Connecting Post-Civil War Mob Violence and the Capitol Hill Riot

Anti-democratic violence is not new in the United States. Learners watch videos and then compare and contrast the 1873 Colfax and the 1898 Wilmington massacres. They then watch a video about the Capitol Hill insurrection of 2021 and consider the causes and effects of these examples of mob violence. To conclude the lesson, scholars develop an argument about the extent to which the Capital assault was an exception in U.S. history.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have groups investigate claims about the 2020 election and find evidence that supports or denies these claims
Classroom Considerations
  • A process must be in place to assure a reasoned, safe discussion of these controversial issues
  • The lesson can be used for either in-class or remote learning
  • Requires a school account to access the PBS videos
  • Copies of several documents are also required
  • The final activity permits individuals to develop their claim about whether the 2021 insurrection was an exception in the country's history
  • None