A Blundering Generation or an Irreconcilable Conflict: The Origins of the Civil War
Writer must read ch 9 from the text below.
Stockwell, M. (2012). The American story: Perspectives and encounters to 1877. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Prepare: In Chapter 9, you will find that histories of the origins of the Civil War can be roughly divided into two camps: those who argue that the war was caused by a “blundering generation,” whose inept handling of sectional divisions resulted in an unnecessary war; and those who argue that the war resulted from an “irreconcilable conflict” between distinct and incompatible slave and free societies, which could not forever remain under the same system of government.
Along with the textbook, please also draw evidence from three of the following documents:
Remember writer you only have to use three of the documents below and make sure you cite you source properly.
Dred Scott case: The Supreme Court decision. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2933t.html
Calhoun, J. C. (1850, March 4). The Clay Compromise measures. Retrieved from http://www.nationalcenter.org/CalhounClayCompromise.html
A declaration of the immediate causes which induce and justify the secession of the state of Mississippi from the federal union. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp
Lincoln, A. (1858, June 16). Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2934t.html
Webster, D. (1850, March 7). The Seventh of March speech. Retrieved from http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dwebster/speeches/seventh-march.html
Reflect: As you consider the source material, please keep in mind that textbooks often depict the past as if historians had firm, complete knowledge of everything meaningful that happened in history. In fact, however, historians work from limited evidence, and based on that evidence, they develop rival, sometimes contradictory, understandings about the past.
Write: As you analyze the major events of the 1850s, did the Civil War result from a blundering generation or an irreconcilable conflict? In your argument, refer to the following developments (along with any others you argue are pertinent):
The Compromise of 1850
The Kansas-Nebraska Act and its consequences
The Dred Scott decision
John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry
The election of Abraham Lincoln
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