The Civil War

Nearly 100 years of conflicts and arguments over slavery and economics have led to this. What will the United States actually be? Can the Constitution withstand its greatest challenge yet?

Essential Question: How did the United States struggle to stay together despite its massive regional differences?

From the first shots at Bull Run to the massive casualties of Antietam.

From the vast battlefields of Gettysburg to a tiny farm in Virginia.

The war for unification is over. The war for America's soul is just beginning.

Labs and Activities

1. HA: A Personal Letter - Read an actual letter written in 1861 by a regular person struggling with the prospects of secession and life at the time. Pay close to attention to the author!

2. Secession Stations - Analyze 9 primary source documents arguing for and against secession to decide if it was the right course of action for the South.

3. Vicksburg Simulation - An experiential exercise where students read a series of accounts of life in Vicksburg during the siege. Students will travel in trenches and be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of constant bombardment. [Presentation] [Front Audio] [Center Audio] You can find a full write-up of the lessons and my experiences here.

4: HA: Lincoln's Own Words - Analyze two of Lincoln's most important speeches (the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address) to determine their overall importance.

5. Civil War DBQ - Determine if the events of the war and Reconstruction period were all worth it. Despite the cost was the Civil War ultimately a positive event for America?