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Teaching the Causes of the American Civil War, 1850-1861


Edited By Michael E. Karpyn

The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865, killing nearly 700,000 Americans and costing the country untold millions of dollars. The events of this tragic war are so steeped in the collective memory of the United States and so taken for granted that it is sometimes difficult to take a step back and consider why such a tragic war occurred. To consider the series of events that led to this war are difficult and painful for students and teachers in American history classrooms. Classroom teachers must possess the appropriate pedagogical and historical resources to provide their students with an appropriate and meaningful examination of this challenging time period. Teaching the Causes of the American Civil War, 18501861 will attempt to provide these resources and teaching strategies to allow for the thoughtful inquiry, evaluation and assessment of this critical, complex and painful time period in American history.

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Images and Tables


Image 1.1: Thomas Drayton wearing his Confederate army uniform

Image 1.2: Percival Drayton, photographed in 1864

Image 1.3: Map showing the distribution of the slave population of the southern states of the United States, compiled from the census of 1860

Image 1.4: Abraham Lincoln raises the new 34-star American flag at Independence Hall on February 22, 1861

Image 1.5: The inauguration of Jefferson Davis, February 18, 1861

Image 3.1: Wanted poster for Jim Brown, April 4, 1861

Image 4.1: Tragic Prelude. United Missouri Bank of Kansas City, 1938

Image 4.2: John Brown. 1899

Image 4.3: John Brown. 1859

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