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Learning Lincoln On-line

FROM-- SET SIX CIVIL WAR STUDIES

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates-- Debate Activity-- Classroom-- Student Tasks

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Lincoln-Douglas Debate Home Page Debating Home Page Debating Activity Directions Teacher Directions Student Directions Debate Topics
 

LEARNING TO DEBATE--  STUDENT TASKS
Skills in speaking, thinking and self-expressions


    It often seems that the other person, or a certain person, is ALWAYS RIGHT!  A quiet person who is smart often does not get heard in classroom discussions. People often think that DEBATING is arguing.

In this activity you will--

1. Learn to become knowledgeable and "Open Minded" about subjects.  

2. From there, you will research the idea, or think of as many PRO and CON sides about the subject.
3. Individuals will then be a part of a two-person team. 

4. The team will make a list of PRO-CON viewpoints about a subject. 

5. After making the list, you will then practice taking either or both sides of the subject and PROVE YOUR POINT! 

6. Members of the team will do research on your topic.

7. Teams will debate another team on the topic.  You may have a topic that you don't really agree with, but in debating, you will try to win your point anyway. Individual debating can be done using the same steps listed.

For Example . . . . This is a little research on what Lincoln and Douglas either knew about, or formulated what they would say ahead in their debates.  They were both brilliant, so I'm not sure if they wrote things out.  A good debater cannot "read" his comments, unless maybe a quote from someone.  If you read through this short historical summary, would you be able to remember enough to debate a side topic from it?  Check this summary box out.

from: https://classroom.synonym.com/american-politics-1840s-1860s-10602.html

WHAT ARE THE POLITICAL ISSUES FROM THE MID 1840'S TO 1860?--

A SHORT CAPSULE DESCRIPTION

      American politics from the 1840s to the 1860s focused increasingly on two major issues. One was nation-building, specifically the idea of America’s “Manifest Destiny” to control all the territory west to the Pacific and south into Mexico. The other centered on slavery and whether it should be allowed in these new territories that would soon become states.

Summary-- American politics from the 1840s to the 1860s focused increasingly on two major issues. One was nation-building, specifically the idea of America’s “Manifest Destiny” to control all the territory west to the Pacific and south into Mexico. The other centered on slavery and whether it should be allowed in these new territories that would soon become states.

1.  Rapid Expansion of the country boundaries

The first American political parties -- the Federalists and the Republicans -- were gone, replaced by Andrew Jackson’s Democratic Party (formerly the Democratic-Republicans) and the Whigs (formerly the National-Republicans). The election of 1844 was won by Democrat James Polk, at the age of 49 the youngest president elected to date. During his presidency, the United States added a million square miles to its territory. He acquired president-day Oregon, Washington and Idaho from the British, but it took a war to finally gain California and Texas (already annexed and made a state) from the Mexicans. After 16 months of fighting, from April of 1846 to September of 1847, the U.S. established the Rio Grande border and took possession of California.

2. Divisive Issue of Slavery-- Abolitionists, Fugitive Slave Law, Expansion?

Polk, however, had not dealt with the issues of extending slavery into these new territories and Manifest Destiny, which the tumultuous politics of the 1850s swirled around. In 1850, Whig party leader Henry Clay suggested in his “Compromise of 1850” that California be admitted as a free state, but that no mention be made of slavery for Texas and other southwestern states -- effectively making them slave states -- and that the Fugitive Slave Law be enacted in the new states, guaranteeing that civilians would aid in returning escaped slaves.

3.  An Unacceptable Compromise-- Expansion of slavery into new territories and states

The Compromise of 1850 pleased neither Northern abolitionists nor the Southern radicals who were already talking about secession. The Kansas-Nebraska Act sponsored by Democratic Sen. Stephen A. Douglas established the principle of “popular sovereignty” in new territories -- i.e., that the white citizens of these soon-to-be states would decide if they wanted slavery or not. Anti-slavery Whigs were so incensed that President Franklin Pierce signed the bill that they left their party and formed the Republican Party as a northern, anti-slavery party.

4. A Division Lasting Decades-- The party of the South vs. the Party of the North

By the 1860 election, both political parties (and the nation) remained polarized around the issue of slavery. The Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln as their candidate, while the Democrats split into two factions. The moderate Northern Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas, while southern radicals nominated Vice President John C. Breckinridge. Essentially, two races were run, one in the North, which Abraham Lincoln won, and one in the South, won by Breckinridge. Shortly after Lincoln was inaugurated, the Civil War broke out. For decades to come, the Republicans would be the party of the North, while the Democrats would remain the party of the South.

 

THE TASKS:

TASK ONE--  RESEARCHING FOR DEBATING-- Research and answer questions concerning the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, including how their historical importance, and how they were conducted.

Research your topic-- CLICK HERE

 

TASK TWO-- DEBATING IN THE CLASSROOM--Plan and participate in debates on contemporary subjects within the class and eventually between other class.

Learning to Debate-- CLICK HERE



 

 

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