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Miller's analysis is supported by the fact that Lincoln had first expressed his views on the immorality of slavery and the power of Congress to abolish it in Washington DC when he was an Illinois state legislator over a decade earlier. Those who opposed the extension of slavery into the territories under the new law were known as "anti-Nebraska men," and they included Democrats as well as Whigs.In those days, senators were not elected directly by the people, but by state legislators.But let us momentarily shake from ourselves today's political disquietude and return to the disquietude of an earlier era.In the Illinois senatorial contest of 1858, the massively popular and politically powerful Democrat, Stephen Douglas, was up for reelection.Whether it's his inflammatory tweets, his off-script public pronouncements, his rampant conflicts of interest, his propensity for appointing to sensitive government posts spectacularly unqualified individuals who are burdened by their own conflicts of interest, or his flagrant attempts, with or without the help of a select group of Congressional toadies, to stop the Russia-collusion investigation, they mustn't criticize, but loudly praise, their leader.It is only a matter of time before the "Trump Train," filled to capacity with weak-willed party faithful, derails amid noise and smoke, much like many real trains have of late, with government investment in infrastructure still in question.On December 22, 1847, he submitted what would become known as the "Spot" Resolutions, which asked, among other things, "…whether the particular spot of soil on which the blood of our , at that time…."(The emphases are Lincoln's.) He was called "Spotty Lincoln" for a good while after that and, although he voted for the troops' supplies, his anti-war position disappointed the voters in his district, including his law partner, Billy Herndon.Some scholars think that his stance ruined his reelection chances, which is why he didn't run again; others think it would have had little effect. He left Washington an unremarkable, one-term congressman and, when he returned to Springfield, far from a hero. (The Wilmot Proviso was never enacted.) Of more interest was his introduction, in January 1849, of a resolution directing the Congressional Committee of the District of Columbia to report a bill that would permit eligible District voters (free, white men over age 21) a vote on whether slavery shall be abolished in the capital city, with provisions that would, among other things, compensate slave owners for the voluntary manumission of their slaves.
More especially, it cannot be believed that the large slaveholding States regarded them as included in the word citizens…. [produce] discontent and insubordination among them, and … Taney continued that, even if public opinion had changed since adoption of the Constitution, this revered instrument still could only be construed with the framers in mind: "…[I]t must be construed now as it was understood at the time of its adoption." The aforementioned late Justice Scalia, an "originalist" in Constitutional interpretation, might have vigorously applauded.
During the first senate contest in early 1855, Lincoln was just a few votes short of victory. There were five anti-Nebraska Democrats who consistently withheld their votes from Lincoln out of party loyalty.
To prevent the election of a Democrat who was probably not reliably anti-Nebraska (Governor Joel Matteson), Lincoln stepped aside and endorsed Lyman Trumbull, a strong anti-Nebraska Democrat.
(For an explanation of how this strange outcome would have worked, I recommend reading – with a focus on the appendices - (University of Chicago Press, 1959) by the late political philosopher Harry V. But Scott, said the Court, as a black man (whether slave or free), was not a citizen of the United States and therefore could not challenge his continued status as a slave, regardless of the merits of his case. Taney did not believe that the framers had intended to treat enslaved or free blacks as U. citizens under the Constitution, and he would not deviate from this strict reading of their intent.
Jaffa.) It is easy to understand why Lecompton was widely seen as the product of political corruption that kept anti-slavery settlers from having a voice in their state Constitution's formulation and adoption. Here is just some of the startling language of Taney's majority opinion, which serves as a sad primer on how racist American society was at the time: They [blacks] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his [the black person's] benefit. The legislation of the States [which the Court had surveyed in its opinion] therefore shows…
He certainly did not need to take the trouble to work up and to introduce any bill to end slavery in the District – not for any reason back home in his conservative and racially prejudiced district, and not for any discernible reason for his own future either in Illinois or on the national stage…. 277), which repealed the Missouri Compromise and permitted the extension of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska territories, was so explosive an issue across the North that it effectively crowded out discussion of anything else during both of Lincoln's senatorial races.