Ch.15 Road to Civil War

Slavery was a major cause of the worsening division between the North and South in the period before the Civil War.  The struggle between the North and South turned more hostile, and talk grew of separation and civil war. "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong," Abraham Lincoln wrote in a letter to A.G. Hodges in 1864.  By studying this era of our history, we can better understand the state of racial relations today and develop ways for improving them.

Students will begin by investigating the causes of the Civil War.  They will analyze four major political decisions - the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott Case - to gain a better understanding of how these conflicts eventually turned violent and led to secession by the South.  They will then discuss the Fugitive-Slave Act and the role of slavery in the progression towards war. 

Next, students will discuss the politics of the day by looking at the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the presidential election of 1860.  They will compare and contrast the major candidates for president and understand how Lincoln's election caused the South to declare independence from the United States.  We will also examine the attack on Fort Sumter and the advantages and disadvantages of each side as the war began.  Finally, students will debate whether the Civil War was inevitable, or if it could have been avoided.

This will be a wonderful introduction to Abraham Lincoln before the students visit Springfield in April. 



* Causes and Compromises leading to the Civil War - Completed in class 2/27-3/6
  - Issues = Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, Dred Scott Case, and Secession
  - Students will discuss the viewpoints of the North and South on each topic, and then develop
    compromises while focusing on specific questions.

* "House Divided" Speech - Completed in class Tuesday, 3/12
  - Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
    1. What does this quote mean?
    2. Explain how this quote relates to the attitude of the country in the mid-1800s.
 
* Chapter 15 Sections 3+4 Test - Tuesday, 3/19

* Notes from "America: Story of Us" - Completed in class 3/18-3/21
  - Episode 4: Division
  - Episode 5: Civil War

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