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Though the Constitution does not explicitly address the issue of secession, some of its text may be interpreted to deem secession lawful. One's opinion on this matter will largely depend on how he/she sees the relationship between the federal government and the states. This primary sources activity packet will engage your students into examining various opinions on the constitutionality of secession and nature of the Union. In the assessment portion of this packet your students will use the evidence gathered to write a reflection answering the following question: “Is Southern secession constitutional?”
Page 1: Cover Page
Page 2: Teacher Notes (instructional sequence; teacher-guided activity description “Union before States or States before Union?”; discussion questions)
Pages 3, 4: Constitution and Secession Hook Activity (excerpts from the Constitution; guiding questions; interactive form fields that allow you to enter point values for each question; lined paper worksheet) - this activity is available as a FREE download here.
Page 5: Opinion #1 (“States before Union” primary sources set)
Page 6: Opinion #2 (“Union before States” primary sources set)
Page 7: Graphic Organizer (students provide opinion summaries and relevant quotes; interactive form fields that allow you to enter point values for each question)
Pages 8, 9: Reflection (directions; interactive form fields that allow you to enter point values for each criterion; lined paper worksheet)
Pages 10-15: Materials for the “Union before States or States before Union?”teacher-guided activity
Page 16: Answer Key
Look for orange-framed logos on the cover pages to identify other Civil War unit resources, such as:
Abraham Lincoln on Race and Equality (Historical Investigation)Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: Contemporary Reactions (Historical Investigation)
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All images used in the production of this packet are in the public domain, unless otherwise noted. My sincere gratitude goes to Tracee Orman
for designing page frames used in this resource.