Most people know the Civil War was partially a result of the secession of several Southern states. But was secession legal? The South obviously thought it was. But what about Northerners?
With this activity students will examine the thoughts of three prominent Union politicians (Abraham Lincoln, Charles Sumner, and Thaddeus Stevens) on the issue of secession by examining three primary sources. Students will also consider how attitudes about Reconstruction were impacted by beliefs about the legality/reality of secession.
This is a great activity for transitioning out of a unit dealing with the Civil War into a unit about Reconstruction.