- Explain how the events of the late 1850s
developed in a chain reaction, with each crisis deepening sectional hatreds,
thus paving the way for another critical event.
REFERENCE: David M. Potter, The
Impending Crisis, 1848 - 1861 (1976).
- Analyze the Kansas conflict as a small-scale
rehearsal for the Civil War. The focus might be on the way sectional violence
fed on itself, producing extremist figures like Brown and the border
REFERENCE: James A. Rawley, Race
and Politics: Bleeding Kansasand the Coming of the Civil War (1969).
- Use the Lincoln-Douglas debates to explain
the rise of Lincoln and the Republican party, and the issues in the northern
debate about how to deal with slavery. Focus on Lincolns rise to national
prominence in relation to the slavery issue.
REFERENCE: Don E. Fehrenbacher, Prelude
to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s (1962).
- Examine the 1860 election and its consequences.
Emphasize the Democratic split, the sectional character of the voting, and
the Deep Souths clear determination to secede as soon as Lincoln won,
even before he took office.
REFERENCE: Steven A. Channing, Crisis
of Fear (1970).