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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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With appreciation and acknowledgment to the Series Editorial Advisory Board for their invaluable insights and contributions to this volume and their dedication to teachers, students and the production of this series.

Erik Alexander, Adam Atwoof, Whitney Blankenship, Laura Milsk Fowler, Brian Gibbs, Andrew Hostetler, Stephen Hansen, Charlotte Johnson, Julianna Kershen, Stephanie McAndrews, James Mitchell, Jack Sevin, Mary Stockwell and Dennis Urban

Special appreciation and acknowledgment to Caroline Pryor for the incredible opportunity to edit this volume, and for her guidance and encouragement throughout this process, and to Whitney Blankenship and Charlotte Johnson for their invaluable assistance.

I also appreciate and acknowledge:

Patty Mulrane, Monica Baum, and Jackie Pavlovic, Peter Lang Publishing, for their flexibility and support in bringing this volume to print.

Michael J. Birkner, Gettysburg College and Stephen Petrus, for 25 years of friendship, mentorship and inspiration.

Meg Garey, for everything.

To my teaching colleagues who do incredible work to expand the frontiers of our craft.

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