WRITING ASSIGNMENT # 4B: Was the Civil War Inevitable?
INSTRUCTIONS: Was the Civil War Inevitable?Your discussion for this essay will be based on the following readings and map analysis. Use the information that you gather to support your argument/position. The questions in each section will assist you in understanding the content and to prepare for the essay.
- Review and identify relevant sections of Chapter 15Â
- Read John C. Calhounâ€™s last speech written during the great debate over the Compromise of 1850.
- Note that at one part of his speech Calhoun claims that the Union is in danger, stating â€œThat the immediate cause is the almost universal discontent which pervades all of the States composing the southern section of the Unionâ€¦â€ What evidence have you found in the readings and maps to support or refute his claim?
- Study the Â Kansas Nebraska Act map .
- Consider these questions when you analyze the document and map:
- What fears does Calhoun express regarding the future status of the South in the Union?
- According to Calhoun, what choices do the Southern states have?
- After studying the map and the events described in â€œBleeding Kansasâ€, what evidence do you find to support or refute Calhounâ€™s statements?
- Read Lincolnâ€™s speech titled â€œA House Divided,â€. The introduction which begins with the often quoted proverb from the Bible can be read in Chapter 15 of the textbook. As you read the speech consider the following questions:
- What argument is Lincoln presenting in his introduction?
- How does he support his argument in the speech?
- Compare Lincolnâ€™s arguments in his speech to Calhounâ€™s arguments. Identify similarities and differences.
- Review the Chapter 15 section titled Secession, and closely examine the Â Secession map which is also available at this link. Consider the following questions when you analyze the map and write your essay:
- Note the order in which the first states seceded from the Union, and which state led the process. What conclusion(s) can be reached from this information?
- Note the state of Virginia. What did the western section decide to do?
- Note the states which did not secede immediately. What factors may have influenced their decision to wait and then secede?
- Note the slave states that did not secede. What factors may have influenced their decision?
- Does the pattern of secession support or refute Calhounâ€™s argument?