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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 20
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics


  • Analyze the Sumter crisis and the secession of the upper South. The focus might be on Lincoln's success in maneuvering South Carolina into firing the first shot, thereby arousing the North for a war it had previously been reluctant to fight.

    REFERENCE: Richard Current, Lincoln and the First Shot (1963).

  • Explain the various internal political conflicts in the North, focusing on Copperheadism and the 1864 campaign. Point out how crucial it was for Lincoln to achieve military success in order to overcome such opposition, since any political settlement would have meant recognition of the Confederacy.

    REFERENCE: James A. Rawley, The Politics of Union (1974).

  • Examine Lincoln the wartime leader and Lincoln the martyr and hero. Contrast the many contemporary criticisms of his leadership with those qualities that now constitute his greatness.

    REFERENCE: David H. Donald, Lincoln (1995).

  • Explain the role of women both on the home front and in such new areas as battlefield nursing. Compare and contrast the situations and ideologies of northern and southern women.

    REFERENCES: Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber, eds., Divided Houses (1992); Drew Gilpin Faust, Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (1996).



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