HoA Survey U1-02: Different Facets of the Civil War

How well do you understand each of the different issues illuminated by studying the U.S. Civil War?

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A red asterisk (*) indicates required questions.


  1. The Civil War was a match between two demographically different populations, a northern one that was multiethnic, partly urbanized and culturally diverse, and a southern one that was biracial, racially supremacist, rural and culturally homogenous.*
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was a match between two different economic systems, northern capitalism versus southern cotton agriculture, to see which would be stronger. *
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was a match between two opposing political systems and associated ideologies, northern “active government” centralizers versus southern “states rights” federalists, to see which would prevail. *
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was the culmination of a debate between the North and the South over the core meaning and documents of the American Revolution, and therefore over the meaning of the American experiment, and of freedom itself. *
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was a war, a recourse to armed force as a way of settling a conflict. Many claim that the main problem was settled, and it could not have been settled any other way. What light does this experience shed on the Quaker principle that war is always wrong?*
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was a match between two leadership elites, a northern middle-class meritocratic one exemplified by Lincoln and Grant, and a southern aristocratic one exemplified by Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. *
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was the conflict that decided whether North America would be dominated by a single power, able to wield major influence on the rest of the world, or split up into multiple smaller powers, subject to “divide and conquer” strategies by powerful powers from other parts of the globe. *
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was a test for the proposition that a democracy can overcome internal factional struggle and endure long-term, against the conventional wisdom of millennia.*
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was a grand experiment in social reform. What does it take to carry out the abolition of a centrally important, but socially harmful institution, and to replace it with another way of working and living?*
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War marked a major new step in the development of our country as a multiracial society. What was the effect of formal abolition of slavery, and extending voting rights and due process to freedmen in the Constitution, when white southerners retained most economic and political power over them?*
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. The Civil War was the pivotal moment when our country chose between two very different paths that its main sections had been pursuing for centuries, guided by correspondingly different worldviews. Each side demonized the other at the time, and some claim the South is still demonized today, in the moralizing history taught by most schools, while others hold that Americans do not do enough to mark the moral difference between fighting to destroy slavery and fighting to preserve it. *
    I don’t understand this.
    I understand this partly.
    I understand this fully.


  1. Looking back over the issues identified in the previous eleven questions, the ones in which I am personally interested are:*
    #1–a match between two demographically different populations
    #2–a match between two different economic systems
    #3–a match between two opposing political systems
    #4–the culmination of a debate between the North and the South over the core meaning and documents of the American Revolution
    #5–a war
    #6–a match between two leadership elites
    #7–a conflict that decided whether North America would be dominated by a single power
    #8–a test for the proposition that a democracy can overcome internal factional struggle and endure long-term
    #9–a grand experiment in social reform
    #10–a major new step in the development of our country as a multiracial society
    #11–the pivotal moment when our country chose between two very different paths





Teacher, club sponsor, and student of history and philosophy
Wilmington Friends School
Wilmington, DE