April 12, 1861:
Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina was attacked by the Confederates. The United States Army (The Union) was forced to surrender after being bombarded by Confederate artillery. This was officially the first battle of the American Civil War.
Causes of the Civil War:
Keep in mind that Slavery was not the only cause of the American Civil War. There were other political and economic factors that began to tear the United States apart. Economic factors included a short depression in 1857 and the difference in economic standing between the Northern industrial driven economy and the agriculturally driven South. Political factors included the difference in moral and ethical beliefs concerning slavery between the North and South.
Slavery did play a large part in the Civil War. As new states were being formed, such as Kansas, it was becoming increasingly difficult to decide whether or not they would be slave holding states. This resulted in heated debates and even physical violence in what is now known as “Bleeding Kansas,” which was a series of small attacks between the North and South in Kansas. The North believes that the time for slavery has passed and the slaves need to be freed in the South. The South is a slave society which relies heavily on the labor of slaves to produce their crops.
You will be assigned a partner for this activity, one of you will represent the North and one of you will represent the South. Scenario: You and your best friend have different ideas about what the United States should be. You both enlist in the army, on different sides. Think about this as you go through this Webquest.