Process 1:

Slavery was a major cause of the Civil War. It was an uncontrollable conflict between the North and South.  In the West, the United States was expanding, and questions over the territories becoming a slave or fee state caused conflicts in Congress. 


Northern opposition to slavery caused the South to fear a threat to them owning slaves and their economy (slave based Plantation systems).  Abolition movement (group of people who considered slavery to be morally wrong) was growing strong in the North.   Southerners found slavery profitable and considered slavery to be good. 


Approximately a ¼ owned slaves, and a ½ of the families owned fewer than 5 slaves.  Most Southerners who did not own slaves supported slavery because they believed the Southern economy would collapse without slaves and Blacks were inferior to whites. 

Assignment: Imagine you were a slave during the 1800's, and the horrible treatment you would face. Use your previous knowledge on slavery and the following Web sites to write a journal entry where you are pretending to be a slave. Include the following criteria:

1. How slaves were treated by their masters?

2. What different things slaves faced?

3. Describe working and living conditions?

4. Describe slaves lives outside of working on the plantations?

Web sites:
- Listen to the 5 narratives of the slaves that Worked on the Plantations.
- Read through 3 narratives of what these 3 slaves went through.
- Scroll down to Trends, Slave treatment, and slave life.

Process 2

The South’s population in 1860 was approximately 12 million, with about 4 million enslaved people. Most people lived on farms in spread-out communities, lived on self sufficient plantations, and cities were trading centers. The economy was based on agriculture, supported by slave labor, and the growth of cash crops such as cotton, tobacco, and sugar. Large plantation owners controlled much of the Southern traditional and conservative society.

 Assignment: Imagine you were plantation owner during the 1800's, and you are defending the need for slavery and how abolishing slavery would negatively affect the South’s economy. Use your previous knowledge on the South’s economy in the 1800’s and the following Web sites to write a news article explaining why slavery should still be used. Include the following criteria:

1. Why Southerners believed slavery was okay?

2.       Describes the South’s economy in the 1800’s.

3.       How the South’s economy would be affected if slavery was abolished?
Web sites:

Process 3

The following are Causes of the Civil War:
Slavery: The North and South argued over the morality of slavery, and the treatment of slaves.

Compromise of 1850: This was a group of acts that were passed to settle the slave question and give satisfaction to both the North and South. Henry Clay proposed that One, California be admitted as a free state (slavery not permitted); Two, Utah and New Mexico would use Popular Sovereignty (decide to be either a free or slave state); Three, The US would allow slavery to continue, but would abolish the slave trade in Washington, DC. Four, A stricter fugitive slave law that would require Northerners to return escaped slaves back to their owners.

Legality of Slavery: The North and South continually argued over the legality of slavery. The North feared it might bring competition between slave laborers and wage earners, or would threatened to reduce status of white workers. They also supported the Wilmot Proviso. In the South, whites feared a social and economic revolution if slavery was not legalized, and believed slaves as property were protected by the Constitution. They were against the Wilmot Proviso. 

Secession: In December 1860, South Carolina seceded, and was the first state to secede.  In January 1861, Mississippi , Florida , Alabama , Georgia , and Louisiana seceded. On  February 4, 1861 representatives met in Montgomery , Alabama and established the Confederate States of America . The President elected was Jefferson Davis (of Mississippi ) and Vice President elected was Alexander H. Stephens (of Georgia ). On March 2, 1861, Texas seceded.

Economies: The North’s economy was based on manufacturing, producing textiles, ships, iron, and lumber, and foreign trade. The South’s economy was based on agriculture, slave labor, and the growth of cash crops.

States Rights: The North and South argued over how much control the federal government had over the states.

Your Assignment is to create a chart that explains what the North and South’s position was on EACH of the above causes of the Civil War.  Use the following Web sites to complete the assignment and the chart example.  


Chart Example:



Compromise of 1850












Legality of Slavery



States Rights



 Web sites: