A great READING resource with QUESTIONS and ANSWER KEY included! It focuses on the topic of Election of 1860.
Included are 1 page reading, 1 page question sheet and 1 page answer key! Perfect for homework assignments, classwork or reading for test review! Can be used for both middle and high school level.
The reading first provides a background context about the underlying tensions that surrounds the 1860 election. This involves explaining how John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates further divided the nation across sectional lines. For instance, the South accused northerners for supporting John Brown in abolishing slavery, and criticized Lincoln’s stance on prohibiting the expansion of slavery. Most importantly, the reading will provide an in-depth overview and comparison of the four presidential candidates. This consists of identifying each candidate’s position on slavery, and how they represent their political party’s economic, social and political interests. The mentioned candidates are Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckinridge and John Bell. It will provide a breakdown on why they were nominated and how they advocated for their political party’s agenda. Most importantly, the reading will emphasize how the election represented the nation’s peak of sectionalism. An example would be the breakup of the Democratic Party in which southern Democrats rejected the nomination of Stephen A. Douglas by nominating John C. Breckinridge as their candidate. It will mention how the election of 1860 created new political parties such as the Constitutional Union in which former Whigs and moderate Democrats pledged for the preservation of the Union. Next, the reading highlights the major issues debated by candidates and how it escalated sectional tensions. This involves the issue of slavery, whether it should be permitted or prohibited, and the issue of states rights versus the federal government. Southern arguments about slavery appealed to constitutional rights as slaves were viewed as property, and therefore unconstitutional to prohibit the expansion of slavery. On the other hand, Stephen A. Douglas takes on a moderate approach by promoting the popular sovereignty concept and Freeport Doctrine that allows people to vote for or against slavery. Lastly, the reading focuses on explaining the outcome of the 1860 election. It provides insight as to how many electoral and popular votes Lincoln received to secure his presidency. Also, it allows students to understand which core groups and states supported the specific candidate. Towards the end, the reading emphasizes the significant impact of the election and how it served as a catalyst for southern secession.
Some vocabulary words and key terms included are John Brown, abolitionist, Raid on Harpers Ferry, Abraham Lincoln, Republican Party, 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, secede, Free-Soil, Democratic Party, Stephen A. Douglas, Dred Scott case, Supreme Court, popular sovereignty, Freeport Doctrine, John C. Breckinridge, John Bell, Constitutional Union Party, President James Buchanan, Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, states rights, Confederate States of America, sectionalism and Civil War.
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