By the end of this lesson, students will:

  • review the outcome of the election of 1860 and the issues that led to Lincoln's election and the South's secession.
  • analyze the Crittendon Compromise and why it was voted down by Republicans.
  • discuss the creation of the Confederate States of America


[Applicable DCPS content and skills standards as well as Common Core standards should be listed by number and include the actual text of the standard.]


[Here, you should include a list of primary and secondary sources as well as other materials you will be using in the class. Attach all handouts and readings you will use for this lesson to the curricular unit.]

Warm Up

Using your notes, the textbook, and the Electoral Map that you have, please list the reasons that Lincoln won the Presidential election of 1860 withoiut carrying a SINGLE SOUTHERN STATE.

  • Have we ever seen other disputes that affected a Presidential eleciton in the history of the United States?
  • What is the biggest difference between what happened after the disputed elections your have named and the election of 1860?

The Election of 1860: Electoral College/Popular Vote

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New Material

The class will be divided in two, North and South, and each will create a list of reasons that they currently hold the other in contempt and why they have reached the point where compromise was truly impossible.

  • How did the South react politically after the election of 1860?
  • What was President Buchanan's reaction to the crisis? Speculate as to why he acted as he did, abdicating any repsonability to handle the situation. He was, afer all, still President of the United States.

Excerpts: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America

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With members of your group, look over the information in the handout about the Crittendon Compromise.

Please highlight points in the document that might lead to either reconciliation or further problems.

  • Come up with at least two discussion questions for the group.
  • What was the end result of the proposal?
  • What led to its failure in Congress?
  • Do you agree with President Lincoln's decision not to have Republicans support the document? Why or why not?
After the groups have had a few minutes to work on the document and their questions, we will reconvene and discuss the questions posed.

The Crittenden Compromise

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Annotated texts

Tomorrow's quiz

Closure and Reflection

Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, the United States has now finally reached the point of that house divided; it could not stand. In fact, it fell. And now the North had to decide where they stood. Where they willing to kill in order to preserve a Union that included people who supported an economic system that the North found morally repugnant?

Can anyone support the notion of war to preserve the Union?

Can anyone support the idea that the North would be better off without the South?

Remember we have a quiz in our next class. 

Remember your second paper is due when we meet next.