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The Y.M.C.A. came to North America in 1851 and quickly spread throughout the United States and Canada. Its first purpose was to gather young men for Bible study, but it soon grew beyond that. In 1860 this Greenfield event was offering a typical program for the day, a lyceum-type debate. The debate posed the many problems the United States was facing in its attempt to grapple with the issue of slavery. Here, two members had worked up arguments in favor of the inevitability of secession, debating two others who argued otherwise.