Analyze the factors that led to the American Civil War

Writing Assignment #4


Based on your readings of the texts and primary documents, describe and analyze the factors that led to the American Civil War.  Could the war have been avoided? How?


Your analysis should be in the form of an argument following this basic structure.

Thesis (What is your argument?  What is your main point going to be?)

Body (of evidence.  What can you cite form lectures, readings, documents that will help you convince the reader that your thesis is correct?).

Conclusion (What have you provided overall to convince us of your thesis?  Here you can summarize your evidence and perhaps acknowledge plausible alternative views.)


The questions/prompts for your analysis are:

  • Write a 3-5 page essay giving your evidence-based opinion on the prompt stated above. You may use the full range of chapters in Foner as well as lectures to provide evidence for your argument.
  • You must also select evidence from at least four primary documents in Zinn to support your argument. The documents must have been written between 1789 and 1861.


When answering this question, consider the following points when choosing the documents:


  • Who are the authors?
  • What is the author’s status within the culture? What class were the authors from.
  • When was the document written.
  • Who was the document written to?


Follow these formatting guidelines:

Length of Paper:  Your analysis should be no less than three and no more than five pages.

Sources: For this last exercise, you should use only the text, lecture, and the documents provided.

Citations:  You do not need a Works Cited page.

  • You do need in-text cites in this form (Coffin 28) or (Hammurabi 3) where you have the author followed by the page number.
  • You may cite lectures in this way (Colling 9/1). Where you have the lecturer and the date.

Font: 12 point, Times New Roman

Line Spacing: Double spaced.

Other Particulars:

  • This assignment should be handed in as a hard copy. Your paper’s pages must be stapled in the upper left corner.
  • Your name, class, and assignment number should appear in the upper left corner.

Colling, Michael

History 11

Paper #4


  • Your title should reflect your thesis.
  • You do not need a cover sheet, but take this into consideration when you are counting your pages.



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