Lesson Plan

Sectionalism, Popular Sovereignty and Secession

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This Sectionalism, Popular Sovereignty and Secession lesson plan also includes:

Students read and discuss background material on several key decisions that played a role in the Civil War including the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dredd Scott Decision. They create a timeline and write an essay.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members read the background information pages and the primary source documents as homework 
Classroom Considerations
  • Designed for a 90-minute class period but can be adapted for a shorter class period or expand for a two-day exercise
  • Documents downloaded from the site are more legible if printed on a laser printer
  • Requires individual copies of the primary source documents