Grade 8 Louisiana History Unit 7: Civil War and Reconstruction



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Grade 8

Louisiana History

Unit 7: Civil War and Reconstruction






Time Frame: Approximately four weeks

Unit Description
This unit involves the historic eras of the American Civil War through Reconstruction. Economic, civic, geographical and historical thinking skills are applicable in this unit of Louisiana’s history.

Student Understandings
Students understand the reasons and consequences for the Louisiana Legislature’s decision for secession. Students identify the major causes and effects of the American Civil War and Louisiana’s involvement in the war. Students analyze the immediate effects, as well as long-term impact, of the Civil War on the land and people of Louisiana. Students compare and contrast several different reconstruction plans experienced by Louisiana. Students understand that primary source documents tell about the perceptions of the people during the time period being studied.

Guiding Questions


  1. Can students locate major landforms and geographic features, places, and bodies of water/waterways on a map of Louisiana?

  2. Can students describe ways in which location and physical features have influenced historical events in Louisiana and the development of the state?

  3. Can students analyze situations involving scarcity (limited resources) at the individual, group, and societal levels to determine the need for choices or what is gained/lost by a decision?

  4. Can students use economic concepts (e.g., scarcity, opportunity cost) to explain historic and contemporary events and developments in Louisiana?

  5. Can students construct a timeline of key events in Louisiana history?

  6. Can students analyze the causes, effects, or impact of a given historical event in Louisiana?

  7. Can students analyze how a given historical figure influenced or changed the course of Louisiana’s history?

  8. Can students propose and defend potential solutions to past and current issues in Louisiana?

  9. Can students conduct historical research using a variety of resources and evaluate those resources to answer historical questions related to Louisiana history?



Unit 7 Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs)

GLE #

GLE Text and Benchmarks


Geography

The World in Spatial Terms


2.

Locate major landforms and geographic features, places, and bodies of water/waterways on a map of Louisiana (G-1A-M2)

Places and Regions


6.

Describe ways in which location and physical features have influenced historical events in Louisiana and the development of the state (e.g., Mississippi River/swamp in the Battle of New Orleans) (G-1B-M2)

Civics

Foundations of the American Political System

35.

Describe the role of the Electoral College and how Louisiana participates in that system (C-1B-M6)

Economics

Fundamental Economic Concepts


42.

Analyze situations involving scarcity (limited resources) at the individual, group, and societal levels to determine the need for choices or what is gained/lost by a decision (E-1A-M1)

51.

Use economic concepts (e.g., scarcity, opportunity cost) to explain historic and contemporary events and developments in Louisiana (E-1A-M9)

Individuals, Households, Businesses, and Governments


52.

Explain how supply and demand affect prices (E-1B-M1)

58.

Describe historical and economic factors influencing the economic growth, interdependence, and development of Louisiana and the nation (e.g., mass production, oil boom and decline) (E-1B-M7)

History

Historical Thinking Skills


62.

Construct a timeline of key events in Louisiana history (H-1A-M1)

64.

Compare and contrast events and ideas from Louisiana’s past and present, explaining political, social, or economic contexts (H-1A-M2)

65.

Analyze the causes, effects, or impact of a given historical event in Louisiana (H-1A-M3)

66.

Analyze how a given historical figure influenced or changed the course of Louisiana’s history (H-1A-M3)

69.

Propose and defend potential solutions to past and current issues in Louisiana (H-1A-M5)

GLE #

GLE Text and Benchmarks


70.

Conduct historical research using a variety of resources, and evaluate those resources, to answer historical questions related to Louisiana history (H-1A-M6)

Louisiana History


72.

Describe leaders who were influential in Louisiana’s development (H-1D-M1)

73.

Describe and explain the importance of major events and ideas in the development of Louisiana (H-1D-M1)

75.

Describe the contributions of ethnic groups significant in Louisiana history (H-1D-M1)

76.

Trace and describe various governments in Louisiana’s history (H-1D-M2)

77.

Describe major conflicts in context of Louisiana history (e.g., Rebellion of 1768, the French and Indian War) (H-1D-M3)

78.

Describe and analyze the impact of Louisiana’s geographic features on historic events, settlement patterns, economic development, etc. (H-1D-M4)



Sample Activities

Activity 1: Louisiana Civil War Timeline of Causes and Effects (GLEs: 62, 77)
Materials List: Political Differences 1 BLM, Political Differences 2 BLM
Throughout this unit, have students create a series of timelines illustrating the major events on the national level and parallels in Louisiana history (e.g., events encouraging secession, events in the war, and events of the Reconstruction Era). The timeline should include a brief statement, including a title for the event and the significance of the event. Students should be encouraged to provide brief descriptions that emphasize connections or relationships (cause and effect) among the events listed.
As the unit progresses, have students record important information in a split-page notetaking (view literacy strategy descriptions) format emphasizing specific causes and effects. Have students use the text, Internet sources, and lectures for this topic to gather information. Model the approach by placing on the board sample split-page notes from the upcoming topic of Civil War causes and effects. Appropriate topics would include the debate over secession, Union occupation of Louisiana resulting in two separate state governments, relocation of the state capital, and key Louisiana battles (e.g., Port Hudson’s surrender) related to national events (e.g., fall of Vicksburg). After researching this topic have students compare their notes with a partner, and then answer questions and provide clarification for their notes.
Provide the students with a mini-review of American History key concepts. Using the Political Differences 1 BLM, have students create a chart identifying the major political differences between the interests of the northern and southern states (see the BLM and sample below). Have students analyze the relationship to the eventual act of secession.

Political Differences 1






Southern Views

Northern Views

Results

Governmental Philosophies

Stronger state influences (states’ rights)

Stronger federal influences

e.g., Virginia/Kentucky Resolutions, Nullification Crisis

Tariffs on Finished Goods

Opposed because it raised prices

Supported; helped Northern factories

e.g., Tariff of Abominations / Nullification Crisis


Italics represent possible responses. Other possible topics may include the acquisition of new territories, location of transcontinental railroads, foreign trade, and constitutional issues.
Next, have students use the Political Differences 2 BLM to create a chart about issues that created tension regarding the balance of congressional power between the Northern and Southern delegations in an attempt to increase their region’s influence in the federal government (See this BLM and the sample below). Have students analyze its relationship with the eventual act of secession.
Political Differences 2

Events

Southern Interest

Northern Interest

Results

State representation

(Constitutional Convention of 1787)



One house, number of votes per state based on population

One state, one vote

Great Compromise

Counting population for House seats—inclusion of slaves

(Constitutional Convention of 1787)



Desire to increase population counts by counting slaves to gain more House seats

Opposed to counting slaves as population

3/5ths Compromise


Italics represent possible responses. Other possible topics may include Texas statehood (1845), Wilmot Proviso (1846), Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), Dred Scott Decision (1857), Election of 1860.
Have students reflect on the following Constitutional debates: Hartford Convention and the Nullification Crisis (common theme of secession). Point out that the U. S. Constitution does not address secession; however, the Declaration of Independence makes a reference to changing government. Have students provide a stance in the Louisiana Legislature either defending or opposing the Act of Secession based on the preceding core documents.

Activity 2: Geographical Factors in the Civil War (GLEs: 2, 6, 78)
Materials List: topographical and outline maps of Louisiana
Introduce the students to United States General Winfield Scott’s “Anaconda Plan” and its relation to Louisiana (i.e., occupying New Orleans and controlling the Mississippi River). Give students a topographical map of Louisiana and an outline map of Louisiana.

Have students brainstorm (view literacy strategy descriptions) a list of physical features in Louisiana that might affect troop movements and battle strategies (e.g., fording waterways, marsh, rapids near Alexandria, routes for infantry [e.g., Old Spanish Trail] and naval support).


In small groups, assign students to portray either Union or Confederate strategists. Provide basic scenarios (e.g., Union forces in New Orleans want to occupy Alexandria) and encourage teams to create basic offensive and defensive plans based on the geographical features of Louisiana. As the unit progresses, test the students’ plans versus the actual efforts made by both armies (e.g., Admiral David Farragut’s Union naval offensive towards New Orleans, General Nathaniel Bank’s Union Army’s attempt to capture Port Hudson, General Richard Taylor’s Confederate Army’s defensive plans on the Teche and Red River Campaigns, campaign for the occupation of Baton Rouge).
Have students work in teams to develop a chart listing the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of geographical features in Louisiana during the Civil War. Using this information, have students write an entry in their learning log (view literacy strategy descriptions) describing what a general (Confederate or Union) would have planned and worried about during one of the battles or campaigns that occurred in Louisiana.

Activity 3: Louisiana Trade (GLEs: 42, 51, 52, 58)
Materials List: map of Louisiana waterways, Inspiration® software (optional)
Using a map of Louisiana, have students look at the traditional trade routes for shipping goods within the state and the exporting of goods (e.g., cotton, sugarcane). Then, have them brainstorm (view literacy strategy descriptions) ways the Union forces could disrupt the trade, and alternative routes Louisiana traders could find to avoid possible Union capture. Have students brainstorm (e.g., using Inspiration®) on how the economic consequences of Union naval blockades (i.e., on local waterways, in the Gulf) would affect the local economy and the Union and Confederate war efforts (e.g., scarcity, inflation, supply/demand, unemployment).

Activity 4: Civil War Trading Cards (GLEs: 66, 73)
Materials List: PowerPoint® software (optional)
Provide a list of key persons, places, and things regarding the American Civil War in Louisiana; have students research and create “trading cards” (e.g., PowerPoint®) that possess prescribed components (e.g., visual [or illustration], title [catch phrase], historical facts [most significant], side note [trivia], summary statement [impact on the war]). The PowerPoint® or hand-drawn trading cards should be printed (one sided) on a regular sheet of paper and displayed. Each student would present a brief explanation of the information collected on his/her topic.
Possible topics may include:
Persons: Louisiana Native Guard, Richard Taylor (CSA), Nathaniel Banks (USA), P.B.S. Pinchback (La. Native Guard), Henry Watkins Allen (CSA), Francis T. Nicholls (CSA), Edmund Kirby-Smith (CSA), Alfred Mouton (CSA), David Farragut (USA), Sarah Morgan (Louisiana diarist), Washington Artillery, P.G.T. Beauregard (CSA), Corps d’Afrique, and Roberdeau Wheat and Lee’s Tigers.
Places: Fort St. Philip and Fort Jackson (naval campaign), Port Hudson (longest siege), Mansfield (Union defeat), Alexandria (burning of the city), Louisiana State University (President William T. Sherman), various state capitals (Baton Rouge, New Orleans).
Things: Great Texas Overland Expedition (Teche and Red River Campaigns), Order No. 28, Grant’s canal strategies, Bailey’s Dam.
Teachers should attempt to include local history in this activity.

Activity 5: New Orleans during Union Occupation (GLEs: 64, 65, 69, 73, 77)
Materials List: RAFT Options BLM, primary reference sources
Using a RAFT (view literacy strategy descriptions) writing activity, have students pretend to be a person living in New Orleans during Union occupation. Have them use the RAFT Options BLM and write journal entries describing events that may have altered their lifestyles (e.g., blockade, curfews, General Butler and the provisions of Order No. 28 during the Union’s Occupation of New Orleans in 1862) (See this BLM and the sample below). The teacher should describe the possible consequences that the occupation of the Crescent City may have had on different groups of people. Read a passage from a primary source as a reference. Write from one of the following options or points of view: a woman of social status, a Union soldier, a free person of color, a secessionist, a non-secessionist (Unionist), a slave, or a Confederate soldier.
RAFT Options for the Union Occupation of New Orleans




Role

Audience

Format

Topic

Option 1

Woman of Social Status

Family Members

Journal Entry

An event that altered his/her lifestyle during the Union occupation of New Orleans


Option 2

Union Soldier

Family Members

Journal Entry

Option 3

A Free Person of Color

Family Members

Journal Entry

Allow time for students to share their RAFTed assignments with a partner or the whole class. Students should include accurate and logical information in their RAFTs based on content they have learned.



Have students reflect on the political, social, or economic contexts of the Union blockade of the Louisiana coast, as they understand it. They should also note how a blockade might or might not affect trade in Louisiana today. Then, have students propose and defend potential solutions to this problem.
References for American Civil War in Louisiana Activities:
Websites

  • Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans: http://www.confederatemuseum.com/

  • The Civil War in Louisiana: http://www.crt.state.la.us/tourism/civilwar/

  • Louisiana in the American Civil War: http://www.earthstation9.com/index.html?louisia2.htm
  • LSU Library, The United States Civil War Center
    Civil War Collections and
    the Civil War Book Review: http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/




Print Resources


  • Cunningham, E. (1991). The Port Hudson Campaign, 1862-1863. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge.

  • Edmonds, D.C. (1988). The Conduct of Federal Troops in Louisiana during the Invasion of 1863 & 1864. The Acadiana Press: Lafayette, Louisiana.

  • Edmonds, D.C. (1979). Yankee Autumn in Acadiana, A Narrative of the Great Texas Overland Expedition through Southwestern Louisiana (October-December 1863). The Acadian Press: Lafayette, Louisiana.

  • Hollandsworth, Jr., J. G. (1998). The Louisiana Native Guards, The Black Military Experience During the Civil War. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge.

  • Jones, T.L. (1987). Lee’s Tigers, The Louisiana Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge.

  • Morgan, Sarah (1991). The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman, 1842-1909. Edited by C. Touchtone East, Simon & Schuster: New York.

  • Raphael, M.R., (1990). The Battle in the Bayou Country, 4th ed. Harlo Press: Detroit.

  • Richard, Jr., A.C. and M. M. H. Richard. (2004). The Defense of Vicksburg, A Louisiana Chronicle. Texas A & M University Press: College Station.

  • Spedale, W.A. (1985). The Battle of Baton Rouge. Land & Land Publishing: Baton Rouge.

  • Winters, J.D. (1963). The Civil War in Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge.



Activity 6: Reconstruction Plans: Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan, Johnson’s Plan, and Military Reconstruction (GLEs: 65, 66, 72, 73, 76)
Before reading information on Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan, students will generate questions they have about the topic based on an SQPL (view literacy strategy descriptions) prompt. Make a statement about Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan before the topic is explored. State the following:




Lincoln’s Reconstruction Plan (Ten Percent Plan) favored Louisiana.
Have students turn to a partner and think of one good question they have about the statement. Gather students together to share their questions; then, write their questions on the board. After students have presented their questions, the teacher should add other questions to the list. Students should search for the answers to the questions as they read about Lincoln’s Reconstruction Plan. To conclude the activity, have students share their answers.
After reading about Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan for reconstruction proposed in December of 1863, students will discuss the leniency of the program, amnesty granted to Southerners who took a loyalty oath, elimination of slavery, and the application of high-ranking Confederate officials for a presidential pardon. Then, have the students write as if they are presidential cabinet members assigned the task of suggesting reasons and possible consequences of changes they would like to make to the plan. As a format, they should write a memo to the president dated December 1863.
As a whole class activity have students review the three reconstruction plans, Lincoln’s Plan, Johnson’s Plan, and Congressional Plan, by completing a graphic organizer on the board. In three columns, have students list the highlights of each plan.
Example of graphic organizer:


Reconstruction Plans

Lincoln’s Plan

Johnson’s Plan

Congressional Plan









Then, have students create a three-circle Venn diagram to compare and contrast Lincoln’s plan for reconstruction with Andrew Johnson’s plan as well as the Military Plan (Radical Republican Congressional Reconstruction Plan). Students should create a “rule book” outlining the specifications of the Military Reconstruction Plan as implemented in Louisiana.


Print Resources:
McCrary, P. (1978). Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction: The Louisiana Experiment.

Princeton University Press: Princeton.

Taylor, J. G. (1974). Louisiana Reconstructed, 1863-1877. LSU Press: Baton Rouge.

Wall, B. H. (1997). Louisiana: A History. Forum Press, Inc.: Arlington Heights, Illinois.



Activity 7: Early Congressional Legislation and the Reconstruction Acts (GLEs: 65, 73, 76)
After reading about the pieces of legislation listed below, students will engage in a debate to rank these in importance (from the most significant to the least significant) to Louisiana’s past and present as well as the political, social, and economic relevance of the legislation to Louisiana. This rationalization can be delivered orally or in writing. Legislation to be used by students in their debates include:

  • Civil Rights Act

  • Freedmen’s Bureau Act

  • Thirteenth Amendment

  • Fourteenth Amendment

  • Fifteenth Amendment

  • Reconstruction Acts



Activity 8: Radical Republican Governments in the South (GLEs: 70, 76, 77)
Have students use primary and secondary source materials to write editorials as they would have appeared in the newspapers during the age of Reconstruction on the topics below. Students should critique the causes and effects on Louisiana.

  • Carpetbaggers and scalawags

  • State Constitutions of 1864 and 1868

  • Freedmen

  • Black Code

  • The Redeemers

  • Riots (Mechanics Institute, Colfax, Coushatta)

  • African American state officials

  • Corruption of Henry Clay Warmoth (administration and impeachment)

  • Sharecropping

These editorials should provide the basis for a discussion of why the Radical Republican governments were gradually overthrown and how each affected Louisiana’s reconstruction.




Activity 9: Reconstruction and Louisiana’s African American Population (GLEs: 65, 75)
Materials List: Effects of Reconstruction BLM
Have students complete the Effects of Reconstruction BLM graphic organizer (view literacy strategy descriptions) (see this BLM and the sample below):





Positive Effects

Negative Effects

Overall Outcome

Free People of Color

Political offices

Voting privileges for African American males

Privileges (political and social) ended after Reconstruction

Loss of privileges and struggle for equality

Freedmen









Have students create a Venn diagram reflecting the similarities and differences in the lives between the slave and the post-Civil War sharecropper. Note that sharecroppers often became indebted to company stores (landowners) because of their questionable loan practices. Also, note that sharecroppers were inclusive of both freedmen and poor whites, thus creating a new economic demographic of labor. Have students assume the role of a manager at the local office of the Freedmen’s Bureau. After reviewing the services the Bureau provided, have students outline a strategy to assist Louisiana’s freedmen in raising their economic and social conditions. Students should critique their plan by identifying barriers to improvement.


Suggested resources for African Americans in Louisiana during Reconstruction:
Print Resources

  • Brasseaux, C.A., K. P. Fontenot, and C. F. Oubre. (1994). Creoles of Color in the Bayou Country. University Press of Mississippi: Jackson.

  • Conrad, G. and R. Lucas. (1995). White Gold, A Brief History of the Louisiana Sugar Industry, 1795-1995. Louisiana Life Series No. 8. The Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana–Lafayette.

  • Kein, S. (2000). Creole, The History and Legacy of Louisiana’s Free People of Color. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge.

  • Louisiana Public Broadcasting (2003). Louisiana: A History (VHS/DVD series). The Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting: Baton Rouge.

  • Messner, W. F. (1981). Freedmen and the Ideology of Free Labor: Louisiana, 1862-1865. UL-L History Series #12. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

  • Mills, G.B. (2000). The Forgotten People, Cane River’s Creoles of Color. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge.

  • Northup, S. (1854). Twelve Years a Slave. Derby and Miller: Auburn, N.Y. Republished 2nd ed. (2000). Dover Publications: Mineola, New York.

  • Richard, C.E. (2003). Louisiana: An Illustrated History. The Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting: Baton Rouge.

  • Rodrigue, J. ( 2001). Reconstruction in the Cane Fields: From Slavery to Free Labor in Louisiana’s Sugar Parishes, 1862-1880. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge


Website Resources


  • The Great Republic By the Master Historians Vol. III: http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/The Great Republic By the Master_Historians_Vol_III/

  • The Cabildo – Reconstruction a State Divided: http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/cabildo/cab11.htm

  • Louisiana – A History Video Clips: http://www.louisianahistory.org/video/index.html



Activity 10: Reconstruction’s End and the Election of 1876 (GLEs: 35, 64, 66, 73)
Materials List: outline map of Louisiana parishes, Elections of 1876 and 2000 BLM
After reading about Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel J. Tilden, have students explain how and why Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 election and then discuss what effect his election had on the end of Reconstruction in Louisiana. Then, have students create a Venn diagram graphic organizer (view literacy strategy descriptions) that compares and contrasts this election with the election of 2000 between Albert Gore, Jr., and George W. Bush (See Elections of 1876 and 2000 BLM).
Provide students with a map outlining the parishes of Louisiana. Have students locate the “Carpetbag Parishes,” those added during Reconstruction: Acadia, Cameron, East Carroll, Grant, Iberia, Lincoln, Red River, Richland, Tangipahoa, Vernon, Webster, and West Carroll. Have students brainstorm (view literacy strategy descriptions) why these parishes were created from existing parishes by Reconstruction officials.

Sample Assessments
General Guidelines


  • Use a variety of performance assessments to determine student understanding of content.

  • Select assessments that are consistent with the types of products that result from student activities, and collaboratively develop a scoring rubric with other teachers or students.

  • Students should be monitored throughout the work on all activities via teacher observation, log/data collection entries, report writing, group discussion, and journal entries.



General Assessments


  • Have students create a timeline on the Civil War and Reconstruction comparing Louisiana Historical Events and United States Historical Events.

  • Have students write journal entries with the following topics: political differences between the North and South, Louisiana secession, New Orleans during Union occupation, Civil Rights Act, Freedmen’s Bureau Act, Thirteenth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Fifteenth Amendment, war’s effect on Louisiana, and Reconstruction.

  • Have students create graphic organizers: debate over secession; occupation resulting in two state governments; relocating state capitals; key Louisiana battles; reconstruction plans: Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan, Johnson’s Plan, Military Reconstruction.



Activity-Specific Assessments


  • Activity 2: Students will write a constructive response to address the following question: How did Louisiana’s geographic features affect troop movements and battle strategies during the Civil War?




  • Activity 6: Review the events surrounding Lincoln’s death (time frame with conclusion of war and implementation of reconstruction). Have students write a newspaper editorial as to the effects of Lincoln’s death on Louisiana’s re-entry to the Union.




  • Activity 7: Have students choose one of the following pieces of legislation to write an editorial about how it affected Louisiana’s past and present as well as the legislation’s political, social, and economic relevance to Louisiana.

    • Civil Rights Act

    • Freedmen’s Bureau Act

    • Thirteenth Amendment

    • Fourteenth Amendment

    • Fifteenth Amendment

    • Reconstruction Acts


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