Secession and civil war

Download 40.14 Kb.
Size40.14 Kb.
AIM: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Should individual states have the right to leave the Union? Why or why not? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • If the federal government does not allow a state to secede, does that make the federal government any different from a monarchy? Why or why not? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which had led to this act…
We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused for years past to fulfill their constitutional obligations….The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the acts of Congress (the Fugitive Slave Act), or render useless any attempt to execute them….The States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the States of Virginia. Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non slaveholding States; and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation (to remain in the Union)….
A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of the President of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to Slavery.

  • According to the document, what actions by northern states contributed to South Carolina’s decision to secede?

  • What is the “insurrection in the States of Virginia” referred to in the document?

  • Why did South Carolina regard Lincoln’s election as a threatening development?


It is January of 1861. Nearly two weeks ago, South Carolina seceded from the Union and created their own independent nation. You are a citizen of Mississippi. What should your state do? Should you secede or stay in the Union? Create a poster that answers the questions above. Remember, you are trying to convince people to agree with you so your poster must be persuasive. Be sure to include several reasons why you chose the way you did and several images that represent your argument.


  • What should President Buchanan do about the seceding states? (Remember he is still president until March 1861)

By the time of his inauguration, seven states of the Lower South had already seceded from the Union. In his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, President Lincoln spoke directly to the seceded Southern states.
“Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. … I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. …
I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. …No government proper ever had a provision…for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself. …
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect, and defend it.’”

  • What is Lincoln’s position on slavery?

  • How did Lincoln define the purpose of the oncoming civil war?

  • Should Lincoln use force to bring the southern states back into the Union? Why or why not?

Just before Lincoln was inaugurated, the Confederacy began seizing all federal property in their states, including arsenals and forts. One of the few still controlled by the Union was Fort Sumter in Charleston. In April, Lincoln announced that he would resupply the fort. Confederate President Jefferson Davis now faced a dilemma. Leaving federal troops in the South’s most vital harbor was unacceptable if the Confederacy was to be an independent nation. Firing on the supply ship, however, would undoubtedly lead to war with the United States. Davis decided to capture Fort Sumter before the supply ship arrived. On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces began attacking the fort. After 33 hours of bombardment, the fort was wrecked and finally surrendered. The Civil War had begun. As a result, President Lincoln called for volunteers to regain federal property and force the South to return to the Union. In response, four more Upper South states seceded from the Union and joined the newly established Confederate States of America (CSA).

  • Why did Lincoln wait for the South to attack?

  • Can the use of force preserve a nation? Why or why not?

  • Who should be blamed for the outbreak of Civil War – the northern or southern states?

  • If the Mexican-American War had not happened, would the Civil War have occurred?





  • Always—in 1787, 1820, 1833, and 1850—the North and South had been able to compromise over their differences. Why not in 1861?

…We feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honor and independence; we seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the States with which we were lately confederated; all we ask is to be let alone; that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms. This we will, this we must, resist to the direst extremity. The moment that this pretension is abandoned the sword will drop from our grasp, and we shall be ready to enter into treaties of amity and commerce that cannot but be mutually beneficial. So long as this pretension is maintained, with a firm reliance on that Divine Power which covers with its protection the just cause, we will continue to struggle for our inherent right to freedom, independence, and self-government. …
-Jefferson Davis, Confederate President

Message to the Confederate Congress, April 29, 1861

  • How does Davis explain the purpose of the war from the point of view of the Confederacy? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Directions: Analyze the following PowerPoint slides that focus on the advantages of the North and the South, and complete the chart below. Consider the following question:
What does this data suggest about the eventual outcome of the war?




The Aims of the South

“We have vainly endeavored to secure tranquility and obtain respect for the rights to which we were entitled….If…the integrity of our territory and jurisdiction (legal authority) be assailed (attacked), it will but remain for us with firm resolve to appeal to arms.”

– Jefferson Davis (2/18/1861)

The Aims of the North

“This war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those (seceding) states, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union.”

–Crittenden Resolution (7/25/1861)

  • How did the war aims of each side reflect their quarrel? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  • Why did both sides want war?

  • How does the method of naming each battle show the sectional differences of the time?

  • Why was war attractive to young American men?


Johnny is my darling, my darling, my darling,
Johnny is my darling, the Union volunteer.

'Twas on a sunny morning,

The brightest of the year,
When Johnny came to my town,
A Union volunteer.

As he came marching up the street,

The bands played loud and clear;
And everyone came out to greet
The Union volunteer.

With proudly waving starry flags

and hearts that knew no fear;
He came to fight for freedom's rights,
A Union volunteer.

But though he's gone to glory win,

And I left lonely here,
He'll soon return to me again
As Cupid's volunteer.

  • Who would listen to this song?

  • What three words describe the mood of the song?

  • What do you think was the purpose of this song?


  • Why did civilians travel from Washington to the battlefield at Manassas?

  • How did the Battle of 1st Bull Run change soldiers’ and the nation’s perception of the war?

  • How did technology make the Civil War different from all other wars fought before it?


We're tenting tonight on the old campground,
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home
And friends we love so dear.

We've been tenting tonight on the old camp-ground,

Thinking of days gone by,
Of the loved ones at home that gave us the hand,
And the tear that said, "Good-bye!"

Many are the hearts that are weary tonight,

Wishing for the war to cease;
Many are the hearts looking for the right
To see the dawn of peace.
Tenting tonight, tenting tonight,
Tenting on the old camp ground.

We've been tenting tonight on the old camp-ground,

Thinking of days gone by,
Of the loved ones at home that gave us the hand,
And the tear that said, "Good-bye!"

We've been fighting today on the old camp-ground,
Many are lying near;
Some are dead, and some are dying,
Many are in tears.
We are tired of war on the old camp-ground;
Many are the dead and gone
Of the brave and true who've left their homes;
Others been wounded long

  • What three words best describe the mood of the song?

  • How is this song different from the previous song?

  • What do you think was the purpose of this song?

Download 40.14 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page