Reading Questions: Unit Two of the Civil War -  Dred Scott through Fort Sumter


P. 170 – 181


1. Make a list of the arguments that Chief Justice Taney made in his decision in the Dred Scott case. (173-176)


2. What were the arguments against what Taney had written? (176)







3. Summarize the political responses of the Republicans, particularly Lincoln, and the Democrats to the Dred Scott decision. (177-181)


Republicans and Lincoln

Democrats and Douglas










4. What was the significance of the Lemmon v. The People case? (180-181)





5. Read the “House Divided” speech.   Make a bullet-point list of the points that Lincoln makes in this speech.






P. 181 - 189



6. List in bullet points the arguments that Lincoln and Douglas made in their famous debates.   (181-187)                                                           









































P. 189 - 201


7. What were the political effects of the Panic of 1857?


8. What were the political issues (other than slavery) that divided the country on a sectional basis?  Describe those differences.


9. List the other clashes in the late 1850s and describe their importance in the deepening sectional divide. 

P.  202 - 213


10. Summarize the information on the “Secret Six” and the reasoning behind John Brown’s attack on Harpers Ferry. (202)






11. Contrast the repercussions of the raid on Harpers Ferry in the South and the North.  What were the political repercussions on the Democratic and Republican parties? (206-213)





P. 213 – 233


12. Why and how did the Democratic Party split in 1860? (213-216)









13. Who were the main competitors for the Republican nomination and what were the weaknesses and strengths of each? (216-218)








14. How does Lincoln capture the nomination? (218-220)





15. What were the campaign strategy and positions for each candidate in the 1860 election? (221 – 228)

a. Constitutional Union Party




b. Republicans





c. Northern Democrats




d. Southern Democrats





16. Why did Lincoln win?  (232-233)




P. 234 – 257


17. Summarize the information on the different groups among the secessionists. (235-237)







18. How did secessionists convince non-slaveholders that they would benefit from secession? (242-245)





19. After you have read the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession, summarize in your own words why South Carolina decided to secede and how they justified their action.








20. What did Buchanan do in response to the secession of South Carolina? (246-250)





21. What were the compromise proposals and other reactions to resolve the crisis and what were the weaknesses of each?  (251-253)







22. What were Lincoln and Seward doing behind the scenes during the lame-duck period? (253-257)







23. Summarize the differences that the Confederates placed into their Constitution from the original one. (257-258)








24. Whom did Lincoln put in his cabinet and why did he choose each man?  Know the positions that each was given. (259-261)








25. Read the excerpts from Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address and the summary in the book.  Summarize the main points that he made and why he made them that way.  (The First Inaugural and p. 262-264)