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In 1858, former US representative Abraham Lincoln (then little-known outside of Illinois) ran for a US Senate seat against the Democratic incumbent, Stephen A. Douglas. They held 7 scheduled debates, one in each of the districts in which neither had already campaigned. These were held between August 21 and October 15, 1858. The response by the public was arguably meaningless, since (at that time) the Illinois legislature elected the state's senators. (This was changed by the 17th amendment in 1913.)

Lincoln, the Republican candidate, lost the election but his arguments were well-received by the audiences. He collected the transcribed texts into a book, which also became popular, leading to his nomination for President in 1860.

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Rahul Ledner

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2y ago
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8y ago
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9y ago

The main focus of the Lincoln-Douglas debates was slavery. They debated about the right of Northern states to adopt slavery.

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11y ago

To establish whether slavery could be banned in any state after the Supreme Court's verdict that slavery was legal throughout the USA, according to their reading of the Constitution.

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14y ago

Because of doubts about the legality of banning slavery in any state, following the surprise decision of the Supreme Court, declaring that slavery was protected by the Constitution.

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12y ago

yeaa thats it

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Anonymous

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4y ago

The extension of slavery.

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Anonymous

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The extension of slavery

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Q: What was the main focus of the lincoln-douglas debates?
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