SAT Subject US History Practice Question 972: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 972

53. Stephen Douglas's Freeport Doctrine stated that

A. slavery should be excluded from all territories west of the Mississippi River.
B. the Union cannot survive half slave and half free.
C. the Union must be preserved at all costs.
D. liberty is more important than the Union.
E. slavery can only exist where it has been supported by local law.

Correct Answer: E


The Freeport Doctrine was Douglas's attempt to support both the Dred Scott decision and popular sovereignty. It put forward the idea that the people should decide on slavery in a given territory, but he claimed that slavery could not exist without laws supporting it. This was already disproved by the presence of slaves in the territories of Kansas and Missouri before they were states. The Mississippi (A) was not a dividing line for Douglas, who wanted to permit slavery in Kansas and Nebraska through popular sovereignty. Lincoln expressed the sentiments paraphrased in choice (B) in his "house divided" speech. (C) and (D) are paraphrases of the statements by Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun, respectively, during the nullification crisis of the 1830s.

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