Why Civil War?

posted Oct 29, 2017, 3:36 AM by Jason Brunken
As we conclude our first unit this semester about American Slavery and the Underground Railroad, it is time to begin preparing to read and discuss the American Civil War. However, to understand the Civil War, we must first look at the context in which it happened. American students learn about this history in 4th, 8th, and 11th grade, but our Happy Kids have hed next to no US history in all their years in school. So this week I spent time teaching the history of the expansion of slavery in the US and how that led to the Civil War.

Below you will find the slideshow I made to help simplify and clarify the events that led to the Civil War. Given the time we have, it's the best I can do. After the lesson, students are to watch two videos, Crash Course US 
History's episode on the Election of 1860 and TED-Ed's video on the Kansas Nebraska Act. After watching these there is a worksheet to write and a quiz on American current and historical geography

This should give students a solid foundation to prepare them for our next book, Soldier's Heart. During this unit we will not only learn about the Civil War, but also the struggles of the men who fought in the war. The American Civil War was the world's first modern war. It killed so many men because it was the world's first war fought with rifled muskets and artillery. These weapons were accurate and deadly at much greater distances than the old weapons of previous wars. Unfortunately, the military tactics of had not caught up. Officers walked men shoulder to shoulder across fields a mile wide. The carnage was unlike anything that had come before. 



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