Civil War

Essential Questions
Course Name: Civil War                                                    Course Number: 941                             
Revision Date: Sept., 2011                    Grade/level: 12
Course Length: .05 Credit/Qtr (90min.)

Course Description:

Using the American Civil War as a model, students will examine the causes and outcomes of civil war.  The term will take on meaning as students question the definition of morality, politics and compromise. The class will review the tragic conflicts that pitted brother against brother and ideology against ideology.  Students will examine events that led to sectionalism, secession, outbreak of war and new technologies that changed political and military history.  Readings, class discussions, research, quizzes and a final project will be used as assessments.

Suggested Instructional Strategies:
Instructional strategies will include a variety of primary and secondary source readings, analysis of documentaries, social/political ideas, and maps. Use of media center research, class lectures, and. Students will use the 10 Themes of “Why the Union Won” and military concepts of war obtained through their course work to complete and present a final project and exam.

Familiar with  
Explain how Slavery presented a wedge between Moral Rights (Civil) and States Rights verses Constitutional Rights (Laws)?
Describe how the Abolitionist Movement led to politically moral differences which begin to divide the country. (Popular Sovereignty, Democratic Party Split and President Buchanan & Lecompton)Identify key Political &Abolitionist
Writers: (Weld, Garrison, Finney & Stowe)
Political figures: (Calhoun, Clay, Webster, Douglas & Lincoln)
Activists: (Dred Scott, John Brown & Senator Atchison)
Analyze how the “Expansion” of territory and “Statehood” impacted political, economic & social structure of the US.Describe “Sectionalism” in Geo - Political terms and the impact of key events on the balance of power in congress.(Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest)
Identify key events leading to westward expansion:
  • Northwest Ordinance
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Missouri Compromise
  • Mex/Amer. War
  • Gold Rush (1849)
  • Compromise of 1850
  • Kansas/Nebraska Act.
Explain the impact of key political events as a whole from 1830 to Election of 1860 that lead to the Secessionists Movement of the South and a nation to war.Explain the labor differences between the Industrial North and the Agrarian South and how Expansion and Legislation threatened “Political Balance of Power” in Congress.Identify key aspects in the growth of slavery in the US as a result of improved technology (Cotton Gin, Railroads and Mills (weaving, mass production and overseas markets.)
What is the significance of the Civil War and its impact on today’s understanding of modern warfare and has it changed the “age old” definition of “war is just politics by another means?”Describe the change from Napoleonic Warfare to Total Warfare.
Explain the differences in philosophy of Clouswicz, Jomini, Mahan, and how was Grant influenced by them?
Identify the 7 Characteristics of the Union (North) Victory
  • Generalship & Turning Point Battles
  • Crusade & Diplomacy
  • War Machine & Navy
  • “Luck”

Unit Title:  A Nation at War

Content Standard: New Hampshire Social Studies Framework
Standard Number (and/or) Text:
2.0 Essential Skills for Social Studies
3.1 The Nature and Purpose of Government
5.2 Places and Regions
6.1 Political Foundations and Development
6.5 Social/Cultural

Enduring Understandings:
(Students will understand that)
  • The abolishment of slavery would prove difficult morally and politically and tear at the fabric of the nation’s foundation and lead to a civil war.
  • Our ability to compromise early in our history defined us as a nation and our failure to compromise during the antebellum years resulted in a civil war.
  • Our national expansion westward and the division between the industrial north and agricultural south culminated in a polarization that was only resolved through civil war.
  • The development and use of technology was more advanced than the political and social understanding of war at that time.

Essential Questions:
(Inquiry used to explore enduring understanding
  • How slavery was justified both morally and economically in the south and how was it equally opposed in the north?
  • How did our inability to compromise lead to sectionalism and southern secession?
  • What were the circumstances, conditions and political dynamics that led to the polarization that caused the Civil War?
  • What is the relationship between the development of technology and political, economic and social understanding of the time?

Knowledge and Skills:
(students will know)

Key events between 1820 and 1860 leading to the Civil War

Key leaders in the Abolitionist Movement

Key political leaders during the Antebellum Years

The separation of powers between the state and federal government

How compromises both expanded the country and changed the balance of power in Congress

The difference between Napoleonic Warfare and Modern Warfare (military structure and command)

The difference between strategy and tactics as it pertains to both the military and politics

Key technology advances in the armament industry

(Students will be able to)

Interpret military maps and economic graphs

Develop a Venn diagram outlining sectional differences

Create an interactive visual explaining one of the essential questions

Performance Tasks/Other Evidence:
Focus questions for reading - Class discussions - Tests and Quizzes
Note Taking - US State Map – Final Interactive Visual and Essay`

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