previous next

Chapter 5: the political situation

In several of his addresses before his election to the Presidency, Mr. Lincoln gave utterance to the following language: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this Government cannot permanently remain half slave and half free. I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it to cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other thing.”

The same opinion had been enunciated several years before by John Quincy Adams on the floor of Congress, when, with his accustomed pungency, he declared, “The Union will fall before slavery or slavery will fall before the Union.”

But before either Adams or Lincoln spoke on the subject-away back in 1838-the same idea they expressed had a more elaborate and forcible presentation in the following words:

The conflict is becoming — has become — not alone of freedom for the blacks, but of freedom for the whites. It has now become absolutely necessary that slavery shall cease in order that freedom may be preserved in any portion of our land. The antagonistic principles of liberty and slavery have been roused into action, and one or the other must be victorious. There will be no

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Abraham Lincoln (2)
John Quincy Adams (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1838 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: