Class Announcements:

This week we are concluding our Causes of the Civil War Unit covering the years 1850 to 1860. Guiding Questions, ID Lists, and a new ABC-CLIO Index were provided last Monday. Now that testing is over, homework readings and viewings in ABC-CLIO will resume this week. Also- your Mission U.S. 2 Log is due to be completed by Thurssday, May 4th. This unit will culminate this week in a 2 Day DBQ Essay on May 4th and 5th.

The Extra Credit Discussion Topic for this week is about the Cleveland Indian's Chief Wahoo Logo. Is it time for a change? closes Sunday. A new discussion topic will open Monday.

Best of maps have been posted on the Bulletin Boards in the Social Studies Hallways.

See "Assignments" for the week's plans. A NEW Big Picture summary is posted below.

Please bring your binder, spiral, and charged chrome-book to class everyday.


The addition of California as a state in 1850 through the Compromise of 1850 at once completed America's Westward growth (except for the final addition of the Gadsden Purchase in the Southwest in 1853), and started America on a path of increasing tension between North and South that would culminate in the secession of 11 states following the 1860 Election. This unit will feature another Mission U.S., "Flight to Freedom" online simulation and another Mock Trial- "The Oberlin-Wellington Fugitive Slave Rescue Trial" (for classes meeting every day during testing). The unit will culminate in a 50 point DBQ Essay summative on Thursday and Friday May 4 and 5

Here is the Big Picture-

Slavery was always an issue as the U.S. grew Westward half free and half slave. With Cotton tied to the Industrial Revolution, Slavery and Factory jobs grew together. Conditions in both were difficult and inhumane. Where Slaves were considered property, factory workers- especially women made such low wages that they had precious little freedom as well. Cities grew fast, without planning, and lacked basic services.

During the early 1800's a Christian religious movement known as the Second Great Awakening inspired a great number of people to act to right the wrongs that they saw in society, starting with their own lives. Groups worked for reform of schools, prisons, hospitals, mental institutions- they worked to help immigrants get a start, and against the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcohol (the temperance movement). Most actively and divisively many began to campaign for the abolition of Slavery in the United States of America. Women were actively involved in all of these movements despite facing discrimination and not having basic civil rights including the right to vote.

There were a number of different approaches to abolishing slavery in America. One, known as the colonization movement proposed that African Americans be sent back to Africa once freed from slavery- where they would be at an advantage. This process led to the creation in West Africa of the nation of Liberia in the 1820's, but it wasn't a successful program. After Britain abolished slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833, the American Anti Slavery Society was founded by William Lloyd Garrison to advocate for the immediate and uncompensated emancipation of American slaves. This group would in the long run have the most influence. Women were actively involved- but after being denied the right to participate in the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840 returned to begin campaigning for women's rights. The ideal was universal equality, but women's grievances were published out of the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention in 1848 through the Declaration of Sentiments.

Congress was so bombarded by petitions regarding slavery that it passed a Gag rule in 1836 and refused to consider any measures regarding slavery until well into the 1840's.

Territorial growth brought 2 compromises- the Missouri Compromise and the 1850 Compromise which worked to keep the union together through an equal number of slave and free states. The 1850 Compromise however which enabled California to join as a free state included a tough new Fugitive Slave Act insisted upon by the South that was meant to crack down on the escape of slaves to the North through the growing organization of an "Underground Railroad".

This Fugitive Slave act greatly increased tensions between North and South as it required Northerners to act against their consciences and actively help identify, detain, and return fugitive slaves to their claimants. This will have an impact on your play of Mission U.S. 2, and is the legal basis for the Fugitive Slave Rescue trial...

Here is a timeline of Key Events leading up to the Election of 1860 and Secession

1848- Free-Soil Party-Abolitionist members of the Democrat and Whig Parties meet to create a 3rd Party dedicated to keeping slavery out of the territories.

1850- California Compromise- California admitted as a free state at the price of opening up the rest of the Mexican Cession to slavery (if decided by popular sovereignty) and the enforcement of a strong new Fugitive Slave Act

1852- Uncle Tom's Cabin- Harriet Beeche Stowe publishes her novel about slavery that sells millions of copies and is interpreted into traveling stage shows. The impact is to awake the North to the evil inhumanity of slavery.

1854- Kansas Nebraska Act- Senator Stephen Douglas from Illinois gets Congress to open up much of the rest of the Louisiana Purchase to popular sovereignty in regards to freedom or slavery... gambling that settlers would push for freedom upon Statehood.

1856- Bleeding Kansas and the Rise of the Republican Party. "Free-soilers" and pro-slavery settlers flood into Kansas in hopes of deciding the statehood vote for freedom or slavery. Violence results between groups. The Republican Party- formed in 1854 to oppose slavery runs John C. Fremont for President.

1857- Dred Scott Decision- A test case challenging the Kansas Nebraska act is overturned by the Supreme Court which rules that Slaves are not citizens, but property protected by the 5th amendment. This opens up all remaining U.S. territories to slavery.

1858- Lincoln-Douglas Debates- Abraham Lincoln runs as a Republican for Senate and in a series of 7 debates challenges Stephen Douglas on the issue of Slavery in the Territories and on the Dred Scott Decision. Douglas wins election, but Lincoln becomes a national figure.

1859- Harper's Ferry- John Brown leads a failed raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry Virginia hoping to spark an armed Slave Uprising throughout the South. He is captured quickly, tried, sentenced to death for treason, and executed by hanging. He is seen as a martyr in the North and a traitor in the South.

1860- Election of 1860, Lincoln Elected, South Carolina Secedes from the Union- The Democratic party splits. Lincoln wins all of the Northern States. In reaction, South Caroline secedes from the Union. 10 more slave states will follow. 4 Slave states, the "Border States" , remain in the Union.

April 1861- April 1865- American Civil War.- Lincoln is Inaugurated on March 4, 1861, First shots are fired at Fort Sumter, SC, on April 11th.

See ABC-CLIO , Resources "Causes of the Civil War", and the Interactive Timeline of the Constitution for Great Resources on this unit.

Welcome to 8th Grade Social Studies!

This course wiki-space has been built to be your gateway to all things Social Studies in support of what we do in class and beyond. During our opening unit you'll join the site and be given a guided tour before being sent off on your own explorations. You should visit this site regularly as part of your academic routine and we hope you will help us build this site further through your participation in discussions and by suggesting websites, videos, documents and more to add to our collection of online resources. This site will also be connected to your Google Classroom for Social Studies

Students will be assigned articles to read and videos to view in their online textbook: the ABC-CLIO online American History encyclopedia that is linked to the Menu. These resources offer outlines of key ideas, and all of the articles may be read to the students by clicking on the audio button. Our resources link also connects to pages packed with online resources to enrich and expand all of our units of study. To review- the American Nation text site provides practice chapter tests, and the Class Zone Activities site provides many interactive review activities. Both of these will be again demonstrated to students in class.

We hope to again have access to the online version of the Plain Dealer. Students will be provided log in user names and passwords in class. We hope this will help students keep up with the news and better contribute to the extra credit wiki-discussions.

Every link in the menu leads to amazing Social Studies resources that will be worked with in this course.


Junior Scholastic

Check out the Junior Scholastic link in the menu to the right. This links to the online version of the student newsmagazine. Harmon has a subscription and the log in is provided on the page for students. This will be a great resource for Mock Congress as back issues are all searchable for issues... and current issues will be regularly featured in our extra credit discussions that will run both through this wikispace and through Google Classroom.

Online Plain Dealer

The iPD link to the right gives access to an online version of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. When it is reactivated with our new subscription, we will provide log in information to students. This resource will be used to bring current events into our classrooms. Meanwhile, students are invited to use the every day access- including Sundays to read the news about other topics... Sports, Entertainment, Travel, Autos, etc... Enjoy this gift from the Plain Dealer Newspapers in Education program.


Check Assignments in the menu to get to day by day HW assignments and class activity plans. This Wiki will always have more detailed information than the HW Hotline

More information about using this wiki follows below...

Getting Started
  • Check the Navigation Menu to the Right to access the different features of our Course Site
  • Once you have created a Wikispaces account, or sign in to wikispaces through this site you must request to join this site.
  • Once your request to join this site is approved, you will be able to participate in discussions... and eventually interact with your teachers and peers through a number of activities and projects that will be run through or linked to this site.
  • As a member of this site you will be able to edit any page. But please, edit and add only to those pages that are created for you or that you are given permission to create. This site is meant to be a great, friendly place for all 270 Harmon 8th graders to interact with their teachers and their peers. All changes are recorded and identified by author. Please help us keep this site friendly and working by reporting any postings that you find objectionable or any links or features that appear broken.

We're looking forward to a great year! Mr. Paul Frankmann and Mrs. Nancy Tyrrell

Need Help?

  • Click on the help link above in the top right hand corner to learn more about how to use this wiki.