About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Buildup to the American Civil War chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Slavery in America during the 1850s||Balance of power among free and pro-slave states and the Fugitive Slave Act;|
Influence of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin;
The Kansas-Nebraska Act, including the causes of 'Bloody Kansas'
|Tuesday||Conflict over slavery||The debate over slavery, including the Supreme Court's Dred Scott vs. Sanford decision;|
Abolitionist John Brown's attack on a United States arsenal
|Wednesday||The Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates of 1858||The issue of slavery during the Illinois senatorial debates, including the positions of Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln|
|Thursday||Presidential election of 1860||Election of Abraham Lincoln, establishment of the Confederate States of America and the southern secession|
|Friday||Beginning of the Civil War||The Battle at Fort Sumter, including events and consequences|
1. Uncle Tom's Cabin and Tension Over Slavery in the 1850s
Uncle Tom's Cabin captured the plight of slaves in the 1850s like no other book. The novel, coupled with the Missouri Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Act, served to further strain the country, which was at a breaking point over the issue of slavery. This lesson details these events.
2. Bloody Kansas: Causes, Effects and Summary of Events
The events in the Kansas territory were a microcosm of the violent forces shaping the United States in the decade of the 1850s, forces that would ultimately lead to a disintegration of the Union itself. This lesson details what has come to be known as Bleeding Kansas and its impact on the issue of slavery.
3. Dred Scott v. Sanford and President Buchanan
The Dred Scott decision was one of the most important turning points in the debate over slavery in the United States. It came during the presidency of James Buchanan, a man well qualified but ill suited for the job of keeping the nation together. This lesson discusses both as we attempt to understand the dynamics that led to the American Civil War.
4. John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry: Fighting Slavery
John Brown was a man of strong convictions - so strong that he was willing to fight, to kill, and to die for them. These abolitionist beliefs led him from Kansas to Virginia, where he would pay the ultimate price. This lesson tells that story.
5. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858: Summary & Significance
In an effort to secure their own appointments to the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas squared off in a series of seven debates in 1858. Find out why Douglas might have won in the short term but Lincoln won in the long term.
6. Lincoln's Election, Southern Secession & the New Confederacy
Learn about how Abraham Lincoln's election in the contentious 1860 presidential race set off a domino effect leading to the secession of South Carolina and six other states and the formation of the Confederate States of America.
7. The Battle of Fort Sumter & the Start of the Civil War
South Carolina's attack on a U.S. military outpost triggered the American Civil War. Learn more about the Battle of Fort Sumter and the consequences of the fort's surrender to the Confederacy.
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Other chapters within the Middle School US History Curriculum Resource & Lesson Plans course
- First Contacts in the Americas: Middle School Lesson Plans
- Settling North America & the Colonies: Middle School Lesson Plans
- The Revolutionary War: Middle School Lesson Plans
- The Making of a Nation: Middle School Lesson Plans
- The Virginia Dynasty: Middle School Lesson Plans
- Jacksonian Democracy: Middle School Lesson Plans
- Everyday Life in Antebellum America: Middle School Lesson Plans
- Manifest Destiny & American Expansion: Middle School Lesson Plans
- The American Civil War: Middle School Lesson Plans
- After the Civil War - Reconstruction: Middle School Lesson Plans
- American Industrialization of the Late 19th Century: Middle School Lesson Plans
- The Progressive Era of the Early 20th Century: Middle School Lesson Plans
- American Imperialism & World War I: Middle School Lesson Plans
- 1920s America: Middle School Lesson Plans
- America and the Great Depression: Middle School Lesson Plans
- America & the Second World War
- Post-War and the Cold War: Middle School Lesson Plans
- Civil Rights Movements in America: Middle School Lesson Plans
- America in the 1970s: Middle School Lesson Plans
- America from 1992 to the Present: Middle School Lesson Plans