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Ch 4: McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 4: The Union in Peril

About This Chapter

The Union in Peril chapter of this McDougal Littell The Americans textbook companion course helps students learn the essential American history lessons of the Civil War. Each of these simple and fun video lessons is about five minutes long and is sequenced to align with the Union in Peril textbook chapter.

How it works:

  • Identify the lessons in the McDougal Littell The Americans Union in Peril chapter with which you need help.
  • Find the corresponding video lessons within this companion course chapter.
  • Watch fun videos that cover the Civil War topics you need to learn or review.
  • Complete the quizzes to test your understanding.
  • If you need additional help, rewatch the videos until you've mastered the material or submit a question for one of our instructors.

Students will learn:

  • Slavery in early America
  • Bloody Kansas
  • New political parties that emerged as the result of slavery
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford
  • The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858
  • The raid at Harpers Ferry
  • Lincoln's election
  • The Confederacy
  • Start of the Civil War
  • Northern and Southern advantages of the Civil War
  • The First Battle of Bull Run
  • Important Civil War battles of 1862
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • Impact of the Civil War on daily life in the North and South
  • Turning points of the Civil War
  • The Gettysburg Address
  • Sherman's March to the Sea
  • The re-election of Lincoln
  • Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox
  • Costs of the Civil War
  • Assassination of President Lincoln
  • Lincoln's plan for Reconstruction
  • President Andrew Johnson's plan for Reconstruction
  • Reconstruction Amendments
  • The radical Republican Reconstruction plan
  • Andrew Johnson's impeachment
  • The election of Ulysses S. Grant
  • Effects of Reconstruction in the South
  • Reconstruction's affect on African Americans
  • The Redeemers

McDougal Littell The Americans is a registered trademark of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is not affiliated with Study.com.

30 Lessons in Chapter 4: McDougal Littell The Americans Chapter 4: The Union in Peril
Slavery in Early America: Characteristics & Opposition

1. Slavery in Early America: Characteristics & Opposition

The institution of slavery in early America was a source of both economic profits and divisive tensions. It began as a peculiar institution of colonial society and blossomed into a sectional issue that threatened to destroy the young United States.

Bloody Kansas: Causes, Effects and Summary of 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.

Dred Scott v. Sanford: Case Summary & Decision

3. Dred Scott v. Sanford: Case Summary & Decision

In this lesson, we will explore the famous Dred Scott v. Sanford Supreme Court case. We will learn about the case's background, the court's findings, and the impact of this landmark decision.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858: Summary & Significance

4. 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.

John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry: Fighting Slavery

5. 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.

Lincoln's Election, Southern Secession & the New Confederacy

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.

The Creation of the Confederacy: Leadership & Goals

7. The Creation of the Confederacy: Leadership & Goals

In this lesson, we will take a look at the 1861 creation of the Confederate States of America. We will examine the new country's government, meet its leaders, and learn about its goals.

The Battle of Fort Sumter & the Start of the Civil War

8. 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.

Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

9. Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, both the North and South believed the conflict would be over quickly. But advantages for both the Confederacy and the Union meant a prolonged war between the states. In this lesson, discover some of the advantages that the North and South had.

The First Battle of Bull Run: Civil War Blood is Shed

10. The First Battle of Bull Run: Civil War Blood is Shed

Three months after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Northern troops attacked Southern forces near the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. The first Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas) was the first major engagement of the Civil War and a terrifying defeat for the Union spectators who came to watch.

Key Civil War Battles in 1862: Monitor and Merrimac, Antietam, New Orleans & Shiloh

11. Key Civil War Battles in 1862: Monitor and Merrimac, Antietam, New Orleans & Shiloh

In 1862, the Union put its Anaconda Plan into action, resulting in several critical events: the Peninsular Campaign, the Battle of Hampton Roads between the ironclads Monitor and Virginia (Merrimack), the Battle of Shiloh, the capture of New Orleans, and the Battle of Antietam.

The Emancipation Proclamation: Creation, Context and Legacy

12. The Emancipation Proclamation: Creation, Context and Legacy

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. More than three million slaves in the South were freed, but the move was not without its critics, both then and now.

Civilian Reaction in the Confederacy to the War: The Impact on Daily Life & the Economy

13. Civilian Reaction in the Confederacy to the War: The Impact on Daily Life & the Economy

In this lesson, we will study the Confederate home front. We will examine how the Civil War affected the South's government, economy, and social fabric, and we will see how the Southerners faced destruction and displacement throughout the war.

How the Civil War Affected the Economy and Everyday Life in the North and South

14. How the Civil War Affected the Economy and Everyday Life in the North and South

With the strongest and most productive demographic of society away fighting in the Civil War, the task of running homes, communities, and the nation fell to those who stayed behind. The war on the home front changed their lives forever.

Civil War Turning Points: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg

15. Civil War Turning Points: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg

In 1863, three events proved to be turning points for the American Civil War: the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg. Learn about these Civil War turning points in this lesson.

Gettysburg Address: Summary & Analysis

16. Gettysburg Address: Summary & Analysis

This lesson discusses the Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches in American history. Learn more about what Abraham Lincoln's speech means and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Sherman's March to the Sea

17. Sherman's March to the Sea

In 1864, General William T. Sherman began his Atlanta campaign. His success assured Lincoln's re-election in 1864. Sherman then began his destructive March to the Sea in order to capture Savannah.

The Politics of 1864: President Abraham Lincoln is Re-Elected

18. The Politics of 1864: President Abraham Lincoln is Re-Elected

In this lesson, we will explore the turbulent political landscape of 1864, focusing especially on that year's presidential campaign that pitted incumbent Abraham Lincoln against General George McClellan.

General Robert E. Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse: Terms & Conditions

19. General Robert E. Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse: Terms & Conditions

In this lesson, we will explore the events leading up to Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9th, 1865.

The Costs of the Civil War: Human, Economic & Cultural

20. The Costs of the Civil War: Human, Economic & Cultural

This lesson will explore the costs of the Civil War. We will examine the economic costs of the four-year conflict; its cultural costs, especially in the South; and its human costs, particularly casualties and veterans' post-war experiences.

The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: Facts, Failed Plots & Motivation

21. The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: Facts, Failed Plots & Motivation

This lesson will explore the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. We will discuss the plots against Lincoln's life, the motivation of his assassin, and the murderous attack on April 14, 1865, that deprived a man of his life and a country of its president.

President Lincoln's Legacy: Plans for a Reconstructed Union

22. President Lincoln's Legacy: Plans for a Reconstructed Union

Before the guns of the American Civil War fell silent, President Abraham Lincoln was making plans for the reconstruction of the South. In this lesson, learn what his plans involved and the controversy surrounding them.

President Andrew Johnson: Attempts to Continue Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan

23. President Andrew Johnson: Attempts to Continue Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan

When President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, the task of Reconstruction fell to President Andrew Johnson. He was soon at odds with many different factions in the nation. While Johnson was not successful in domestic policy, his administration had a few foreign successes.

The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

24. The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

Between 1865 and 1870, during the historical era known as Reconstruction, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified to establish political equality for all Americans. Together, they are known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

The Radical Republican Plan for Reconstruction: The Reconstruction Acts & Civil Rights Act

25. The Radical Republican Plan for Reconstruction: The Reconstruction Acts & Civil Rights Act

In this lesson, we will explore the Radical Republicans' plan to reconstruct the South after the Civil War. We will discuss Congress' efforts to extend the Freedmen's Bureau and to pass the Civil Rights and Reconstruction Acts.

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson: Conflict Between President and Congress

26. The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson: Conflict Between President and Congress

Congressional Reconstruction, guided by Radical Republicans, aggressively pursued political equality for African Americans as defined by several pieces of legislation and the 14th Amendment. Conflict between Congress and President Andrew Johnson escalated until he was impeached.

President Ulysses S. Grant: Election, Successes and Corruption

27. President Ulysses S. Grant: Election, Successes and Corruption

Ulysses S. Grant, the Union hero of the Civil War, was elected in 1868, the last U.S. president to have been a slave owner. Despite his popularity, the nation faced social, economic and political difficulties, and his administration was shrouded in corruption.

Reconstruction in the South: Positive & Negative Effects

28. Reconstruction in the South: Positive & Negative Effects

In this lesson, we'll explore the positive and negative effects of Reconstruction on the people of the South. We'll look at rights and opportunities for African Americans, economic growth, resentment and violence, and the sharecropping system.

Reconstruction's Effects on African Americans: Politics, Education and Economy

29. Reconstruction's Effects on African Americans: Politics, Education and Economy

The era in U.S. history known as Reconstruction presented many new opportunities to African Americans, especially in the South. For the first time, freedmen were free to pursue economic independence, education, religion and politics. These pursuits are embodied in the accomplishments of four men: Alonzo Herndon, Booker T. Washington, Jonathan Gibbs and Hiram Revels.

The Redeemers: Definition & History

30. The Redeemers: Definition & History

In this lesson, we will explore the reactions of white Southerners to Reconstruction. We will examine their grievances, discuss their sometimes violent backlash, and take a look at their political efforts to regain control of the South.

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