Civil War

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Civil War

Witness the conflict between North and South and the South's eventual secession that led to a rush to arms, pitting countryman against countryman. This program utilizes exciting reenactments, artifacts, and interviews to explore key battles of the Civil War, life on the Northern and Southern home fronts, and the role of African Americans in the war. Concludes with the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the fall of the Confederacy.

Learn why the United States had a Civil War, learn about the battles of the war and its impact on the country that ultimately led to the freeing of the slaves and the abolition of slavery.

  1. Students will understand the major political and economic differences between the North and the South at the time leading up to the Civil War. The Northern states were primarily industrial, wanted a strong federal government, and did not have slavery. The Southern states were primarily agricultural, wanted strong state governments, and had slavery.
  2. Students will understand that the primary cause of the Civil War was states' rights. The Southern states wanted to govern themselves without interference from the federal government. The Northern states did not mind the federal government having a strong influence over their affairs. This manifested itself in the issue of slavery. The Southern states thought they should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery. They did not want the federal government to tell them what to do.
  3. Students will know that Abraham Lincoln what elected president of the United States in 1860. He was a northerner who was in favor of a strong federal government and wanted to stop the spread of slavery.
  4. Students will know that South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. Several other states followed, and they formed the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy. They elected Jefferson Davis as their president.
  5. Students will know that the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in April of 1861 was the first battle of the Civil War.
  6. Students will know the main military leaders of the Civil War. The Northern, or Union, Army was led at first by George McClellan, but Ulysses S. Grant replaced him and was in charge for most of the war. General Robert E. Lee commanded the Southern, or Confederate, Army. Stonewall Jackson was another important Confederate soldier.
  7. Students will realize the important role women played during the Civil War. They worked on farms and factories to provide supplies for the war and also served as spies and nurses.
  8. Students will understand the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation. In it, President Lincoln freed all slaves in the United States.
  9. Students will realize the significance of the Gettysburg Address. In a speech given to dedicate a cemetery to those who died in the battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln spoke of the ideals of liberty and equality on which the United States had been founded, and he honored the soldiers who had died defending those ideals.
  10. Students will understand why the South was so devastated by the Civil War. The battles of Anteitam and Gettysburg were the only battles fought in the North-all other battles were fought on Southern soil. General Sherman, in his "march to the sea," had his Union troops burn and destroy anything they thought could help the South in the war. They left a path of destruction through much of Georgia and South Carolina.
  11. Students will know that the Civil War ended when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.
  12. Students will know that President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in April of 1865.
  13. Students will know three important Constitutional Amendments that were passed in the aftermath of the Civil War-the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery; the 14th Amendment, which granted equal rights to all citizens, regardless of race; and the 15th Amendment, which enabled all men to vote, regardless of race.
  14. Students will understand that although slavery had been abolished, there was still much segregation and discrimination of African Americans in the United States after the Civil War.

  1. Before viewing the video

    Ask the students what they think caused the Civil War. Discuss any ideas the students have for why the Southern states were united in wanting to leave the Union.

  2. After viewing the video

    1. Show a map of the United States and point out which states were Confederate and which were Union. Mark the locations of the major Civil War battles and the pathway of Sherman's "march to the sea." This should help reinforce why the South was much more devastated than the North after the war.
    2. Discuss the effects of the Civil War that can be seen in American society today. These include the absence of slavery, equal rights for all races, and a strong federal government.
    3. Have each student select a battle from the Civil War and give an oral or written report on it. Researching the specific events of a battle should make the Civil War seem much more interesting than merely learning a list of names, places, and dates.

  • ID: A5305
  • Subject: Social Studies
  • Grade Level: 3-8