In the summer of 1858 Stephen A. Douglas, the powerful, incumbent senator from Illinois and the chairman of the Senate committee on the territories, met with Abraham Lincoln, a well-known lawyer and one of the founders of the newly formed Republican Party in a series of 7 debates throughout Illinois. The central topic of these debates was the expansion of slavery into the western territories and who was to direct the future of these lands. Along with slavery they expressed their views on the nature of American Democracy, who was a citizen and the role of government, especially the national government in this democracy. These debates provide an excellent window into the passions and ideological differences that were on everyone’s mind and would eventually lead to the Southern states leaving the Union and the Civil War. We will be using the Library of America, Lincoln speeches and writings, Vol1. ISBN: 978-0-94045043-1. This study group meets for 10 weeks, starting 09/20/18. No class on 11/22/18.