Lincoln’s House Divided Speech 1858

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On this day in 1858, Abraham Lincoln, then a Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat, delivered his famous House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois. Calling attention to the problems that slavery would cause in the future, the speech included these famous words:

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand. 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. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”
~ Abraham Lincoln, 1858

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