The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854: Popular Sovereignty and the Political Polarization over Slavery

This The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854: Popular Sovereignty and the Political Polarization over Slavery lesson plan also includes:

Why did Stephen Douglas support the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854? Why did Abraham Lincoln oppose it? Young historians examine how the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 affected the political balance between free and slave states and explore how its author, Stephen Douglas, promoted its policy of popular sovereignty to avoid a national crises over slavery.

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Instructional Ideas

  • If all class members have out-of-class Internet access, save copying costs and have students read the speeches online as homework
Classroom Considerations

  • Third lesson in the unit "The Growing Crisis of Sectionalism in Antebellum America: A House Dividing"
  • Requires individual copies of the required documents
Pros

  • The packet includes background information for teachers, mapping activities, a debate question, assessment suggestions, and extensions
Cons

  • None