Lincoln and the Republicans: The Cause of the War?

New Review

In today's political rhetoric, many forget the pivotal role the Republican Party played in the causes of the Civil War. The party's formation was the final straw for Southerners who saw the enslavement of people of African descent a non-negotiable. Using elements of the party's platform, young historians consider the Southern point of view and respond with a letter to the editor. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use primary sources to unpack the platform of the Republican Party leading up to the Civil War
  • Offer the activity as a review of the causes of the Civil War
Classroom Considerations
  • Activity asks learners to take on the role of an enslaver, which could be painful and traumatic for some 
  • Materials allow for a quick review of the causes of the Civil War 
  • Primary sources give an opportunity for a deep dive on a particular aspect of American politics
  • Lesson minimizes the impact of slavery on people of African descent by reducing issue to a political debate