What Was the Freeport Doctrine?
This video discusses the Freeport Doctrine which arose during the Sectional Crisis of the mid-1800s prior to the Civil War. During the Illinois senatorial campaign of 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated the issue of slavery. The debate took place in Freeport, Illinois (thus the name of the doctrine). The U.S. Supreme court in the Dred Scott case had stated that, under the constitution, slavery could not be excluded from a state. However, in the Kansas-Nebraska act, popular sovereignty had declared that the people in a state could pass legislation either opposed to or in favor or slavery. It was up to the people of the state, not statements issued by the Supreme Court. Douglas was in favor of popular sovereignty (the right of the people of a state to decide for themselves whether they would be in favor of or opposed to slavery in their particular state.)
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Last updated: 07/10/2018