US History Seminar: The Road to Civil War

R-603133-1142975317.jpegThis week, we have taken a closer look at Chapter 9 in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and we watched Steven Speilberg’s tale of The Amistad. We were shocked to learn that the United States grew from 1000 tonnes of cotton and 500 00 slaves in 1790, to 1 million tonnes of cotton and 4 million slaves by 1860.

We were also struck by how presidents of the United States, when facing reelection, did not want to seem too eager to side with the abolitionist side. The addiction to slavery and the creation of a slave society certainly could be deemed as deep cause for racial tensions, not to mention the Civil War, Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights movement, and the Black lives Matter movement.

Using the criteria for analyzing and determining cause and consequence, how might other historical events played into the racial strife that is the United States?

Below are a few examples of events, movements, pieces of legislation, Supreme Court decisions, and people who may have contributed to the Civil War and racial conflict:

1820 | Missouri Compromise

1831 | Nat Turner’s Rebellion

1839 | The Amistad

1850 Compromise

1852 | Uncle Tom’s Cabin

1857 | Dred Scott

1859 | John Brown’s Raid

Select one and argue briefly but powerfully how this historically significant event might have been a cause of the Civil War. Be sure to provide both primary and secondary source evidence to support your case and be sure to comment on the arguments of your peers!

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