Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition
Harry V. Jaffa
Crisis of the House Divided is the standard historiography of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Harry Jaffa provides the definitive analysis of the political principles that guided Lincoln from his reentry into politics in 1854 through his Senate campaign against Douglas in 1858. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication, Jaffa has provided a new introduction.
"Crisis of the House Divided has shaped the thought of a generation of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War scholars."—Mark E. Needly, Jr., Civil War History
"An important book about one of the great episodes in the history of the sectional controversy. It breaks new ground and opens a new view of Lincoln's significance as a political thinker."—T. Harry Williams, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences
"A searching and provocative analysis of the issues confronted and the ideas expounded in the great debates. . . . A book which displays such learning and insight that it cannot fail to excite the admiration even of scholars who disagree with its major arguments and conclusions."—D. E. Fehrenbacher, American Historical Review
Record the whole American ex- periment in free government (the Harpers essay is only an apparent exception), such as Lincoln did in his earlier years, in the Lyceum and Temperance addresses, and in his Gettysburg and Second Inaugural addresses later. To describe convincingly the larger meaning of Douglas's statesmanship in his encounter with Lincoln, it has been necessary to elucidate his policy from a detailed review of his tactical maneuvers in dealing with slavery in the territories, from.
The character of a revolution."6 That it is also shocking is evident the moment one remembers the immense importance of these debates in furthering the breakup of national parties and drawing the nation toward the abyss of civil war. For if the issue between Lincoln and Douglas was a mere talking point, if Douglas had contest, in as good a solution to the problem of slavery in the territories as Lincoln had, then what justification did Lincoln have to oppose Douglas and to bring on such an.
Different parties for different reasons and understood in different terms. If any attempt had been made to reach agreement on the reasons for the compromise, there could have been no compro- mise. The moral, however, should have been: Let us now follow of 1850 and ask what it is each party hopes to the precedent accomplish by a Nebraska common denominator bill and see if there is not an attainable of these demands. It is not the moral which introDouglas draws, however. He has another.
Parties What Douglas was paragraphs was not in fact attempting in these sonorous opening history but a new propaganda in favor of the 1850 measures, a propaganda designed to endow them with a sanctity such as the Missouri Compromise had come to have and which Douglas well knew the Missouri Compromise had not had until long after 1821. In the judgment of your committee [the report continues], those measures were intended to have a far more comprehensive and enduring effect than the mere.
Potentates. the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope as he rode from Washington. Yet a careful reading of the earlier deliverance will show that the ideas crystallized in 1863, in prose not un- worthy of the greatest master of our language, had been pondered and matured full twenty-five years before. Of the myriad writers on Lincoln, Edmund Wilson alone, so far as we are aware, has grasped something of the hidden reservoirs of that "startlingly prophetic" utterance delivered to the.