Monday, January 2, 2017


This week we will be working on the literacy task assigned to us by PGCPS. This task will have use research Abraham Lincoln and his actions during the Civil War through two texts and a video. We will then create an essay that explains how the authors used reason and evidence to support the points that they make about Lincoln's leadership characteristics as he served our country.

 Here is the prompt:

Today you will research information about President Abraham Lincoln.  You will read an excerpt called “Maryland Divided” adapted from My World Social Studies Text and then you will watch the video  “Abraham Lincoln.” Finally, you will read an excerpt from “Lincoln: A Photobiography” by Russell Freedman. As you review these sources, you will gather information from different authors about  President Lincoln’s leadership characteristics so you can write an essay.  


1. “Maryland Divided”: Adapted from My World Social Studies Text

2. Video: “Abraham Lincoln

3. Excerpt from Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman

You have read two excerpts and watched one video about President Abraham Lincoln. You read  “Maryland Divided” that explained about how President Lincoln handled many difficulties in the Civil War. The video, “Abraham Lincoln” explained about President Lincoln’s life and accomplishments, and in the excerpt from “Lincoln: A Photobiography” by Russell Freedman, the author explained how President Lincoln was able to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and pass the 13th Amendment.

Write an essay explaining how each author uses reasons and evidence to support the points made in the texts about President Lincoln’s leadership characteristics as he served our country. Support your essay with information from all three sources.

Here are some useful background videos.
Here's a useful video about the Battle of Antietam

And a final video about the  Emancipation Proclamation

This one is a bit more boring, but probably less annoying!

Here are the sources you must use...

“Maryland Divided” Adapted from My World Social Studies Text
The Nation Divided
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the Unites States. Slavery had been a major issue in the campaign, and Lincoln wanted to avoid a war over it. He worried that the issue could destroy the Union (the United States). He feared that the Union could not survive if it were made of slave states and free states, or Border States like Maryland.
    After the election of 1860, 11 Southern states left the Union. They formed a new nation called the Confederate States of America. The Confederate States believed that they had the right to decide certain matters for themselves, and especially the right to continue slavery.  They did not want the national government to force them to end slavery. Some people in Maryland agreed with them. But Maryland stayed in the Union.
The Civil War in Maryland
    Lincoln’s worst fears came true in April 1861. The Civil War began. As a border state, Maryland could not avoid the war. Just a week after the war began, people who supported the Confederates attacked Union soldiers in Baltimore.  Twelve people died in what was called the Baltimore Riot.
    For four years, armies marched across the state. Seven major battles were fought in Maryland with one of the bloodiest battles of the war happening just outside of Sharpsburg Maryland in 1862.  There Confederate and Union armies fought at the Battle of Antietam and more than 23,000 soldiers were either wounded or killed.
After Antietam, President Lincoln took an important step to ending slavery.  On 1863, he presented the Emancipation Proclamation.  Emancipation means the act of making someone free.  It was supposed to free enslaved people in the Confederate states. But many slave owners kept their workers enslaved.
    The war was difficult for everyone. Most Maryland soldiers fought for the Union army,  but there were thousands that fought for the Confederates. Families were split in their loyalties and brothers often fought brothers.  At home, some women helped to farm and others sewed uniforms or cared for the wounded.  The proclamation did not free enslaved Marylanders.  During the war, many had run away to freedom. Some African Americans fought in the Union army.  Then, in November 1864, Maryland lawmakers decided to write a new constitution. It made slavery against the law in the state. The Union won the war in April 1865.  The United States remained one nation.  Slavery was ended.
A Terrible Loss for The Nation
Friday evening, April 14, 1865, President Lincoln and his wife, Mary, attend a play at Ford’s Theater. During the play, the audience was surprised to hear a gunshot. This was followed by Mary Lincoln’s screams. President Lincoln had been shot!
Lincoln was assassinated, or murdered for political reasons by John Wilkes-Booth, a 26-year-old actor who supported the Confederacy. Booth had not worked alone, and Lincoln was not the only target.  The whole group of conspirators was captured, tried, and punished by death by a military court.  
In December of 1865, the United States government passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment made slavery illegal in all states.
After President Lincoln’s assassination, Vice President Andrew Johnson became president.  President Johnson wanted to carry out Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction, the rebuilding and healing of the country. However, Johnson lacked Lincoln’s skill at dealing with people. He and Congress fought fiercely.  
Adapted from My World Social Studies Texts

Excerpt from Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman

Excerpt from Chapter called “Emancipation” pp.85-91

The war had become an endless nightmare of bloodshed and bungling generals. Lincoln doubted if the Union could survive without bold and drastic measures. By the summer of 1862, he had worked out a plan that would hold the loyal slave states in the Union, while striking at the enemies of the Union.

On July 22, 1862, he revealed his plan to his cabinet. He had decided, he told them, that emancipation was  “a military necessity, absolutely essential to the preservation of the Union.” For that reason, he intended to pass a proclamation freeing all the slaves in rebel states that had not returned to the Union by January 1, 1863. The proclamation would be aimed at the Confederate South only. In the loyal Border States, he would continue to push for gradual compensated emancipation.

Some cabinet members warned that the country wasn’t ready to accept emancipation. But most of them nodded their approval, and in in any case, Lincoln had made up his mind. He did listen to the objection of William H. Seward, his secretary of state. If Lincoln published his proclamation now, Seward argued, when Union armies had just been defeated in Virginia, it would seem like an act of desperation, “the last shriek on our retreat.” The president must wait until the Union had won a decisive military victory in the East. Then he could issue his proclamation from a position of strength. Lincoln agreed. For the time being, he filed the document away in his desk.

A month later, in the war’s second battle at Bull Run, Union forces commanded by General John Pope suffered another humiliating defeat. “We are whipped again,” Lincoln moaned. He feared now that the war was lost. Rebel troops under Robert E. Lee were driving north. Early in September, Lee invaded Maryland and advanced toward Pennsylvania.

Lincoln again turned to General George McClellan- Who else do I have? he asked- and ordered him to repel the invasion. The two armies met at Antietam Creek in Maryland on September 17 in the bloodiest single engagement of the war. Lee was forced to retreat back to Virginia.  But McClellan, cautious as ever, held his position and failed to pursue the defeated rebel army. It wasn’t the decisive victory Lincoln had hoped for, but it would have to do.

On September 22, Lincoln read the final wording of his Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. If the rebels did not return to the Union by January 1, the president would free ”thenceforward and forever” all the slaves everywhere in the Confederacy. Emancipation would become a Union war objective. As Union armies smashed their way into rebel territory, they would annihilate slavery once and for all.
From the chapter called: “This Dreadful War” p.112-113

“Lincoln regarded the election as a mandate to push forward with his emancipation program. For months he had been urging Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would outlaw slavery everywhere in America, not just in the rebel South, but in the loyal border states as well. Lincoln knew that his Emancipation Proclamation, a wartime measure, could be overturned at any time by the courts, by Congress itself, or by a future president. A constitutional amendment would get rid of slavery permanently.
As the winter of 1864 began, Lincoln put tremendous pressure on congressmen who opposed the amendment. The final vote came on January 31, 1865, when a cheering House of Representatives approved the Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery in the United States. Lincoln hailed the vote as a “great moral victory.” William Lloyd Garrison, the Boston abolitionist who had often criticized Lincoln, now called him “presidential chain-breaker for millions of the oppressed.”
A month later, on March 4, Lincoln stood before the Capitol and took his oath of office a second time. The pressures of the war showed clearly in the president’s face. His features, a friend noted, were “haggard with care, tempest tossed and weatherbeaten.”
Lincoln had thought long and deeply about the horrors of the war, trying to understand why the nation had been swept up into such violence, destruction, and death. At first the issue had seemed to be the salvation of the Union, but, in the end, slavery had become the issue. The war had demonstrated that the Union could survive only if it were all free.”

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