SAT Subject US History Practice Question 782: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 782

43. In his debates against Senator Stephen Douglas in 1858, Abraham Lincoln held the position that slavery

A. should be abolished in the whole United States.
B. should be abolished immediately in the South.
C. should be abolished in California.
D. should not spread to the western territories.
E. was not an important question.

Correct Answer: D


Lincoln and the Republican Party held that there should be no extension of slavery to the territories in the West. This position did not endorse abolition (A), nor did it consider the South (B). There was no slavery in California (C) becuase it came in as a free state in 1850. Lincoln claimed Douglas did not hold that slavery was a serious issue (E), because he advocated popular sovereignty and did not seem to care whether slavery existed in any state.

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