Period 5: 1844-1877

The Mexican American War ended in 1848 and the nation was expanding and changing. These changes brought about more tensions as it struggled to resolve the problem with politics, economics, and slavery. The Second Great Awakening inspired other reform movements including prison reform, public education, and women rights. The first women’s rights convention was held at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. The Compromise of 1850 sought to enforce fugitive slave laws and the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme COurt established that African-Americans were not citizens and, therefore, had no rights. A series of other compromises failed. The nation would be divided as the Civil War began shortly after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. A Union victory may have ended the the question of slavery, but Reconstruction, brought on new challenges as the South tried to rebuild its society. African Americans sought political and economic equality and tried to rebuild their lives as freedmen while white southerners fought to maintain power over African Americans through fear and violence.

A group portrait of the first African-American legislators in the 41st and 42nd congress. Library of Congress

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Below are the assignments for this unit.

AMSCO Readings

Additional Readings

Period 4 homework and review by Adam Norris

Review for Period 5

Below are links to videos that align with this unit.

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