This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln - II. Half Slave and Half Free Summary & Analysis

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II. Half Slave and Half Free Summary and Analysis

"The Legitimate Object of Government" - For Lincoln, the legitimate object of government is to do for people what they cannot do as individuals. For anything else, the government should not interfere. One of government's important roles is to address crimes and wrongdoings.

"Our Republican Robe is Soiled" - After a five year retirement from politics, Lincoln was drawn in to politics again by his indignation with respect to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, drafted by his political opponent Stephen Douglas. The act would provide for the establishment of the states of Kansas and Nebraska as slave states. From 1854 on, Lincoln made anti-slavery his key issue. In this speech, Lincoln severely criticized Douglas and the notion of "popular sovereignty" (that would leave the slavery issue up to states). His political rhetoric became...

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