Causing a Civil War: Understanding the Beginnings and Ends of the Civil War

Title: Causing a Civil War: Understanding the Beginnings and Ends of the Civil War

Topic: Civil War Overview

Description: Understanding all the players, issues, and concerns involved in the Civil War can be complicated. By using the lens of the Lincoln Collection’s primary sources, this introductory dive into the Civil War covers the main people involved, Lincoln’s influence on the war, major battles, and the Generals who led their armies. Read Civil War letters and journals, see photographs from the battlefields and camps, and understand the war from the people who were there.

Target Audience: K-12

Indiana State Standards:

4.1.7 (4th grade: Explain the roles of various individuals, groups, and movements in the social conflicts leading to the Civil War)

4.1.8 (4th grade: Summarize the impact of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency on Indiana and describe the participation of Indiana citizens in the Civil War)

8.1.30 (8th grade: Using primary and secondary sources, analyze an issue confronting the United States from colonial times through the Reconstruction period)

IS 1.7 (High School: Analyze how the Civil War affected men, women, and children on the home front. Explain how those on the home front helped the war effort)

I.S. 1.36 (High School: Analyze multiple, unexpected and complex causes and effects of events in the past)

U.S. 1.4 (High School: Describe causes and lasting effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction as well as the political controversies surrounding this time)


Outcomes: Students will understand the players involved in the Civil War, their beliefs, important dates, and battles, as well as Lincoln’s influence and leadership. Students will also be able to explain the end of the war and Lincoln’s plan for America after the war. Students will have experience with primary source documents and photos related to the Civil War.


Evaluation: A post-presentation Q&A with the class will determine outcomes; a questionnaire will be sent out to the teacher/class to complete either onsite or electronically after the presentation.