Students will put John Brown on trial for being the primary cause of the civil war. The prosecution will argue that John Brown’s actions in Kansas and then again in Harper’s Ferry made compromise impossible and radicalized both sides leading inevitably toward war. The defense will argue that John Brown was no more important than any number of other people, chief among them Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Douglas, James Buchanan and Dred Scott, to name only a few. Although there is no denying that John Brown was important he does not deserve the distinction as the most important cause of the Civil War. The trial is an engaging way for students to examine the causes of the civil war. Simulation trials are engaging, fun and by their very nature encourage higher order thinking and analysis.
Included with this product
Witness Identification sheet
Trial sequence sheet
Ideas for technology integration