American History
The Civil War and Reconstruction

Reading Guide—Chapter 3:  Crisis, Civil War, and Reconstruction

Section 1: The Union in Crisis

1.  What did the Northern economy depend on before the Civil War?  What did the Southern economy depend on before the Civil War?

2.  What did the Free-Soil Party want?  When was it formed?  Whom did it nominate for president?

3.  What did the Compromise of 1850 do?  What were the problems with the Fugitive Slave Act?

4.  What book did Harriet Beecher Stowe write in 1852, and how did people respond to it?

5.  What did the Kansas-Nebraska Act say?  What was Bleeding Kansas?

6.  When was the Republican Party created, and what kind of people formed it?

7.  What happened in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case in the Supreme Court?  Why was it important?

8.  What two Illinois politicians held a series of debates while campaigning for the Senate in 1858?  What party did each belong to?

9.  What did each of them want?  How did they feel about slavery?

10.  What did John Brown do in Kansas and in Virginia?  What happened to him?

11.  Study the map on page 67.

Reading Guide—Chapter 3:  Crisis, Civil War, and Reconstruction

Section 2:  Lincoln, Secession, and War

1.  What issues were on people’s minds during the election of 1860?

2.  What did the Democratic Party do in 1860?  Why?  Whom did the Democrats nominate for president?

3.  Who formed the Constitutional Union Party?  What did they stand for?  Whom did they nominate?

4.  Whom did most Republicans expect to nominate for president in 1860?  Whom did they actually nominate?  Why?

5.  What percentage of the popular vote did Lincoln get?  What percentage of the electoral vote did he get?  What parts of the country did each of the four candidates win?

6.  Why did many Southerners feel they had to leave the Union?  What was the first state to secede?

7.  What did Southerners name their new country?

8.  Whom did Southerners elect as their president?  What had he done before taking this role?

9.  Where were the first shots fired in the Civil War?  What did Lincoln do afterwards and how did Southerners respond to that?

10.  How many states in total left the Union?  Name them.

11.  Study the map on page 74.

Reading Guide—Chapter 3:  Crisis, Civil War, and Reconstruction

Section 3: The Civil War

1.  What advantages did the North have when the War began?  What advantages did the South have when the War began?

2.  What was the North’s plan to win the war called?  How was it supposed to work?

3.  What was the South’s capital city?

4.  Why did so many people die in Civil War battles?

5.  What four slave states stayed in the Union during the War?

6.  When did the Emancipation Proclamation go into effect?  What did it do?  What did it not do?

7.  How many African-Americans fought in the Northern army?

8.  What problems did the North have during the War?  What problems did the South have during the War?

9.  Two battles in 1863 proved to be the turning point of the war.  One was in Mississippi—where was it?  The other was in Pennsylvania—where was it?

10.  What did General Sherman do in Georgia and South Carolina?  When and where did General Lee surrender to General Grant?

11.  Study the smaller map on page 85.

Reading Guide—Chapter 3:  Crisis, Civil War, and Reconstruction

Section 4: The Reconstruction Era

1.  What was Reconstruction?  Who wanted it to ‘bind up the nation’s wounds’?  Who wanted to punish the South harshly?

2.  What did the Freedmen’s Bureau do?

3.  What happened to President Lincoln on 14 April, 1865?  Who became president after him?  Did he want to be harsh or lenient toward the South?

4.  What did the XIII (Thirteenth) Amendment do?

5.  How did the Radical Republicans want to handle Reconstruction?  What did they do to Andrew Johnson?  Why?

6.  What did the XIV (Fourteenth) and XV (Fifteenth) Amendments do?

7.  Who did Reconstruction keep from voting?

8.  What was the Ku Klux Klan and what did it do?

9.  How did Southern Democrats regain power in the 1870s?

10.  Why did Reconstruction end after the election of 1876?

11.  What happened in the South after Reconstruction ended?

This page last updated 15 August, 2009.