Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

10. Reconstruction

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES
Students will be able to:
Contrast the Reconstruction plans of Lincoln, the moderates, and Radical Republicans
Evaluate the ideas underlying these competing Reconstruction plans

DESCRIPTION
Students will assemble in a session of Congress to debate plans for Reconstruction.
TIME
60 minutes
MATERIALS
Plans for Reconstruction (copy for each student)
CLASS LAYOUT AND GROUPING OF STUDENTS
Students will analyze the primary material in their usual seating arrangements. For the Congress, desks should be organized in a circle or in another arrangement that will facilitate debate.
PROCEDURE
1. Tell the class that it will convene as the U.S. House of Representatives to debate the future of the South following the end of the Civil War.
2. Set the scene for the debate. Explain that the Civil War decimated the South. Cities such as Atlanta and Richmond were in ruins, and the region’s farm equipment, livestock, factories, and infrastructure had been destroyed. The South, never as prosperous as the North, was desperately poor. Over 250,000—one-fourth of the white male population of military age—had lost their lives. Former slaves had few resources, and the Black Codes restricted their freedom. The North, too, suffered. Approximately 360,000 Union troops were lost, and the North learned of the atrocities at Andersonville, in which almost 13,000 Union prisoners died of malnutrition, exposure, and disease.

-105-

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