Everybody seems to believe those seven debates in Illinois in 1858 were awesome. But what's the reality?
First of all, they weren't even debates in the way we think of a debate. They were more like dueling speeches, and long speeches at that.
And the content was pretty rough. Most TV networks today would shy away from broadcasting the crude race-baiting and racial slurs that were tossed about in front of cheering audiences in towns across Illinois in the summer and fall of 1858.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates are important, of course, They were a milestone in American history, and they certainly elevated Abraham Lincoln and put him on the road to becoming a national figure.
Reading a few basic facts about how Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln did battle will demonstrate that what you've heard about the Lincoln-Douglas Debates is not necessarily accurate.
Read the full article: Seven Facts About the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Illustration: Depiction of a Lincoln-Douglas Debate/Getty Images
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