Name: Chapter 12 & 13 Document Based Question Unit

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Chapter 12 & 13 Document Based Question Unit
Document based questions give you the opportunity to think and act like historians. Instead of having issues explained to you, you can explore them in thoughtful and meaningful ways. You will analyze documents, think critically, and draw conclusions based on evidence provided.


-You will receive points for Part A (short answer responses) (25 points)

-Most of your points will come from Part B (essay). (55 points)

See the rubric below:

Use of Documents- /15 pts

Underlines & refers to at least 5 documents within the essay

Documents are explained and support main idea

Accuracy- /10 pts

Includes correct information

Depth and Detail- /10 pts

Supports main ideas with facts

Answers the “why?” and explains the importance
Clarity/Organization/Format /10 pts

Includes intro, body, and conclusion; ideas connect & flow

Convention /5 pts


Graphic Organizer/Pre-writing /5 pts

Completed graphic organizer & evidence of prewriting as rough draft

Total from Part B (above) /55
Total from Part A /25

Historical Context:

Conflict between the northern and southern states began long before the Civil War; in fact, the roots of the problem go back as far as colonial times. The North and South developed differently in many ways: socially, economically, and even politically. The differences between them grew greater in the early years of the republic, as their distrust of each other became increasingly intense.

Part A-Short Answer Section

The following documents relate to differences between the North and the South. Look at the documents and then answer the following questions on another piece of paper using complete sentences. Be sure to label the questions with the document they go with.

Document #1: Slavery Table & Pie Graph

  1. Which colony imported the most slaves? Least slaves?

  2. What is the difference between the northern and southern imports of slaves during the years 1768-1772?

  3. Look at the pie graph, what can you determine about free African Americans living in the south?

Document #2: A Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (1812)

  1. Name two materials that people in Jefferson’s state (Virginia) use to make clothing.

  2. What is the difference between how goods are made in Virginia and how they are made in Massachusetts, Adam’s home state?

Document #3: Observation of a French Visitor to American (1831)

  1. According to the author, what is a harmful effect of slavery?

  2. According to the author, how does the North benefit from refusing slavery?

Document #4: A Cotton Plantation on the Mississippi & picture of a Cotton Gin

  1. What kind of work are the people in this picture doing?

  2. Describe the people doing the work in this picture.

  3. Where in the United States would you see this (see book pgs 416 & 417)

  4. What does the machine pictured do? How did it lead to the increase in the amount of slaves needed on plantations? (see book pgs 415-416)

Document #5: Southern Plantation & “Plantation Life Before Emancipation”

  1. Look at the picture, how can you tell the owner of this plantation was wealthy?

  2. Why are most of the buildings on the plantation at the front of the mansion?

  3. What does the description tell you about a plantation and a plantation owner?

  4. Was everyone in the South a planter/plantation owner? If not, what were they and describe how they lived (see book pgs 420-422)

Document #6: A Description of Lowell Massachusetts (1845)

  1. What was used to power the mills at Lowell?

  2. What are two things about this passage that suggests that businesses were successful in Lowell?

Document #7: Sarah Bagley Biography

  1. Why did Bagely believe she had to organize labor union reform (see book pgs 394-395) rather than just asking the mill owners to make changes?

  2. What did women from small farms think when they saw large mills in Lowell?

  3. What effect did the large buildings and faster pace life have on the women?

Document #8: A View of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

  1. Describe two types of work being done in this picture

  2. What are two methods of transportation shown in this picture? Describe how they work (see book pgs 396-401)

Document #9: Images of Technological Advances

  1. What is the name of the time period these advancements were created? What is the “official” definition of that time period?( see book pg 385)

  2. List the pictures you see and tell what they do. (see book pages 402-405)

  3. Describe how the newer pictures relate to the older pictures?

Part B-Essay Section

You will answer all parts of the task question in a well-organized and well written essay that uses a certain number of documents as evidence. The short answer responses (Part A) will help you in writing your essay and you might need to include additional information from the textbook chapters. See Rubric on front page for a more in-depth description of how you will be assessed. Remember you must do a graphic organizer/prewriting! (I will provide some to choose from.)


  • Discuss at least 3 economic differences between the North and the South before the Civil War.

  • Discuss at least 1 technological or economic advancement that impacted the North and 1 that impacted the South during this time period.

  • Should include an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion that answer the 2 points above.

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