How would have a President Stephen A. Douglas have handled secession differently?

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#61
Stephen A. Douglas was a strong supporter of the "manifest destiny" idea. Unlike Lincoln, he supported the Mexican-American War. He envisioned a transcontinental railroad and wanted western territories to become states. He wanted the United States to stretch from sea to sea. He was a very strong supporter of the Union and urged Democrats to support the war effort. He went to see Lincoln when Lincoln arrived in Washington DC. The men had a long private interview. He wore himself out traveling and speaking on behalf of saving the Union.
In support of what you have just related @wbull1, I believe Douglas had a very strong commitment to the United States. That being said, I would not believe he would allow the south to slip away. What plans and ideas he may have entertained nobody can really say, for the loss of his health after the election was too soon for him to do more than agree. Had he lived, he may have been a helpful partisan at mending the relations among the northern people, and relieving the pressure put on Lincoln.
 

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matthew mckeon

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#62
Douglas was pro-Union and would have gone to war to preserve the Union. The cause wasn't abolition for the North, it was Union.

The only question is whether the fire eaters considered Douglas apostate enough to leave the Union, or rather convince enough other people to leave the Union.
 

Joshism

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#63
Southerners reacted to their fears and fantasies of what he was like, with very little actual information about him.
I doubt there was anything he would have been willing to say that would have done any good. The Southern press would have found a way to use anything to he said to stoke fear of the Black Republican Menace.
 

Joshism

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#64
The only question is whether the fire eaters considered Douglas apostate enough to leave the Union, or rather convince enough other people to leave the Union.
One of the reasons the South, especially the Fireeaters, feared a Republican president was this was the patronage era aka spoils system. Every appointed office in the country could potentially be filled by a Republican. Since there were practically no Republicans in the South, this meant not only a hostile party holding these offices but ****yankees from up North! Who knows what trouble they would stir up? How were the Southerners supposed to suppress abolitionist mail if the postmasters in the South were all Northerners AND Republicans?

Stephen Douglas was anti-slavery (to Southern minds) and Northerner, but he was a Democrat. He would have appointed Southern Democrats to Southern appointed positions and his cabinet would have included Southern Democrats too. He would have let the South go about their business in the South as they had under Pierce and Buchanan. He was unsavory, but safe. Some of the Fireeaters would have pitched a fit, but I could see Douglas actively trying to defuse the situation by something like offering Breckenridge the position of Secretary of State.
 

archieclement

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#65
What was known about him was largely from the Lincoln Douglas debates which had been covered. And his position was against any form of possible expansion. He was opposed to Douglas popular sovereignty not because it meant new states would be free as you suggested earlier, but because it meant more slave states would be possible.

Douglas was for anexxation of Cuba, suppose you think popular sovereignty on an island of sugar plantations would lean free?
 
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wbull1

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#66
What was known about him was largely from the Lincoln Douglas debates which had been covered. And his position was against any form of possible expansion. He was opposed to Douglas popular sovereignty not because it meant new states would be free as you suggested earlier, but because it meant more slave states would be possible.

Douglas was for anexxation of Cuba, suppose you think popular sovereignty on an island of sugar plantations would lean free?

As I have said before. I do not believe Douglas was anti-slavery. It is irrelevant to my argument that, since he was in favor of expanding the United States from sea to sea, he would have opposed secession vehemently. You suppose that southern rejection of Douglas as not sufficiently pro-slavery would have disappeared had he been elected. Bleeding Kansas already showed how pro-slavery men would fight to keep any anti-slavery state from being admitted. Douglas had already rejected the fake pro-slavery state Constitution submitted by pro-slavery forces. Southern Democrats rejected Douglas as a candidate ensuring the party would lose. Douglas had worked with Republicans to oppose the bogus Kansas state Constitutions. Popular sovereignty was anti-thetical to southern views. In my opinion, Douglas's election would have been the catalyst for secession.
 

archieclement

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#67
To suggest Douglas would have equally lead to secession despite the lack of anti Douglas rhetoric (or anti Bell or anti Breckenridge rhetoric for that matter) making any such claims is based on what then?......I agree 100% Douglas wasn't anti slavery, would say most moderate democrats agreed with your statement he wasn't also......why there would have little mood to secede over Douglas.

Again the fire eaters were a minority who couldn't do anything without the moderates coming on board. It took someone outside the party, and more anti slavery then Douglas (or any other Democrat) to unite the democrats for seccesion

yet again if the fire eaters were upset over a Douglas election, which I'm not saying they might not have been......they still didn't represent the majority of either southern democrats or constitutes, to lead state conventions to secede required a wider coalition with moderate democrats, who weren't united against moderates, there would have been no broad coalition of the party against an insider, it required an outsider
 
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wbull1

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#68
To suggest Douglas would have equally lead to secession despite the lack of anti Douglas rhetoric (or anti Bell or anti Breckenridge rhetoric for that matter) making any such claims is based on what then?......I agree 100% Douglas wasn't anti slavery, would say most moderate democrats agreed with your statement he wasn't also......why there would have little mood to secede over Douglas.

Again the fire eaters were a minority who couldn't do anything without the moderates coming on board. It took someone outside the party, and more anti slavery then Douglas (or any other Democrat) to unite the democrats for seccesion

yet again if the fire eaters were upset over a Douglas election, which I'm not saying they might not have been......they still didn't represent the majority of either southern democrats or constitutes, to lead state conventions to secede required a wider coalition with moderate democrats, who weren't united against moderates, there would have been no broad coalition of the party against an insider, it required an outsider
We just disagree.
 



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