The American Civil War
About the The American Civil War Lesson
This lesson introduces students to the American Civil War.
• To be able to list the major issues of the American Civil War.
• To be able to identify some of the key figures of the American Civil War.
• To be able to describe some of the battles fought during the American Civil War.
In 1860, there were approximately 4 million slaves in the fifteen states where owning slaves was legal. These states were generally the ones which relied on agriculture for their economy. Maintaining crops like cotton and tobacco was labor intensive, and the slaves worked the farms for the plantation owners. Many states, however, had decided that owning slaves was illegal. These states were nicknamed Free States and abolished slavery in their territories. The Slave States, however, believed that they had a right to determine whether or not slavery was legal in their own state and disagreed with the Federal government imposing laws on each state. The Slave States depended on slave labor for their economy and viewed the push to abolish slavery as damaging to their economy.