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Freeport Doctrine

At Freeport, Illinois, on August 27, 1858, in the second of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Douglas made an effort to revive the doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, which had been imperiled by the Dred Scott decision. He stated that slavery could legally be barred from the territories if the territorial legislatures simply refused to enact the type of police regulations necessary to make slavery work. Without a legal framework and enforcement officials, slavery would be excluded. Douglas' statement enabled him to retain his Senate seat, but it split the Democratic Party and lost what little support he had in the South.