Mrs. Ball's 7th Grade Class

Road to Secession


This page has been modified to add links for the resources by Mrs. Whiteley from St. Joan of Arc School, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Thank you, to Kathryn La Pointe for such a wonderful resource!

Day One

1. For the first part of this web quest you will be working alone on a computer.

2. As a historian you must be familiar with the following topics before you make any conclusions about what caused the Civil War:

3. To become an expert on these topics, go to the resources page and read the provided research for each topic.

4. While you are researching, take careful notes. Ask yourself the following questions about each topic:

  • What took place? Why?
  • Who was involved? Why?
  • What impact did this event have on the outbreak of war?
  • What were the causes and effects of this event?
  • How did the newspapers report these events soon after they took place?
  • What role did the journalists play on influencing public opinion?
5. Remember, you are a historian and therefore must be thorough in your research and analysis. Back up your conclusions with examples, quotes, and hard evidence from the sources provided.

6. After you have completed your research on each of the four topics ponder the following question: Of these four events, which one had the greatest impact on the outbreak of the Civil War? And, why do you believe that?

Day Two

1. Now that you have had time to contemplate the question, begin writing your article to be submitted to the Civil War Journal.

2. As you answer the question, which one of these four events had the greatest impact on the outbreak of the Civil War, you will need to rank all four events in order of importance, discussing the event with the greatest impact first. Again, you will need to substantiate your claim with evidence from your research.

3. Your teacher will help you during the writing process.

4. Remember to include the following elements in your article:

  • Thesis statement
  • Introductory paragraph
  • The body of the paper, which will include a paragraph for each topic (four paragraphs). Remember to rank each event in order of importance and discuss it's impact on the Civil War
  • A concluding paragraph

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