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What are Abraham Lincoln quotes on democracy and race?

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Democracy and Race

With all that has been written about Abraham Lincoln, his racial views should be well known to Americans. But they are not. In his fourth debate with Stephen Douglas in 1858, he declared:


I will say that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they can not so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

Such views are evident throughout Lincoln’s political career. While serving in the Illinois legislature Lincoln never challenged the anti-black legislation of his state, voting against black suffrage and refusing to sign a petition allowing black testimony in court. Lincoln was also a strong supporter of colonizing freed blacks, convinced that they could never be assimilated into American society. As president he favored a constitutional amendment authorizing the purchase and deportation of slaves, and he urged the State Department to look into possible areas of settlement in such places as Haiti, Honduras, Liberia (where a U.S. colony for freedmen already existed), Ecuador, and the Amazon.

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Democracy: “save the Union”… and consolidate its power

Lincoln was a creature of his age. This was the decade in which Piedmont would forge Lombardy, Parma, Venetia, and the various Italian states into a single Italy, in which Prussia would unite the various German lands (other than Austria and its holdings) into Germany, and in which political centralization was occurring in Japan. Lincoln was drawn to this spirit of nationalism, and, along with Daniel Webster, viewed the Union and the Southern secession through this ideological lens. He told Horace Greeley that if he could save the Union by freeing the slaves he would do so; if he could save the Union by freeing no slave he would do that; and if he could save the Union by freeing some slaves and leaving others in bondage, he would do that too.

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