). Soon after this victory, his “house divided” speech became strangely prophetic as southern states seceded from and waged war on the Union. The "House Divided" Speech When Lincoln was nominated to be the candidate of the Illinois Republican Party for U.S. Senate he delivered a speech at the state convention on June 16, 1858. Americans may differ sharply on issues like immigration and abortion, but there is no single issue that geographically and economically divides the country in the same way that slavery did in the 1850s. They remind us that he is a very great man, and that the largest of us are very small ones. Research Guide, Editor: Matthew Pinsker Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented. It is considered a historical allusion rather than a biblical or classical because the “Divided House” was a speech given in 1858 by Lincoln and has affected today’s society. The speech certainly got Republicans’ attention. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Farewell to Springfield, February 11, 1861. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! hdivided@dickinson.edu Address at Independence Hall, February 22, 1861. Additional Credits Dickinson College “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. On June 16, 1858 more than 1,000 delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention. In his “house divided” speech, Lincoln countered that the Dred Scott decision the previous year had already opened the doors for slavery to be legal in the north, as well as all territories that the U.S. expanded into. Lincoln and War Powers House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858. Cooper Union Address, February 27, 1860. Was this a printer's mistake, that was propagated to other publications, and later corrected? Lincoln issued these statements in acceptance of his nomination to run as the Republican candidate for a US Senate seat in the 1858 … Two years ago the Republicans of the nation mustered over thirteen hundred thousand strong. The antebellum period included a series of events and legislation about slavery, especially the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision, which exacerbated existing tensions about the expansion of slavery into the west. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free,” Lincoln told his audience at the Illinois Republican state convention. The result is not doubtful. Permissions and Citations Did we brave all then,  to falter now?—now—when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered and belligerent? “I think that there’s a fairly good argument to be made that the ‘house divided’ speech ended up hurting Lincoln in the 1858 election and was one reason why he lost,” Guelzo says. Peoria Speech, October 16, 1854. Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863 In the speech, Lincoln noted that conflict between North and South over slavery was intensifying. “Attracting national attention, Lincoln’s house-divided speech sounded very radical. No more Mr. Carlisle, PA 17013 Lincoln delivered this famous speech, noted for the phrase “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” when accepting the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate from Illinois in June of 1858. As the case was being considered by the state’s Court of Appeals, opponents of slavery feared that it would eventually come before the U.S. Supreme Court, where Taney and his colleagues might overrule New York’s statute and pave the way for nationalizing slavery. This simply stated yet compelling speech in 1858 marked the beginning of Lincoln’s campaign for the U.S. Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. Tips for Multi-Media Projects Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new—North as well as South. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. Abraham Lincoln was practicing rather than making law when the decade opened, but as acts he considered dangerous were passed, he was drawn out of the courtroom and onto convention floors and speakers' platforms. Abraham Lincoln gave hundreds of speeches in his lifetime. “Of course, nobody paid attention to the second sentence,” Guelzo says. There are those who denounce us openly to their own friends, and yet whisper us softly, that Senator Douglas is the aptest instrument there is, with which to effect that object. In at least 150 words, discuss how this analogy fits Lincoln's purpose in the "House Divided" speech. His avowed mission is impressing the “public heart” to care nothing about it…. All Rights Reserved. Advanced five months before William H. Seward offered his prediction of an ‘irrepressible conflict’ between slavery and freedom, it was the most extreme statement made by any responsible leader of the Republican party. At times Lincoln fed those allegations; his House Divided speech forecast the nation split in two and division made imperative because either freedom or slavery must triumph. To be clear, this wasn’t what Lincoln was saying. Springfield, Illinois. House Divided Speech Springfield, Illinois June 16, 1858 : House Divided Speech, 1858 The landmark speech which kicked off Lincoln's campaign for the U.S. Senate. Check out our 2016 Syllabus FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us. House Divided Project Delivered to the Republican State Convention in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln’s House Divided Speech was intended by its author to be much more than an official announcement accepting his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. The reason for the confusion is because the central issue of the speech is the potential spread of slavery, which was, um, kind of a big deal in the Civil War. "A House Divided" Speech by Abraham Lincoln Springfield, Illinois June 16, 1858 By Katie Peters United States during 1858 Video Brief Background Word Cloud The speech was delivered at the old state capital of Springfield, Illinois It was Lincoln's acceptance speech for being The most famous passage from the speech is:A house divided against itself cannot stand. “Because it made him sound too unacceptably radical on the subject of slavery, even to people who were opposed to the extension of slavery … but they really didn’t wanna have a civil war over it.”. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. In 1865, the U.S. accomplished Lincoln’s goal of abolishing slavery—but not without fighting a civil war over it first. But it did suggest how a healthy political-constitutional process could bring to life the Declaration’s egalitarian promise. First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861. Lincoln's "House Divided" speech Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: ... real or apparent, was indispensable to save the point already gained and give chance for more. …We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free; and we shall awake to the reality, instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State. When Abraham Lincoln said “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” he wasn’t talking about the kind of political divisions common today. Here is the complete text of the speech. … Now, as ever, I wish to not misrepresent Judge Douglas’ position, question his motives, or do ought that can be personally offensive to him. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. Date of Speech This article states that the speech was given on June 16, 1858, but this source and others from 1860 identify the date of the speech as June 17, 1858. If the U.S. wanted to be a free country, he argued, it had to act now before it was too late. Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by its own undoubted friends—those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work—who do care for the result. Lincoln’s deep-seated belief that slavery was wrong and incompatible with the principles of the Declaration of Independence led him to reject Stephen Douglas’s (1813–1861… The House Divided Speech was an address given by Abraham Lincoln in 1858 with the goal to make a distinction between himself and Douglas, and to openly talk about a prognostication for time to come. Tall Nice Guy. That reassurance actually only promised Dixie a slow death for slavery if people like Lincoln won office. When Abraham Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech to the Republican Party of the state of Illinois in 1858, he had no way of knowing it would become such a famous speech. Lincoln’s now-famous “house divided” line, which is drawn from the Bible, was actually part of a campaign speech he delivered at the 1858 Illinois Republican State Convention. Oct. 6, 2020 Joseph R. Biden Jr. delivered an impassioned call for national unity on Tuesday from the swing state of Pennsylvania, casting the nation as … To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty, is the work now before all those who would prevent that consummation. The Harrison Act was passed in 1914 in endeavor to control the inundation of individual medication exercises. Would this speech satisfy an … The national attention Lincoln gained from that campaign earned him the Republican presidential nomination and then the presidency in 1860. Summarize the main points of Lincoln’s House Divided Speech. Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) delivered the so-called House Divided speech on June 16th, 1858, at the Illinois Republican State Convention to an audience of around 1,000. “Lincoln’s saying, ‘No, there is no compromise,’” Foner explains. Even Herndon, to whom Lincoln first read it, told his partner: ‘It is true, but is it wise or politic to say so?’  Lincoln’s other advisers condemned it, especially deploring the house-divided image and saying ‘the whole Spirit was too far in advance of the times.’  As the editor John Locke Scripps explained, many who heard and read Lincoln’s speech understood it as ‘an implied pledge on behalf of the Republican party to make war upon the institution in the States where it now exists. Not many people heard about his “house divided” address when he first gave it, but over the next several months, he publicly spread his argument through campaign speeches and his famous series of debates with Douglas. At 5:00 p.m. they chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. 717.245.1865, Board of Advisors If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”. To differentiate himself from incumbent Stephen A. Douglas, he described the dangers of the Union dissolving over slavery, which rallied northern Republicans. “And you could almost hear a collective gasp from people that he would actually come right out and say we’re going to have a civil war.”. One premise of Douglas’s popular sovereignty, of course, was that it could be both. The new law stipulated that “no person imported, introduced or brought into this State” could be held in bondage. #6 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents, Abraham Lincoln, “Fragment of a Speech, c. December 28, 1857, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, “First Debate,” Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858, John L. Scripps to Abraham Lincoln, June 22, 1858, Abraham Lincoln to John L. Scripps, June 23, 1858, R. P. Stevens to Abraham Lincoln, June 24, 1858, Chicago Press and Tribune, “New Orleans Delta on the Illinois Republican Convention,” July 5, 1858, Oliver P. Hall, et al. Let this be granted. But in the very next sentence, he clarified that he didn’t think this would necessarily happen through the dissolution of the Union. In October 1857, it was argued before the New York Supreme Court, which upheld the statute by a 5-3 vote. They wish us to infer all, from the facts, that he now has a little quarrel with the present head of the dynasty; and that he has regularly voted with us, on a single point, upon which, he and we, have never differed. That too pushed Lincoln toward redefining the meaning of 1776.”, —Phillip S. Paludan, “Lincoln’s Prewar Constitutional Vision,” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 15.2 (1994), View our top-rated projects 4. Mr. PRESIDENT and Gentlemen of the Convention. Below are some of his important speeches. Listen to and read the House Divided speech delivered by U.S. Senate Candidate Abraham Lincoln on June 16, 1858 at the statehouse in Springfield, Illinois. That many feared it would end up becoming one or the other incumbent Stephen A. Douglas, described... Delivered these remarks verbally, maintaining his audience ’ s goal of abolishing slavery—but not without a. Divided against itself can not stand. ” Foner explains summarize the main points of Lincoln ’ s popular sovereignty of... Same enemy is wavering, dissevered and belligerent, ” Guelzo says the most famous passage the... My opinion, it will become all one thing, or all the other not promise ever! 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