Lincoln’s House Divided Speech – Wikipedia

“House divided” redirects here. For the episode of the TV collection House, see House Divided. Lincoln Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln in May 1858

The House Divided Speech changed into an cope with given through Abraham Lincoln, later President of the United States, on June 16, 1858, at what became then the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, after he had popular the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination as that country’s US senator. The nomination of Lincoln became the final item of business at the convention, which then broke for dinner, meeting again at eight PM. “The night session changed into mainly committed to speeches”,[1] but the handiest speaker became Lincoln, whose cope with closed the conference, keep for resolutions of thanks to the metropolis of Springfield and others. His address become at once posted in full by means of newspapers,[2][3][four] as a pamphlet,[five] and within the posted Proceedings of the convention.[6] It turned into the launching point of his unsuccessful marketing campaign for the Senatorial seat held by way of Stephen A. Douglas; the campaign would climax with the Lincoln–Douglas Lincoln debates. When Lincoln gathered and published his debates with Douglas as a part of his 1860 Presidential campaign, he prefixed them with relevant previous speeches. The “House Divided” speech opens the volume.[7]

Lincoln’s feedback in Springfield depict the risk of slavery-based disunion, and it rallied Republicans throughout the North. Along with the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address, the speech became one of the excellent-recognized of his career. It starts offevolved with the subsequent words, which became the first-class-recognised passage of the speech:[eight]

“A house divided in opposition to itself, cannot stand.”

I accept as true with this government can not bear completely half of slave and half of loose.

I do no longer anticipate the Union to be dissolved — I do not assume the residence to fall — but I do anticipate it’ll stop to be divided.

It turns into all one issue or all of the different.

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the in addition unfold of it, and place it where the public mind shall relaxation in the belief that it’s miles in the direction of remaining extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall turn out to be lawful in all the States, vintage as well as new — North in addition to South.[6]:nine

Lincoln’s desires have been to differentiate himself from Douglas — the incumbent — and to voice a prophecy publicly. Douglas had long advocated popular sovereignty, underneath which the settlers in every new territory might determine their personal repute as a slave or free country; he had time and again asserted that the right application of popular sovereignty might save you slavery-precipitated warfare and might permit Northern and Southern states to resume their non violent coexistence. Lincoln, but, responded that the Dred Scott decision had closed the door on Douglas’s desired option, leaving the Union with most effective two last effects: the united states would inevitably become both all slave or all unfastened. Now that the North and the South had come to hold wonderful reviews inside the question of slavery, and now the issue had come to permeate each other political query, the Union might quickly no longer be able to feature.


“A house divided in opposition to itself cannot stand.” I accept as true with this authorities cannot bear, completely half slave and half unfastened. I do no longer count on the Union to be dissolved—I do not assume the residence to fall—but I do count on it will end to be divided. It will become all one element, or all the alternative. Either the warring parties of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and vicinity it Lincoln wherein the public thoughts shall relaxation within the perception that it’s far in path of last extinction; or its advocates will push it ahead, until it shall become alike lawful in all the states, vintage in addition to new—North in addition to South. Have we no tendency to the latter situation? Let any individual who doubts, cautiously contemplate that now nearly whole legal mixture— piece of equipment so to talk—compounded of the Nebraska doctrine, and the Dred Scott decision.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act opened all of the national territory to slavery …. This … had been furnished for … within the superb argument of “squatter sovereignty,” otherwise called “sacred proper of self authorities,” which latter phrase, even though expressive of the only rightful foundation of any government, turned into so perverted in this tried use of it as to quantity to just this: That if any one guy, pick to enslave every other, no 0.33 man shall be allowed to item.

While the Nebraska Bill become passing thru Congress, a regulation case, involving the question of a negro’s freedom … was passing thru the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Missouri; and both Nebraska Bill and lawsuit had been delivered to a selection in the identical month of May, 1854. The Negro’s call became “Dred Scott” ….

[The factors decided by using the “Dred Scott” selection include] that whether the conserving a negro in actual slavery in a loose country, makes him free, as in opposition to the holder, the United States courts will not determine, however will leave to be determined via the courts of any slave country the negro can be forced into by way of the grasp. This factor is made, no longer to be pressed at once … [that] the logical end that what Dred Scott’s master may lawfully do with Dred Scott, within the free nation Illinois, each other master may additionally lawfully do with some other one, or one thousand slaves, in Illinois, or in every other unfastened kingdom.

While the opinion of … Chief Justice Taney, within the Dred Scott case … expressly claim[s] that the Constitution of the US neither permits congress nor a territorial legislature to exclude slavery from any United States territory, … [Taney] omit[s] to claim whether or now not the same charter lets in a nation, or the people of a country, to exclude it. Possibly, this turned into a mere omission; however who may be pretty positive ….

The nearest approach to the point of asserting the electricity of a country over slavery, is made by Judge Nelson. He techniques it more than once, using the proper idea, and nearly the language too, of the Nebraska Act. On one event his precise language is, “except in cases wherein the power is restrained with the aid of the Constitution of america, the regulation of the State is preferrred over the difficulty of slavery inside its jurisdiction.” In what instances the power of the states is so restricted by using the U.S. Constitution, is left an open question, exactly as the same question, as to the restraint on the power of the territories became left open within the Nebraska Act. Put that and that together, and we’ve some other satisfactory little area of interest, which we may, ere lengthy, see packed with another Supreme Court choice, putting forward that the Constitution of the United States does now not permit a nation to exclude slavery from its limits. And this can mainly be predicted if the doctrine of “care no longer whether slavery be voted down or voted up” shall gain upon the public thoughts sufficiently to give promise that such a choice can be maintained whilst made.

Such a choice is all that slavery now lacks of being alike lawful in all the States. Welcome, or unwelcome, such choice is probably coming, and will soon be upon us, unless the energy of the existing political dynasty shall be met and overthrown. We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the human beings of Missouri are on the verge of creating their State loose, and we shall awake to the fact alternatively that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave country.

Prior mentions of “a residence divided”[edit]

Early Christians:

The expression “a house divided against itself” appears twice inside the Bible. In the Gospel of Mark 3:25, Jesus states, “And if a residence be divided against itself, that house can not stand.” That is in response to the scribes’ claim that “by way of the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.”[nine] In the Gospel of Matthew 12:25, “Jesus knew their mind, and stated unto him, Every state divided against itself is added to desolation; and each city or residence divided towards itself shall now not stand” (King James Version).

Saint Augustine, in his Confessions (Book 8, Chapter eight) describes his conversion experience as being “a house divided in opposition to itself.”

It additionally seems in widely-read English writers:

Thomas Hobbes, in his 1651 Leviathan (Chapter 18), states that “a kingdom divided in itself can not stand.”

In Thomas Paine’s 1776 Common Sense, he describes the composition of the English charter “hath all the differences of a house divided towards itself. … ”

In the United States:

During the War of 1812 a line appeared in a letter from Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren: “… A house divided upon itself – and upon that basis do our enemies build their hopes of subduing us.”[10]

Felix Walker, in his speech for Buncombe, at the Missouri Compromise, stated, “And we’ve the word of truth for it, that a house divided against itself can not stand.”[eleven]

The “residence divided” phrase had been used by Lincoln himself in every other context in 1843.[12]

Famously, eight years earlier than Lincoln’s speech, for the duration of the Senate debate on the Compromise of 1850, Sam Houston had proclaimed: “A country divided towards itself can’t stand.”

However and most relevantly, the expression turned into used time and again earlier in 1858 in discussions of the state of affairs in Kansas, wherein slavery changed into the primary difficulty.

It turned into used editorially in the Brooklyn Evening Star of January 8,[thirteen] the New York Daily Herald on January 12,[14] and the Alton Weekly Telegraph of January 28.[15]

It appeared, in citation marks, in a letter to the editor posted in The Liberator on April 23.[sixteen] (Lincoln absolutely obtained The Liberator, as it became sent unfastened to all distinguished politicians out of doors the South (subsidized by using benefactors), however it isn’t always known if or how much he examine it.)

See additionally[edit]

Abraham Lincoln on slavery

Origins of the American Civil War

References[edit]^ “Republican Convention”. The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois). June 18, 1858. p. 2 – thru

^ “Conclusion of the Republican State Convention. Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln”. Chicago Tribune. June 19, 1858. p. 2.

^ “Republican standards. Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, at the Republican country Convention, June 16, 1858”. New-York Tribune. June 24, 1858. p. three – thru

^ “Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln”. Alton Weekly Telegraph (Alton, Illinois). June 24, 1858. p. 2 – through

^ Lincoln, Abraham (1858). Speech of Hon. Abram [sic] Lincoln earlier than the Republican kingdom convention, June sixteen, 1858. OCLC 2454620.

^ a b Proceedings of the Republican nation convention, held at Springfield, Illinois, June 16th, 1858. Springfield, Illinois. 1858.

^ Lincoln, Abraham; Douglas, Stephen A. (1860). Political Debates among Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, In the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois; consisting of the previous speeches of each, at Chicago, Springfield, and many others.; additionally, the two extremely good speeches of Mr. Lincoln in Ohio, in 1859, as cautiously prepared via the newshounds of each birthday party, and published on the times of their transport. Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster and Company. pp. 1–five.

^ Foner, Eric (2010). The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. pp. ninety nine–one hundred. ISBN 978-zero-393-06618-0.

^ “Mark 3:25”. Bible Gateway.

^ David Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen, Thomas Bailey: The American Pageant: Volume I: To 1877, p. 253.

^ “Missouri Question:Speech of Mr. Walker, of N.C.” City of Washington Gazette, 5/11/1820, Vol. V, Iss. 759, p. [2].

^ Address to the humans of Illinois, in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, I, p. 315

^ “Organization of the American General Committee”. Brooklyn Evening Star (Brooklyn, New York). January 8, 1858. p. 2 – through

^ “Kansas in Congress—The Decisive Issue upon the Slavery Question”. New York Daily Herald. January 12, 1858. p. four – through

^ “Democratic Disunion”. Alton Weekly Telegraph (Alton, Illinois). January 28, 1858. p. 1 – thru

^ W. (April 23, 1858). “The Foul Anchor”. The Liberator – thru

Further analyzing[edit]

Fehrenbacher, Don E. (1960). “The Origins and Purpose of Lincoln’s ‘House-Divided’ Speech”. Mississippi Valley Historical Review. forty six (4): 615–643. doi:10.2307/1886280.

External hyperlinks[edit]

Works associated with A house divided at Wikisource

“Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln.Volume 2”.

Complete Text of ‘Lincoln’s House Divided Speech’


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