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Step 1: Study these excerpts from speeches given by Douglas:
I believe that the Union can only be preserved by maintaining inviolate the Constitution of the United States as our fathers have made it. That Constitution guarantees to the people of every State the right to have slavery or not have it…each State being left free to decide for itself. The framers of that Constitution…well understood that each one of the thirteen States had distinct and separate interests, and required distinct and separate local laws and local institutions.
—Stephen A. Douglas, Springfield, Illinois, June 17, 1858
• What is Douglas’s point of view regarding the Constitution?
• Which statement from the excerpt shows his point of view?
• Explain how the selected quote shows Douglas’s point of view.
• What is an historical idea or event that supports Douglas’s point of view?