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HOUSE DIVIDED. When he accepted the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate at Springfield, Ill., on 16 June 1858, Abraham Lincoln paraphrased a sentence from the Bible (Mark 3:25) in order to emphasize his belief that eventually slavery had to be extinguished: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Lincoln continued, "I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided." Lincoln's opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, favored allowing the people of each state to determine whether to allow slavery within their midst.


Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995(orig. pub. 1970).

Johannsen, Robert W. Lincoln, the South, and Slavery: The Political Dimension. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991.

Oates, Stephen B. With Malice Toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

Theodore M.Whitfield/c. p.

See alsoAntislavery ; Equality, Concept of ; Irrepressible Conflict ; Lincoln-Douglas Debates ; Republican Party ; andvol.9:A House Divided .

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House Divided

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