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The Brief American Pageant , Sixth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Mel Piehl, Valparaiso University
Suggested Lecture Topics
Chapter 19
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics


  • 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 ruffians."

    REFERENCE: James A. Rawley, Race and Politics: "Bleeding Kansas"and 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 Lincoln's 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 South's clear determination to secede as soon as Lincoln won, even before he took office.

    REFERENCE: Steven A. Channing, Crisis of Fear (1970).



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