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Lincoln's interpretation of the Declaration of Independence

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How does Abraham Lincoln interpret the Declaration of Independence as it relates to African Americans? Is there anything that Lincoln says about African Americans that surprises you? Is so, what is it? Why are you surprised? What is the significance of Lincoln's interpretation of the Declaration of Independence for Americans today.

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Abraham Lincoln's most significant connecting of the Declaration of Independence to the plight of African-Americans in bondage came during the Lincoln-Douglas debates, a senatorial race in Illinois, which the future president lost. Stephen Douglas, a famous and successful politican, had just finished arguing that the principle enshrined in the Declaration, "All men are created equal," did not encompass the Negro. Lincoln countered with these words: "I adhere to the Declaration of Independence. If Judge Douglas and his friends are not willing to stand by it, let them come up and amend it. Let them make it read, that all men are created equal except negroes. Let us have it decided, whether the Declaration of Independence, in this blessed year of 1858, shall be thus amended. In his construction of the Declaration last year, he said it only meant that Americans in America were equal to Englishman in England. Then, when I pointed out to him that by that rule he ...

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Lincoln's interpretation of the Declaration of Independence is assessed racially.