Unit 1

Coming of the Civil War 1850-60


Introductory [Video]

Topics: Course themes, objectives, significance of the war, importance of studying the war.

Reading: McPherson, pp. 3-5


15-minute video: Sectional Conflict Explodes [video]

Topics: Interpreting the Civil War, Timelines, transcontinental railroad, slavery, the West, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Stephen Douglas, Franklin Pierce, Anthony Burns, George Fitzhugh, Democratic Party Republican Party, Know Nothings

Reading: McPherson, pp. 6-78


15-minute video: Bleeding Kansas [video]

Topics: Popular sovereignty, Free Soilers, Border Ruffians, John Brown, Charles Sumner, Republican Party, Election of 1856, James Buchanan, John C. Fremont, Dred Scott, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Irrepressible Conflict & King Cotton

Reading: McPherson, pp. 79-169


Assignment 1: Introductions

Start thinking about Assignment 3: Project Proposal


15-minute video: John Brown, the Election of 1860 & Secession [video]

Topics: John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry, abolitionists, the Secret Six, Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckenridge, Abraham Lincoln, the Chicago Platform, secession, Ft. Sumter

Reading: McPherson, pp. 170-233


*Note: We break up each unit into four reading units and one assignment unit.  This allows you to do one unit of work a day.  You should, of course, work on your assignments all week but it does give you a full day to focus on your work.  Always check the schedule for due dates (things can change during the course).  We have also included other source below that are optional

Other Sources:

Go to Unit 2