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Civil War

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The United States: Making a New Nation


Fall 2008

Section 2: Growth and Conflict in the United States






The United States originated with thirteen colonies ruled and controlled by Britain. Tensions arose between the colonists and the British government, which led to the American Revolution. After gaining independence, the United States extended its territories further west, while tensions between the North and South eventually erupted into Civil War.

The Civil War

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Civil War WebQuest


Dear Citizen of the United States of America,

    As you know, yesterday, the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina [our first state to secede our nation] which was held by the Union troops.   Our new country has been suffering many conflicts in the past years. 

    There were three main conflicts.  The first conflict was about the taxes being charged on incoming goods called tariffs about thirty years ago.  The Tariff Act was passed on European goods to encourage the South to buy the North's products.   Southerners didn't like having to choose between paying high taxes on imported goods or paying the high prices on goods that the North made. Although the taxes have changed, Southerners remember how the North treated them.  

    The second conflict dealt with politics.  After centering our government in Washington D. C., the North was gaining more power as their populations increased.  The Southerners decided that this was not fair.  In order for fairness to exist for all states, the South thought it would be reasonable if each state created their own set of laws.  They call it "States'  Rights". 

    The last quarrel that you have probably been hearing a lot about lately, is the issue of slavery.  You have seen how big the cotton plantations are in the South.  Southerners need a lot of field hands to help produce the main crop of cotton.  They also need their slaves to perform household chores while they are overseeing their plantations.  With this cheap or free labor, the Southerners easily make a profit.   After all, slavery has been a part of their way of life for well over 200 years.  On the other side of the coin, the North does not approve of Southerners owning slaves.  Slaves are humans. Humans aren't supposed to own other humans. They think this is terribly wrong.   The South doesn't like the North telling them what they can and cannot do.   The constitution guaranteed the right to own property and protected against seizure of property. To a Southerner, a slave is property.

    This letter is to inform you that you and your best friend have been called off to battle on opposing sides.



President Lincoln

(Borrowed from Civl war WebQuest



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