This lesson plan will explore Abraham Lincoln's rise to political prominence during the debate over the future of American slavery. Lincoln's anti-slavery politics will be contrasted with the abolitionism of William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass and the "popular sovereignty" concept of U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas.
Popular sovereignty allowed the settlers of a federal territory to decide the slavery question without interference from Congress. This lesson plan will examine how the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 affected the political balance between free and slave states and explore how its author, Stephen Douglas, promoted its policy of popular sovereignty in an effort to avoid a national crisis over slavery in the federal territories.
Most historians agree that the world has never come closer to nuclear war than it did during a thirteen-day period in October 1962, after the revelation that the Soviet Union had stationed several medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. This lesson will examine how this crisis developed, how the Kennedy administration chose to respond, and how the situation was ultimately resolved.
This interactive puts the student in the role of President Kennedy, having to decide among several options for responding to the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba. By clicking on the names of individual advisers, students can read the views of men such as Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. After studying the strengths and weaknesses of each option, the student will be asked to choose an option, which will then bring up a new window that evaluates the response.