Dominque Wardell August 6, 2009



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Dominque Wardell

August 6, 2009

HIUS 403
Causes of the Civil War
There are several causes of the Civil War. Many people believe the Civil War was fought over the question of slavery. Contrary to popular belief, slavery was on the backburner for the causes of the War. Students are not taught the various reasons for the war. This matrix shows four different causes of the American Civil War. Slavery, the Union versus the Confederacy, the election of Lincoln, and the Great Compromise of 1850 were all causes of this Great War.

Until recently, slavery was the cause of the Civil War, until learning different. Being a rising fourth year in college and learning this proves the point that most fourth grades would not know otherwise. Students should be taught this in the beginning. Slavery was only a minor reason for fighting. When students think slavery was the main issue for the war they become misinformed. They then believe the North was against slavery when in actuality they were not. Northerners were not fighting for equality for blacks, their system simply did not require a slavery system, it was all about industrialization. This matrix will allow insight.

The matrix is broken down into four categories mentioned above in the opening paragraph. Do not let these categories limit the student either. There are also several other debatable topics that caused the war. Broken down into the cause, debate, face of the belief and what the people wanted are the headings for the categories. Every belief has a face and a reason behind what the different people believed. This matrix is able to answer many questions of what happened and why.

First, there is the issue of slavery. The cause: there is a document to abolish slavery. Whether to abolish slavery is a huge question. The North was ready to end the system because it was not necessary, but the south depended on it for their livelihood, therefore making it a huge issue. Under the heading of debate, there is Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe created immense controversy. Many finally realized the harsh conditions from the treatment of slaves. As for what the people wanted: the south thought “Slavery Was a Good Thing.” The face of the belief is a confederate soldier. Arthur Peronneau Ford was a soldier for the confederate army and he was fighting to keep slavery. His livelihood depended on it. His wife mentions in her book that their slaves did not want to flee to the North that they wanted to stay with them.

Another cause was the election of Lincoln. Many southerners were against Lincoln’s election because they were afraid he would abolish slavery. January 1863, Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation speech, gradually freeing slaves. The south did not agree with this decision at all. He wanted a resolution to slavery and that is what he did, therefore creating much tension between the north and the south.

Next would be the Union versus the Confederates. This led to the war because there were two separate nations. This separation was not practical. Having separate nations was highly debated, was it okay for two nations to co-exist in the same country. The problem was that the Union did not want a divided nation, but the south wanted to continue the practice of slavery. Because Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederate, he becomes the face of the movement.

Lastly, there is the notion that the Great Compromise of 1850 is a cause of the Civil War. The compromise called for California to be admitted as a free state; for the passage of a strict Fugitive Slave law; for new territories in the Southwest to he allowed to organize without restrictions on slavery; for protecting slavery in the District of Columbia while abolishing domestic slave trade there; and for a settlement of $10 million to Texas if the state would relinquish claims to certain lands in New Mexico Territory. The map shows the split of the nation. This visual aid will show students the differences of opinions. John Calhoun is the face of the movement because he greatly opposed the compromise.

“Causes of the Civil War” was a much easier matrix to create. It was also much more exciting to create because the resources were readily available. The categories and subheadings that were created also show creativity because they are not average, boring titles. They put a picture with a cause. The Civil War is taught widely in the United States, so more information is available. Although more information is available that does not mean the information is being interpreted correctly. This matrix will allow proper insight into the causes of the war.



In conclusion, this matrix will show students that slavery is not the sole cause of the Civil War. Students will recognize there were several different causes and reasons and hopefully the teacher will explain there are more than are present on the matrix as well. There are several visual aids that will assist the students in their learning needs. There are several different mediums including, maps and documents. Although this is primarily for fourth graders it can be used by people of all ages because of the variety of resources.


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