Let's start with the questions:
What is discussion?
A problem is decided upon, the parties will talk about
the problem, and try to come up with possible solutions.
What is a debate?
According to World Book Encyclopedia, 1988 Edition
". . . is a series of formal spoken arguments for and
against a definite proposal"
What does this all mean?
Debate . . . In other words, at least two
people get together to figure out who's "solution" to
the problem is the best.
Is Debating arguing?
. . . not if organized. If organized, there will be two
sides with the same number of participants on each
side. Sometimes a moderator will run the debate, to
make sure both sides take turns and one side doesn't get
more time than the other. Sometimes Presidents will go
on TV and debate each other, such as Kennedy and Nixon
in the first televised debate.
Where and why do Debates Occur now?
Many "debates" are organized in governments, schools and
other places. Many high schools and colleges have
"Debate Clubs." Political debates, environmental
debates, and about any subject debates can occur.
The Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates
Perhaps the most famous Debates of all were the
Lincoln-Douglas Debates in 1858. Stephen Douglas and
Abraham Lincoln were both nominated by their parties
(Douglas, Democrat and Lincoln, Republican).
Abraham Lincoln had given a fired-up speech called the "A
house divided against itself cannot stand speech" at
Springfield earlier in '58. This speech caused a big
stir in Illinois, and in the nation. Some thought such
an idea of stopping slavery, or ridding the country of
slavery would cause a division in the country and
perhaps a civil war.
Abraham Lincoln gave a few more speeches and then Challenged
Douglas to a series of debates. There would be seven
debates at seven different Illinois cities, all over the
Each candidate, Lincoln and Douglas would speak for 1 and 1/2
hours. That was the format of this famous debate. Lots
of people showed up at all, but the debate at Jonesboro,
the southern end of the state.
Lincoln and Douglas agreed on one point: slavery was in the
southern states, and neither of them had a desire to
bring it to an end. Lincoln believed in keeping the
nation whole. Douglas was very adamant that the blacks
were a lesser race, and had no place in white society.
At times, it seems Lincoln felt the same way, but
Lincoln would end up stressing that all humans deserved
the right to be free. Enslavement was an abomination to
Abraham Lincoln. He kind of represents the very
beginnings of the establishment of a totally free
United States, and equality among all people.
16th President Topics Index