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A Turning Point In Abraham Lincolns Political Career Before engaging in the debates with Senator Stephen A Douglas Lincoln was relatively unknown in the political world and was just beginning his career in politics Abraham Lincolns reputation was just starting to grow and his life was about to make a drastic change The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were a turning point in Abraham Lincolns political career Lincoln had served four terms in the Illinois legislature and now desired an office with greater prestige Lincoln had served the Whig Party well and election to Congress became his goal In 1843 and 1844 Lincoln lost the nomination for Congress to other candidates Although disappointed he kept striving for his goal Finally in 1846 his hard work had paid off Abraham Lincoln won the Whig nomination for the U S House of Representatives Lincoln started his Congressional career on December 6 1847 He failed to make the reputation he had hoped for in Congress Some of his main tasks included a bill that would free slaves in the District of Columbia and supporting the Wilmot Proviso banning slavery in territories acquired from Mexico He also supported the Whig policy which had the government paying for internal improvements and in 1848 he worked on the nomination and election of Zachary Taylor the Whig candidate for President Already in his political career Lincoln had a strong stand on slavery His term ended on March 4 1849 Lincolns stay in Congress was brief and frustrating He opposed the Mexican War so vigorously that he lost much of his popularity with his constituency At the expiration of his term in 1849 he returned home and sank into the political background At that point Lincoln decided to return to Springfield Illinois and revive his law career He practiced law more seriously than ever and represented big businesses and corporations in many lawsuits and soon prospered After successfully defending the Illinois Central Railroad in
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