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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has partnered with EDSITEment, the free, high-quality, digital, educational resource from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In honor of the Civil War's 150th anniversary in 2011, EDSITEment has brought together, in one convenient place, its lessons on slavery and African American communities, as well as the causes, the course and the consequences of the Civil War.

Read EDSITEment's lesson on the Civil War below or go to page 2 to view the original Teacher's Guide created by AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in 2002.

THE CIVIL WAR

The Civil War Sesquicentennial begins in Spring 2011. Even 150 years after it started, the Civil War remains a deeply relevant part of our national history. Its social and political effects still affect us.

In honor of the Sesquicentennial, EDSITEment has compiled its lesson plans and online resources onto one convenient page for educators.

Before the Civil War

Life in the North and South 1847-1861: Before Brother Fought Brother -- More Americans lost their lives in the Civil War than in any other conflict. How did the United States arrive at a point at which the South seceded and some families were so fractured that brother fought brother?

The Growing Crisis of Sectionalism in Antebellum America: A House Dividing -- In this unit, students will trace the development of sectionalism in the United States as it was driven by the growing dependence upon, and defense of, black slavery in the southern states.

Abraham Lincoln and the Course of War

  • Lincoln Goes to War
  • Lincoln's First Inaugural Address: We Must Not Be Enemies
  • The American Civil War: A "Terrible Swift Sword"
  • The Emancipation Proclamation: Freedom's First Steps
  • Abraham Lincoln on the American Union: "A Word Fitly Spoken"
  • Evaluating Eyewitness Reports
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    Related EDSITEment Websites on the Civil War

  • Civil War Women
  • The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  • The Valley of the Shadow
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    The Art and Literature of the Civil War

  • Images at War
  • Picture Lincoln
  • Homer's Civil War Veteran: Battlefield to Wheat Field
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • The Massachusetts 54th Regiment: Honoring the Heroes
  • Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy
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    SLAVERY

    The institution of slavery paved the way to the Civil War, and inflicted terrible suffering on thousands of Africans and their descendants.

    In honor of the Civil War's 150th anniversary next spring, EDSITEment has compiled its lesson plans on slavery and African-American communities onto one page for educators.

    Before the Civil War

  • Taking Up Arms and the Challenge of Slavery in the Revolutionary Era
  • Slavery and the American Founding: The "Inconsistency not to be excused"
  • African-American Communities in the North Before the Civil War
  • From Courage to Freedom: Frederick Douglass' 1845 Autobiography
  • Families in Bondage
  • Perspective on the Slave Narrative
  • Slave Narratives: Constructing US History Through Analyzing Primary Sources
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    The Civil War and Beyond

  • Life in the North and South: Before Brother Fought Brother
  • The Growing Crisis of Sectionalism: A House Dividing
  • The Emancipation Proclamation: Freedom's First Steps
  • The Massachusetts 54th Regiment: Honoring the Heroes
  • Martin Puryear's Ladder for Booker T. Washington
  • Birth of a Nation, the NAACP, and the Balancing of Rights
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    Related EDSITEment Websites

  • Exploring Amistad
  • The Frederick Douglass Papers
  • The Antislavery Literature Project
  • The Freedmen and Southern Society Project
  • Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Africans in America
  • American Experience
  • The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  • Rebellion: John Horse and the Black Seminoles
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture
  • The Valley of the Shadow

  • My American Experience

    My American Experience photos

    Share Your Story

    Do you admire Ulysses S. Grant? Or perhaps Robert E. Lee? Tell us who is your favorite and why.



    • Additional funding for this program was provided by

    • NEH