In 1858 another important election
was held for the Senator of Illinois. The election was important because of
the two men who were running for that office.
One candidate was Stephen Douglas,
the man who introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He ran as a Democrat. The
other candidate was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln wanted all states to be free,
but did not want to stop slavery in the states where it was already decided.
Lincoln was a Republican.
Lincoln gave a famous speech after
being chosen to run for Senator. In it he said, "A house divided against
itself cannot stand. I believe that the government cannot last as long as
America is half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to fall apart
- the house to fall. I do expect that it will become either all one thing or
all the other - either all slave or all free. Either the people against
slavery will stop it forever, or it will become lawful in all the states,
old and new, north and south alike."
Douglas and Lincoln held a series of
debates. Douglas and Lincoln talked about a war. The debates helped the
Americans decide how they really felt about slavery. People came for
hundreds of miles to hear the debates. Lincoln lost the race by only a few