Q:

What is the Freeport Doctrine?

A:

Quick Answer

The Freeport Doctrine was a famous oral reply by Stephen Douglas to Abraham Lincoln during their 1858 debates. Douglas stated in the reply that regardless of how the Supreme Court ruled, the law was powerless to stop citizens of a territory who refused to comply.

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Full Answer

Douglas' stance was in defense of states' rights when it came to the question of slavery. He stated that if a territory refused slavery, then the Supreme Court could not force them to accept slavery. This stance angered many southern Democrats and doomed Douglas' 1860 presidential hopes. His debate opponent, Abraham Lincoln, won the election.

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Related Questions

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    What candidates did Abraham Lincoln run against for president?

    A:

    Abraham Lincoln ran against Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas. Being the first Republican to become president in the history of the United States, Lincoln won with a mere 40 percent of the popular vote against his three opponents.

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  • Q:

    What did Stephen Douglas believe in?

    A:

    Stephen Douglas' most prominent belief was that popular sovereignty should determine the status of slavery in new U.S. territories. Before Douglas, Congress determined an area's designation as slave or free based on geography.

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    What was the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine?

    A:

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