Lincoln and the house divided: Launching a national political career

David Zarefsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the House Divided Speech, Lincoln warned that the country was tending toward nationwide slavery because of the work of a conspiracy in which Stephen Douglas was involved. A close reading of the speech text reveals how Lincoln sought to establish this seemingly outlandish claim and how doing so responded to the volatile nature of Illinois politics in 1858. The speech placed Lincoln in a position that enabled him to begin his rise to national prominence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-453
Number of pages33
JournalRhetoric and Public Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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