Lesson Plan: Overview

Secession: A Southern Perspective

Grade Level: 8th


Academic Standards

Standard 8-3: The Student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Civil War- its causes and effects and the major events that occurred during that time.

8-3.4 Compare the attitudes of the unionists, cooperationists, and secessionists in South Carolina and summarize the reasons that the members of the South Carolina secession convention in 1860 voted unanimously to secede from the Union, including concerns about states' rights and fears about abolition.
8-3.6 Compare the effects of the Civil War on daily life in South Carolina, including the experiences of plantation owners, women, Confederate and Union soldiers, African Americans and children.

Historical Background Notes

No historical background notes available for this lesson plan.


  Primary Sources
Carson, James Petigru, ed. Life, Letters, and Speeches of James Louis Petigru. Washington, D. C.: W. H. Lowdermilk & Co., 1920, pg. 290, 362.
Perry, B.F., personal letter, September 1866. B.F. Perry Papers. South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
Perry, Benjamin F. as quoted in Edgar, Walter. South Carolina, A History. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press;  pg.324, 341.
Speech, Dec. 1860. William King Easley Papers. South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
Speech of B.F. Perry of South Carolina in the National Democratic Convention at Charleston, SC, 1860. South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
Woodward, C. Vann, ed. Mary Chesnut's Civil War. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981, pages 25, 84, 789.
LCD projector

Lesson Plans

No lesson plan available.


1. Hand out excerpts from Mary Boykin Chesnut's diary, James L. Petigru, Benjamin F. Perry, and William King Easley.
2. In pairs, students will answer questions and discuss answers with class:
  • What was the view point of each person
  • How did each person support their view?
  • What ways were some of the viewpoints alike?  And in what ways were they  different?
  • What other viewpoints might people have had on this issue?
3. After listening to each student's interpretation, the students will (independently) defend one of the Primary Source’s point of view.
4. Students will write a short summary (2 paragraph) supporting the individual's personal sentiments on secession 
5. Choose a few students to share their answers with the class.End of content

Teacher Reflections

No teacher reflections available for this lesson plan.

Student Assessment

No student assessment available for this lesson plan.

Examples of Students Work

No examples available for this lesson plan.


Provided by the Teaching American History in South Carolina Project