THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES
Stephen Douglas was opposed by Abraham Lincoln in the 1858 election for senator from Illinois, Lincoln had been a Whig but was now a Republican, having broken from the Whig party over slavery. Lincoln was a practicing attorney, had been in the U.S. Congress during the Mexican War, and narrowly lost an earlier bid for the Senate in 1852. Douglas and Lincoln debated at seven locations throughout Illinois in the months leading up to the election. The issues of slavery and the territories dominated all of these debates. At a debate in Freeport, Lincoln asked Douglas how the residents of a territory could exclude slavery in light of the Died Scott decision. Douglas responded with the Freeport Doctrine, which maintained that a territory could exclude slavery if the laws and regulations written made slavery impossible co enforce. Douglas won the Senate seat, but Lincoln was recognized by many as an up-and-coming force in the Republican party.