About This Chapter
Who's it for?
Anyone who needs help learning or mastering middle school US history will benefit from taking this course. You will be able to grasp the subject matter faster, retain critical knowledge longer and earn better grades. You're in the right place if you:
- Have fallen behind in understanding tension over slavery in the 1850s or the Southern secession and the New Confederacy
- Need an efficient way to learn about the buildup to the Civil War
- Learn best with engaging auditory and visual tools
- Struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
- Experience difficulty understanding your teachers
- Missed class time and need to catch up
- Can't access extra US history learning resources at school
How it works:
- Start at the beginning, or identify the topics that you need help with.
- and learn from fun videos, reviewing as needed.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
- Submit questions to one of our instructors for personalized support if you need extra help.
- Verify you're ready by completing the Buildup to the American Civil War chapter exam.
Why it works:
- Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
- Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
- Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Buildup to the American Civil War chapter exam to be prepared.
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- Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.
Students will review:
In this chapter, you'll learn the answer to questions including:
- How did Uncle Tom's Cabin contribute to tension over slavery in the 1850s?
- How did Bleeding Kansas impact slavery?
- What was the importance of the Dred Scott decision?
- What motivated John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry?
- How were the Lincoln-Douglas debates significant?
- How did Lincoln's election lead to Southern secession and the New Confederacy?
- What role did the battle of Fort Sumter play in the beginning of the Civil War?
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.
8. Lecompton Constitution: Definition & Summary
In the late 1850s, the Lecompton Constitution of Kansas Territory laid bare the divisions in the U.S. over slavery. Kansas voters, Congress, and even the President argued over this pro-slavery document. Learn about the Lecompton Constitution and test yourself with a quiz.
9. Popular Sovereignty: Definition & Examples
As the U.S. expanded and acquired new territories, Congress was forced to carry out the delicate balancing act of adding free and slave states. Various proposals were made in an attempt to keep the balance sturdy, including popular sovereignty. Learn about its place in the debate over the expansion of slavery.
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Other chapters within the Middle School US History: Help and Review course
- First Contacts in the Americas: Help and Review
- Settling North America & the Colonies: Help and Review
- The Revolutionary War: Help and Review
- The Making of a Nation after the American Revolution: Help and Review
- Virginia Dynasty: Help and Review
- The Jacksonian Democracy: Help and Review
- Everyday Life in Antebellum America: Help and Review
- Manifest Destiny & American Expansion: Help and Review
- The American Civil War: Help and Review
- After the Civil War - Reconstruction: Help and Review
- American Industrialization of the Late 19th Century: Help and Review
- The Progressive Era of the Early 20th Century: Help and Review
- American Imperialism & World War l: Help and Review
- 1920s America: Help and Review
- America and the Great Depression: Help and Review
- America and the Second World War: Help and Review
- Post-War and the Cold War: Help and Review
- Civil Rights Movements in America: Help and Review
- America in the 1970s: Help and Review
- America in the 1980s: Help and Review
- America from 1992 to the Present: Help and Review