Which states were the first to secede, and what was the reaction of the United States government to this?
What compromises were proposed to bring these states back into the Union, and why did they fail?
What was Abraham Lincoln's opinion on the legality of secession, and how was that opinion reflected in his action concerning Fort Sumter?
What advantages did the Union have in the Civil War? What were the advantages of the Confederacy?
How did the Republican Party act to expand the American economy during the war? To which prewar party was their program similar? Why were they able to enact it, whereas the previous party was unable to do so?
How did the Union propose to finance the war? How successful was this? What was the effect on the economy?
How did the Union propose to raise troops? To what extent was it forced to use conscription? What was the reaction to this, and why was it so varied?
What were the characteristics of Lincoln as a leader? How were these characteristics reflected in his selection of his cabinet?
What was Lincoln's view of the extent of presidential war powers? Who were the opponents of the war, and how did Lincoln use these powers against them?
For what reason was the "Union Party" created? Who were its candidates?
What two factions were trying to control the Republican Party and what were the goals of each? What faction did Lincoln support?
How was this split in the Republican Party revealed in the debate over what to do about slavery? What action did each faction propose? What did Lincoln do, and why?
What factors, other than political pressure, brought about the Emancipation Proclamation? What did the Proclamation really accomplish? When did full emancipation really come?
What contributions did African Americans make to the Northern war effort? How did their treatment reflect the general racial attitudes of white America?
What impact did the Civil War have on women in the North?
What part did women play in the Union's war effort?
Explain the origins of the Confederate government. How did its constitution differ from that of the United States? Who were chosen as its leaders, and what problems did they face?
How did the Confederacy attempt to finance the war? What problems did it face, and what were the results?
How did the Confederacy propose to raise troops for the war? How did these plans compare with those of the Union, and how successful were they? Why?
Why was states' rights the greatest source of division in the Confederacy's war effort? What caused this division, and what was the effect?
How did the Civil War "transform" Southern society? How was this transformation like that which took place in the North? How was it different?
How did the American Civil War fit into the worldwide movement to create large, consolidated nations?
Compare and contrast Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davistheir backgrounds, abilities, and objectives. Why was Lincoln more successful at organizing a command system than Davis?
What role did Lincoln propose for the United State Navy? How did the Confederacy attempt to overcome this naval advantage and what was the result?
What were the foreign-policy objectives of the Union and the Confederacy? How did each attempt to achieve these objectives, which was most successful, and why?
Explain the impact that technology had on the conduct of the war. Which technological inventions made the most difference and which side gained the most from their use?
What major engagements were fought in 1861? What did they reveal about the possibility of an early end to the struggle and about the readiness of the two sides for a major conflict?
What was the Union plan for the conquest of the West? How did the Confederates propose to defend this area? How did the campaign advance, what battles took place, and which of the two armies more nearly achieved its objectives?
What was the Union plan on the Virginia front in 1862? Who was the general selected to carry this out? Who was the Confederate general he faced, and what was the relative strength of the two armies?
Outline the battles fought in the East in 1862. How did Lincoln's action toward his commanders affect the war effort? What were the relative positions of the two armies at the end of 1862? Which side had been more successful in achieving its objectives?
Why was 1863 the "year of decision"? What took place in 1863 to swing the advantage to the side of the Union? Where did these battles occur? Who were the generals involved? What did the battles accomplish? Why were they so important?
What was Grant's grand strategy for 1864? Who was to be in charge of the armies involved, and what were their objectives?
How was the Confederacy finally defeated? In what way did the Union forces destroy the South's will to carry on the fight?
How has the scholarly debate over the causes of the Civil War revolved around the question of whether it was a "repressible" or an "irrepressible" conflict?