Period 5 focuses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, beginning with the chain of events that led to the war and ending with the Compromise of 1877, which ended Radical Reconstruction twelve years after the war ended.
The Road to Civil War (1848-1860)
The years leading the the Civil War were defined by several debates - mostly concerning the westward expansion of slavery - that sometimes led to violence and escalated sectional tensions. To help review the events and movements that led to the Civil War, I have included a review video that offers a summary of the years between the Mexican-American War and the Civil War as well as some topical videos that delve a bit deeper into key events.
The Civil War (1861-1865)
These review videos explain key events in the Civil War: the Election of 1860, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address.
The Civil War was followed by a twelve year period of Reconstruction. These videos by HipHughes explain the key concepts of the period: the differences between Congressional and Radical Reconstruction, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Compromise of 1877.
Thomas Jefferson's Presidency
Thomas Jefferson was elected in 1800 after a bitterly contested election, culminating in the first peaceful transfer of political power by democratic means in modern history. While Jefferson referred to his victory as a "revolution," he struggled with the Supreme Court, which continued to be dominated by John Marshall, an ardent Federalist, throughout the entirety of the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian periods. When he had the opportunity to purchase Louisiana from France, Jefferson had to confront the reality of governing while trying to remain as true as he could to his strict constructionist principles.
American Foreign Policy (1800-1848)
American foreign policy in the early 19th century largely dealt with the United States attempting to maintain an independent and separate existence from Europe. Jefferson first tried to avoid armed conflict with Britain with the failed Embargo Act of 1807. The situation escalated to warfare during James Madison's presidency. The War of 1812 was largely a disaster until Andrew Jackson's victory in the Battle of New Orleans ended things on a high note. After the War of 1812, the Monroe Doctrine tried again to distance the United States from Europe by expressing opposition to further European colonial expansion into North America.
The Missouri Compromise (America's First Slavery Debate)
The Missouri Compromise is generally considered to be the beginning of the Antebellum Period in United States history because it was the first debate in Congress over the expansion of slavery. The slavery debate became the most contentious debate in America in the decades leading to the American Civil War. I have included my two part lecture - the second of which focuses on Thomas Jefferson's reaction to the Missouri Compromise - as well as a music video I made with MrBettsClass.
Andrew Jackson, Sectionalism, and Antebellum Reform
The rise of democratic politics in the 1820s brought about the rise of Andrew Jackson, fresh sectional controversies over the tariff, internal improvements, and states' rights, and reform movements, such as abolitionism and women's rights, aiming to create a more equal and just society in the United States.
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