Below are readings about the main figures
in the Fort Sumter controversy:



For this activity, students are to base their conclusions
from evidence presented from one of the
following four perspectives:


Slavery is a cruel, unjust, and immoral system that must be ended as soon as possible.  No ground—moral, political, or territorial—should be ceded to Southern slaveowners and disunionists. 


Slavery is the foundation of Southern society and benefits not only slave owners but also non-slave-owning whites and even black slaves.  The crisis of Union is caused by fanatic abolitionists, who reflect Northern public opinion. 


Slavery is crucial to Southern society, but the Union is also worth preserving and is under attack from extremists on both sides—mainly Northern abolitionists, but also Southern Fire-eaters.


There is some pleasure in seeing a country that was born in revolution from Great Britain now have to deal with a revolution of its own.  Weak leadership by Buchanan and initially by Lincoln contributed to the situation, but Northern public opinion is pushing Lincoln in a more aggressive direction. 








Website design © 2000-2007 HarpWeek LLC
All Content © 1998-2007 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to