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Ashford
American history to 1865
week 5
HIS 203 Week 5 DQ 1 A Blundering Generation or an Irreconcilable Conflict- The Origins of the Civil War

HIS 203 Week 5 DQ 1 A Blundering Generation or an Irreconcilable Conflict- The Origins of the Civil War

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Textbooks often depict the past as if historians had firm, complete knowledge of everything meaningful that happened in history. In fact, however, historians work from limited evidence, and based on that evidence, they develop rival, sometimes contradictory, understandings about the past. Histories of the origins of the Civil War, for instance, can be roughly divided into two camps: those who argue that the war was caused by a “blundering generation,” whose inept handling of sectional divisions resulted in an unnecessary war; and those who argue that the war resulted from an “irreconcilable conflict” between distinct and incompatible slave and free societies, which could not forever remain under the same system of government. Analyze the major events of the 1850s to develop an argument about whether the Civil War resulted from a blundering generation or an irreconcilable conflict. In your argument, refer to the following developments (along with any others you argue are pertinent): a. The Compromise of 1850 b. The Kansas-Nebraska Act and its consequences c. The Dred Scott decision d. John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry e. The election of Abraham Lincoln 
To complete this assignment, draw from three of the following documents: a. The Clay Compromise measures b. A declaration of the immediate causes which induce and justify the secession of the state of Mississippi from the federal union c. “House divided” speech d. Dred Scott case: The Supreme Court decision e. The seventh of March speech

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