About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our Middle School U.S. History Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about the events that preceded the American Civil War. There is no faster or easier way to learn about the buildup to the American Civil War. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about the causes of the Civil War, and the manifestation of those causes through cultural, judicial, political, and other spheres.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need a history curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and a unit exam on the buildup to the American Civil War confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
Buildup to the American Civil War Unit Objectives:
- Understand the significance of Uncle Tom's Cabin and the tension over slavery in the 1850s.
- Summarize the events that came to be called Bloody Kansas; include causes and effects.
- Discuss President Buchanan's response to the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision handed down by the Supreme Court.
- Describe John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry.
- Outline the key arguments made during the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.
- Review the circumstances of President Lincoln's election and the secession of the Southern states.
- Describe the Battle of Fort Sumter and the start 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.
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Other chapters within the Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum course
- First Contacts in the Americas - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Settlement of North America & the Colonies: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Revolutionary War - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Creation of the Nation after the American Revolution: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Virginia Dynasty - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Jacksonian Democracy - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Everyday Life in Antebellum America - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Manifest Destiny & American Expansion - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- The American Civil War - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Reconstruction After the Civil War - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- American Industrialization of the Late 19th Century - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Early 20th Century Progressive Era: Homeschool Curriculum
- American Imperialism & World War I - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- 1920s America - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- America and the Great Depression - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- America and World War II - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Post-War and the Cold War - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Civil Rights Movements in America - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- America in the 1970s - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- America from 1992 to the Present - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum