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Lincoln's tragic pragmatism : Lincoln, Douglas, and moral conflict

Author: John Burt
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"In 1858, challenger Abraham Lincoln debated incumbent Stephen Douglas seven times in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. More was at stake than slavery in those debates. In Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism, John Burt contends that the very legitimacy of democratic governance was on the line. In a United States stubbornly divided over ethical issues, the overarching question posed by the Lincoln-Douglas  Read more...
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Named Person: Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln; Stephen A Douglas; Stephen A Douglas; Abraham Lincoln; Stephen Arnold Douglas
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Burt
ISBN: 9780674050181 0674050185 0674067339 9780674067332
OCLC Number: 783520852
Description: xvii, 814 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction : implicitness and moral conflict. Negative capability ; Liberalism and moral conflict --
Lincoln's Peoria Speech of 1854. The debate over the Kansas-Nebraska Act ; Making and breaking deals in 1850 and in 1854 ; Lincoln's chief arguments ; The irony of American history --
Lincoln's conspiracy charge. The "house divided" metaphor ; The unfolding of the Bleeding Kansas War ; Douglas and the Lecompton Constitution ; Lincoln's evidence ; Dred Scott II ; A living dog is better than a dead lion --
Douglas's conspiracy charge. Lincoln and the founding of the Republican Party ; The reorganization of parties ; From Whig to Republican ; Anti-Nebraska and Anti-Lecompton Democrats ; The 1854 platforms ; Conspiracies across party lines ; Sectional and ideological parties ; Conclusion --
Douglas's fanaticism charge. Hostility to New England ; The apodictic style and reasonableness ; Appeals to the divine will ; Implicitness and situatedness ; Transformation of conceptions ; Limits of persuasive engagement --
Douglas's racial equality charge. Lincoln's nonextension position and anti-slavery ; Douglas on abolition and black citizenship ; From nonextension to emancipation ; From emancipation to citizenship ; Racism and freedom --
The Dred Scott Case. Legal background of the case ; The Dred Scott Case in court ; Lincoln's response ; Douglas's response ; Conclusion --
Aftershocks of the debates. Southern responses to the Freeport Doctrine ; Douglas's "Dividing Line" Doctrine ; The pamphlet war with Jeremiah Black ; The 1859 Ohio "Lincoln-Douglas Debates" ; The Cooper Union Speech ; The First Inaugural Address --
Coda : and the war came. The Gettysburg Address ; The will of God prevails ; The Second Inaugural Address.
Responsibility: John Burt.

Abstract:

In their famous debates, Lincoln and Douglas struggled with how to behave when an ethical conflict like slavery strained democracy's commitment to rule by both consent and principle. What conscience  Read more...

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Thoroughly informed by historical learning and philosophical sophistication, literary critic John Burt provides a detailed analysis of the Lincoln Douglas debates in their original context, Read more...

 
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schema:description""In 1858, challenger Abraham Lincoln debated incumbent Stephen Douglas seven times in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. More was at stake than slavery in those debates. In Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism, John Burt contends that the very legitimacy of democratic governance was on the line. In a United States stubbornly divided over ethical issues, the overarching question posed by the Lincoln-Douglas debates has not lost its urgency: Can a liberal political system be used to mediate moral disputes? And if it cannot, is violence inevitable? As they campaigned against each other, both Lincoln and Douglas struggled with how to behave when an ethical conflict as profound as the one over slavery strained the commitment upon which democracy depends--namely, to rule by both consent and principle. This commitment is not easily met, because what conscience demands and what it is able to persuade others to consent to are not always the same. While Lincoln ultimately avoided a politics of morality detached from consent, and Douglas avoided a politics of expediency devoid of morality, neither found a way for liberalism to mediate the conflict of slavery. That some disputes seemed to lie beyond the horizon of deal-making and persuasion and could be settled only by violence revealed democracy's limitations. Burt argues that the unresolvable ironies at the center of liberal politics led Lincoln to discover liberalism's tragic dimension--and ultimately led to war. Burt's conclusions demand reevaluations of Lincoln and Douglas, the Civil War, and democracy itself."--Jacket."@en
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