Southern Secession and Abraham Lincoln’s Presidential Election

President Abraham Lincoln: a true humanitarian or a savvy politician? The activity focuses on Abraham Lincoln's presidency and the secession of the southern states. Academics interpret how Lincoln's presidential platform promoting African American rights affected relationships with pro-slavery states in the South. Pupils participate in group discussion, create campaign posters, and complete worksheets to understand President Lincoln's motives for ending slavery and to deepen their understanding of the debate over states' rights.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Challenge students to write newspaper articles explaining Lincoln's political platform
  • Have learners conduct further research on the life of Abraham Lincoln and write short essays 
Classroom Considerations
  • The lesson requires pupils to have knowledge of Civil War vocabulary 
  • All worksheets include an answer key 
  • The lesson provides educators with questions to help guide group discussion 
  • None