Did Douglas Ruin the Democratic Party by Supporting Popular Sovereignty?

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gem

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Did Douglas Ruin the Democratic Party by Supporting Popular Sovereignty?
 

Freddy

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Slavery was legal in the South and illegal in the North in 1850. New Mexico and Utah Territories gained from Mexico in 1847 were open to slavery under Popular Sovereignty.

In the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act Douglas upset many Northerners by allowing Popular Sovereignty above the Missouri Compromise Line. It was responsible for the rise of the new Republican Party, of Anti-slavery Democrats, Free-Soilers and Whigs.

In 1856 the Democrats approved the Presidential ticket with Buchanan of Pennsylvania and Breckinridge of Kentucky, both supported Popular Sovereignty.

In 1858 the Lincoln-Douglas Debates highlighted the slavery and Popular Sovereignty issues and Lincoln trapped him.

It was the 1860 Election with three separate Democrat Conventions split over slavery, i.e. Kansas-Nebraska Act/Popular Sovereignty, Bleeding Kansas, Dred Scott, and John Brown's Raid, the Northern Democrats nominated Douglas and the Southern Democrats nominated Breckinridge.

Could Douglas have not pushed Popular Sovereignty from 1850-1860 and got both the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed? I think he was in a no win situation with the slavery issue, which I believe is the issue that split the Democrat Party.
 

OpnCoronet

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Did Douglas Ruin the Democratic Party by Supporting Popular Sovereignty?


I believe a good case can be made, that Douglas was a major contributor to the splitting up of the Democratic Party just prior to the CW. But, IMO, Buchanan, the southern leadership of the Party itself, contributed as much as Douglas.

If popular sovereignty is the chosen point of reference, then, I believe one has to take a step back and view it through the prism of Douglas' sponsorship of the Kansas Bill(as Lincoln referred to it).

Douglas can more readily held singularly accountable to dividing his party and initiating CW, by his act of introducing his Kansas Bill to Congress, even as he was completely aware of the dangers of doing so. From that one decision, all other causes of divisions leading(party and states) leading directly to secession and war, flowed, including the particular issue of popular sovereignty.
 
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uaskme

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It didn't help. Blowing up the MO Compromise erased the Compromise of 1850 and gave the Anti Slavery Party ammo they would not of had. It was a grave political error. Kansas was never going to be Slave. If Stephens or somebody could of convinced the Southern Ds of that Political reality the course of History might of been changed. The 3rd Party was close to non existent in 52. Studying the Politics of the 50s and 60 it is easy to see the Republicans totally out maneuvered their opposition.
 

John S. Carter

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Did Douglas Ruin the Democratic Party by Supporting Popular Sovereignty?
Regardless of what Douglas said in regards to slavery .the Democratic party was so divided by this and other issues that to blame him for failure in 1860 is to use him as the "whipping boy" or goat .By 1850 the South was already moving politically towards leaving the Union they just required the motivation. or the right time do move.
 

Joshism

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Did Douglas Ruin the Democratic Party by Supporting Popular Sovereignty?
Douglas ruined his own presidential chances by supporting Popular Sovereignty. His Kansas-Nebraska Act was the catalyst for the Republican Party.

But Douglas did not split the Democrats. Southerners deserve 100% of the blame for that split. Southern Democrat radicals had decided that Popular Sovereignty was intolerable because it allowed a state to choose not to have slavery.
 
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