This is an 8 slide PowerPoint presentation designed to facilitate a high level discussion about who had the greater advantage going into the Civil War. Students will be presented with questions that will lead to a discussion of that various ways in which the North and South differed in the pre-war years. The lesson concludes with students writing a thesis and supporting that thesis with evidence from the discussion. The PowerPoint focuses on military, strategic, population, government, and economic advantages and disadvantages. The preview contains the intro slide, one of the category slides, and the writing prompt. Each slide contains relevant information in the notes area. This lesson encourages high level thinking and provides an opportunity for in class writing.