Great Debates in History

National and international history have provided us with many great debates. The resources on this page provide a couple of examples of debates in history, particularly presidential debates. Also, watch your history books and class reading assignments for examples--debate is everywhere!

Check out these examples: 

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858

This historic debate occurred between Abraham Lincoln and Stephan Douglas for a spot as an Illinois state senator in 1858. Although Douglas won that election, many people believe that this debate helped propel Lincoln into a national political career. Hosted by the National Park Service (who holds the rights to Lincoln's estate), this website offers some great background information and primary source documents from this series of debates. You can even read the full transcripts online. 

Presidential Debates in History: 1976-Present

The picture at left links to a YouTube channel of some famous presidential debates dating back to 1976. This channel provides short clips of the most famous moments, but you can also follow the link to the website for the League of Women Votes. There, you will be able to watch the entirety of the presidential debates 1976 to the present.

Other Great Debates in American History: 

This supplement to a U.S. History book provides a wealth of knowledge about debates in American history. Each unit covers a different controversial issue and debate in history. The site includes background information, a transcript from the debate, and even worksheets to check your comprehension. This resource is hosted on the blog of a retired educator, Peter Pappas.