Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide




Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide


The following texts are the property of their respective authors and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to share for free to students, teachers and users of the Web their texts will used only for illustrative educational and scientific purposes only.


All the information in our site are given for nonprofit educational purposes

The information of medicine and health contained in the site are of a general nature and purpose which is purely informative and for this reason may not replace in any case, the council of a doctor or a qualified entity legally to the profession.



Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide


3.01 - Economic, social, and political events from the Mexican War to the outbreak of the Civil War.

• How did the issues of sectionalism lead to the Civil War?
• How did political, economic, and social differences develop into the sectionalism that split the North and the South?
• To what extent did differing opinions on slavery as well as the institution’s expansion become a deciding factor in instituting a Civil War?

Political Parties

  • Know-Nothings – an early nativist group opposed to the immigration of Irish and Germans into America. Whenever a member was asked about the group, he would say, "I know nothing." They accepted into their group only native-born Protestants.
  • Free Soil Party – a short-lived political party which opposed the extension of slavery into the territories and supported national internal improvement programs

Issue of  Slavery

  • Abolitionist movement – Movement aimed at eliminating slavery
  • Slave codes - laws each state had defining the status of slaves and the rights of masters
  • Underground Railroad - a network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada.
  • Harriet Tubman – a runaway slave from Maryland who helped lead other escaped slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
  • Compromise of 1850 – A series of laws to settle the major disagreements between the free states and slave states. It’s most controversial piece was the Fugitive Slave Act which said that any escaped slave found in the north must be returned to his/her owner.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin)­ – the “little lady who started this big war” – Uncle Tom’s Cabin unveiled the evils of slavery and caused much tension between the North and the South
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act – the states of Kansas and Nebraska would each be allowed to vote on the issue of slavery (popular sovereignty)
  • Bleeding Kansas – after the Kansas-Nebraska Act established the idea of popular sovereignty, three political groups occupied Kansas: pro-slavers, free-states and abolitionists. Violence broke out immediately between these opposing groups and continued until 1861
  • Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) – Supreme Court case that said slaves were property, not people, and therefore could go into a free state and still be a slave.  This made the Missouri compromise unconstitutional.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858) – Lincoln believed that slavery was immoral, but a necessary evil. Douglas believed in the idea of popular sovereignty, that people of a territory should have the right to vote on the issue of slavery.
    • Freeport Doctrine -, advanced by Stephen Douglas, it said that local authorities had the right to enforce federal jurisdiction as it saw fit.
  • John Brown and Harpers Ferry (1859) – John Brown and his group of men attempted to raid an arsenal in hopes of supplying slaves with weapons to begin a revolt. It ended with 8 men dead and the debate over slavery continued.

3.02 - Causes of the Civil War.

• How did the issues of sectionalism lead to the Civil War?
• To what extent was slavery the primary cause of the Civil War?
• What did a federal union of states mean politically and socially before and after the Civil War?

  • Sectionalism - distinct identities based on ethnicity, color, customs, laws, economics, or culture – we see this especially between the North and the South prior to the Civil War
  • Election of 1860Abraham Lincoln was elected president, despite the fact that he was not even on the ballot in the south. This was the final straw for the South, who decided to secede from the union.  SC seceded first. Four border states remained between the north and south.
  • The United States became split in two. The Union or states that stayed loyal to the United States were primarily northern states without slavery. The Confederacy was made up of the states which seceded from the United States.
  • The first shots of the Civil War were fired by Confederate troops at Fort Sumter, S.C.
  • Jefferson Davis became the president of the Confederacy.


3.03 - Political and military turning points of the Civil War and assess their significance to the outcome of the conflict.

• Why are the Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg considered the military turning points of the Civil War?
• How did the political actions of President Lincoln affect the outcome of the war?
• Was it inevitable that the North would win the war?

  • Strengths and weaknesses of the Union (North)
      • Strategies Anaconda Plan – Preserve the Union
      • Major political and military leadersAbraham Lincoln, George McClellan, Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman.
      • Military readiness – under prepared, soldiers needing training, poor leadership
      • Economy and industrialization – 22 million people, 23 states ,85% of the nations factories, 90% skilled workers, enough money for war, tariffs on imports, , trains, railroads, 10+ major cities


  • Strengths and weaknesses of the Confederacy (South)
      • Strategies to outlast the north, defend their home soil, and preserve their way of life (agriculture=slavery)
      • Major political and military leaders – Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis (President), Stonewall Jackson
      • Military readiness – stronger military leaders and soldiers who were accustomed to the outdoor life, guns, terrain, etc.
      • Economy and industrialization – 9 million people, 11 states, farming & agriculture, not enough money for war, no loans or direct taxes, no duties or taxes on imports (North was blocking their ports), only 1 major city


Leaders of the Civil War

  • Ulysses S. Grant – General in the Union Army
  • George McClellan – General in the Union Army who ran against President Lincoln in the Election of 1864 (McClellan lost)
  • Robert E. Lee – head of the Confederate Army
  • Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson  - Confederate War General

The Civil War

  • Copperheads –citizens in the north who opposed the Civil War and advocated peace.
  • Anaconda Plan – the Union’s plan for victory in the Civil War, which included blockading the Confederacy’s main ports.
  • First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas (July 1861) – The first major battle of the Civil war – a victory for the Confederacy.
  • Antietam (September 1862) – The bloodiest single day in American history, 26,000 people died.
  • Emancipation Proclamation (January 1863) – Lincoln ordered all slaves behind Confederate lines be freed.  This order was merely symbolic as it freed very few slaves, but gave a moral cause to the war.
  • Vicksburg (April-July 1863) – Grant attacked one of the two confederate holdouts on the Mississippi River. The South surrendered to Grant and it became the turning point in the West.
  • Gettysburg (July 1863) – considered to be the turning point of the Civil War. The Union won this 3 day battle and the south would never invade the north again.
  • Gettysburg Address (November 1863) – a speech given by Lincoln at the dedication of a cemetery at Gettysburg. Lincoln reminded the nation what they were fighting for, “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
  • Sherman’s March (1864)– Sherman’s army marched from Atlanta, north to the sea, with a theory of “total war” destroying everything in its 10-mile-wide path.
  • In 1864 Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus – the right to know why you are being jailed. It caused more than 13,000 confederate sympathizers to be jailed without a trial.
  • Appomattox Courthouse – Where the Confederates surrendered to the Union at the end of the Civil War in 1865
  • On April 14th, 1965, five days after the Confederacy surrendered, John Wilkes Booth shot and killed President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. 

3.04 - Political, economic, and social impact of Reconstruction on the nation and identify the reasons why Reconstruction came to an end.

• How are civil liberties challenged during times of conflict and change?
• How have changes during Reconstruction made a lasting impact on America?
• To what extent did the Civil War and Reconstruction positively impact the lives of former slaves, women, and landless tenants in the US?
• To what extent did the federal government wield its power over the states during and after the Civil War?

Reconstruction Plans

  • Congressional Reconstruction
    • Led by Thaddeus Stevens and the Radical Republicans - a group of republicans who wanted strict rules for allowing the southern states entry back into the union.
    • They wanted to abolish slavery, give all men the right to vote, ratify the 14th amendment, ban those who supported the confederacy from voting, put the south under military rule, and require new state constitutions.  
    • Scalawags – mostly southern whites who supported Radical Reconstruction
    • Carpetbaggers – Northern Republicans who came to the south to make money, and aid in Reconstruction.
  • Presidential Reconstruction
    • Led by President Andrew Johnson, this plan was more lenient on the south.
    • He wanted to abolish slavery, pardon southerners who swore allegiance to the Union, hold a constitutional convention, allow states to hold elections to rejoin the union, and repay the confederate debt.


Johnson’s Impeachment

  • Johnson was impeached when he violated the Tenure of Office Act which said that the president could not fire any officeholder that had received Senate confirmation until the Senate had approved a successor.

During Reconstruction

  • Freedman’s Bureau – set up to help former slaves
  • Sharecroppers – Farmers who paid landowners with a share of their crop.
  • Tenant farmers – rent was paid to a landowner for the use of their land, the tenant farmer would then keep and/or sell good produced (more freedom than sharecroppers.)

End of Reconstruction

  • The Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1877 ended reconstruction after the much-debated Election of 1876 ended by putting Republican Hayes into office as President in return for removing all troops from the south, ending military rule, and thus ending the period of Reconstruction.
  • Black Codes - a way to inhibit the freedom of ex-slaves. The codes controlled almost all aspects of life and prohibited African Americans from the freedom that had been won during Reconstruction.
  • Jim Crow Laws – laws legally segregating African Americans
  • Grandfather Clause – put voting restrictions on those who had not voted before (said that you could only vote if you grandfather had been allowed to vote.
  • Ku Klux Klan – formed in 1866, the purpose was to “defend the social and political superiority” of whites against what they called the “aggressions of an inferior race.” They used fear and violence to achieve their goals. Congress passed a series of anti-kkk laws, but was unable to enforce them.


3.05 - Degree to which the Civil War and Reconstruction proved to be a test of the supremacy of the national government.

• Which changes of the Civil War and Reconstruction era were short-lived and which have had a lasting impact?
• To what extent did the Civil War and Reconstruction establish the supremacy of the national government?
• To what extent have the issues surrounding the Civil War yet to be resolved?

  • 10th Amendment - The governmental powers not listed in the Constitution for the national government are powers that the states, or the people of those states, can have.


  • 13th amendment – outlawed/abolished slavery in the United States.
  • 14th amendment – stated that all citizens have certain rights, and defined citizenship.
  • 15th amendment – stated that no one could be denied the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866 - The act declared that all persons born in the United States were now citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition. As citizens they could make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property


Source :

Web site link to visit:

Google key word : Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide file type : doc

Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

If you are the author of the text above and you not agree to share your knowledge for teaching, research, scholarship (for fair use as indicated in the United States copyrigh low) please send us an e-mail and we will remove your text quickly.


Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide


If you want to quickly find the pages about a particular topic as Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide use the following search engine:



Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide


Please visit our home page Terms of service and privacy page




Crisis civil war and reconstruction study guide