by Chris Pizzurro, P.S. 32Q
This WebQuest involves students taking roles as a Union or Confederate soldier during the Civil War. They are writing letters to each other telling about their wartime experiences.
The United States Civil War was fought from 1861 – 1865 between the Northern States (The Union) and the Southern States (The Confederacy).
It was a very violent time in our country’s history. This war often
separated states, families, and friends because of the different views
people had about it. There were many instances of best friends and even
brothers fighting for different sides.
There were three main causes of the war. The first cause was about the taxes being charged on incoming goods called tariffs about thirty years before the war began. 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 had changed, Southerners remembered how the North treated them.
The second cause dealt with politics. After centering the U.S. government in Washington D. C., the North was gaining more power as its population 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 called it 'States' Rights'.
The last cause is the issue of slavery. In the South, the cotton plantations were very large. Southerners needed a lot of field hands to help produce the main crop of cotton. They also needed their slaves to perform household chores while they were overseeing their plantations. With this free labor, the Southerners easily made a profit. After all, slavery had been a part of their way of life for well over 200 years. On the other side of the coin, the North did not approve of Southerners owning slaves. Slaves are humans. Humans aren't supposed to own other humans. They thought that this practice was terribly wrong. The South did not 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 was property.