Causes of the Civil: The Road to Disunion
This lesson looks at the causes of the Civil War with a focus on economic, political, and social events leading up to this monumental crisis. Included in this lesson are:
• The legacy of the Civil War
• The debate over the cause or causes of the Civil War between “state’s rights” vs. slavery, with historians speaking out that slavery was the ultimate cause
• Themes of the Causes of the Civil War: state’s rights vs. federal supremacy, economic, sectionalism, political, and social
• Review of the concept of “federalism” and the U.S. federal system of government
• Review of the “Supremacy Clause” and the 10th Amendment
• The political legacy of state’s rights politicians vs. federalists
• Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions and the concept of “nullification.”
• The Nullification Crisis over the “Tariff of Abominations.”
• Southern state’s rights beliefs
• Economic Issues:
• Industrialized North vs. Agrarian South
• Political Issues:
• Review: The Missouri Compromise
• Review: Annexation of Texas and debate over the free vs. slave state make-up of Congress
• Review: Manifest Destiny and Mexican Cessation following the Mexican-American War and the debate over slavery in the new territories
• The Wilmot Proviso
• Lack of presidential leadership in the slavery debate
• The Great Triumvirate in Congress: Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster
• The Free-Soil Party
• The Compromise of 1850
• The impact of the Fugitive Slave Act on Northern Abolitionism
• Rising Abolitionism
• William Lloyd Garrison & The Liberator
• Frederick Douglas
• Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin
• Kansas-Nebraska Act
• Border Ruffians and Bleeding Kansas
• Dred Scott v. Sanford
• Creation of the Republican Party
• Lincoln-Douglas debates
• John Brown’s Harper Ferry Raid
• The Election of Abraham Lincoln
• The secession of the Southern States
• Lincoln’s inauguration
• Firing on Fort Sumter
• Completed lesson plan with step-by-step instructions and additional activities
• PowerPoint presentation
• Smartboard Matching Activity
• Flipped classroom video
• Guided notetaking file
• Additional Activities
Check out the YouTube video that goes with this lesson @ Mr. Raymond’s Civics & Social Studies Academy YouTube channel:
Causes of the Civil War: The Road to Disunion
Please note, this product is for personal classroom use by a single teacher. If you would like to copy this product for more than one teacher, please download additional licenses, available at 50% off the original price!
You may not:
• Give this item to others.
• Copy this item for use by others.
• Post this item unprotected on a website, including a personal website, classroom website, or district website.
• Copy or modify any part of this document to offer others for free or for sale
Benchmarks / Standards:
Texas STAAR: 8.7 - The student understands how political, economic, and social factors led to the growth of sectionalism and the Civil War.
Ohio 8.11: 11. Disputes over the nature of federalism, complicated by economic developments in the United States, resulted in sectional issues, including slavery, which led to the American Civil War
South Carolina USHC-3.1 – Causes of the Civil War
Florida: SS.912.A.2.1. EOC - Review causes and consequences of the Civil War.
California 8.10: 8.10 Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.