The Causes of the Civil War

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2019-07-15
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
List Price: $31.99

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Embracing an argument-based model for teaching history, the Debating American History series encourages students to participate in a contested, evidence-based discourse about the human past. Each book poses a question that historians debate--How democratic was the U.S. Constitution? or Why did civil war erupt in the United States in 1861?--and provides abundant primary sources so that students can make their own efforts at interpreting the evidence. They can then use that analysis to construct answers to the big question that frames the debate and argue in support of their position.

The Causes of the Civil War poses this big question: Why did civil war erupt in the United States in 1861?

Author Biography

Joel M. Sipress received his PhD in US History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he teaches US and Latin American History. He serves as coeditor of the Debating American History series with David J. Voelker.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
About the Author
I. The Big Question
II. Timeline
III. Historians' Conversations
Position #1: The American Civil War: Two Cultures, Separate and Hostile
Position #2: Slavery and Its Role in the American Civil War
Position #3: The "Irrepressible Conflict" Reconsidered: Party Breakdown and the Coming of the Civil War
IV. Debating the Question
A. The Sectional Crisis
The Rise of "Free Soil" and "Southern Rights"
Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July" (1851) and "Appeal of the Independent Democrats" (1854)
Speeches of Senator Albert G. Brown (1859) and Representative Lucas Gartrell (1860)
Senator Stephen A. Douglas to the Editor of the Concord (New Hampshire) State Capital Reporter (1854)
Abraham Lincoln, Introduction to the "House Divided" Speech (1858)
B. Case Study: The Caning of Charles Sumner
From Charles Sumner, "The Crime Against Kansas" (1856)
Southern Responses to the Caning of Sumner
Northern Responses to the Caning of Sumner
C. The Sectionalization of Politics: National Election Results, 1836-1860
D. Secession
Secession Documents
E. Case Study: The Secession of Georgia
A Timeline of Georgia's Secession
Thomas R.R. Cobb's Secessionist Speech, November 12, 1860
Alexander Stephens' Unionist Speech, November 14, 1860
Joseph Brown's Secessionist Public Letter, December 7, 1860
Alexander Stephens, "The Cornerstone Speech," March 21, 1861
F. Lincoln's Options
Republican Newspaper Editorials
Horace Greeley and Secession
Letters from Abraham Lincoln to Republican Leaders
Abraham Lincoln to Alexander Stephens, December 22, 1860
Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861
Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation Calling Militia and Convening Congress, April 15, 1861
V. Additional Resources

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