Lesson Plans

Early National

Alexander Hamilton and the Roots of Federalism

The students will explore Alexander Hamilton's views on the future of America's economy as a basis for the breakdown between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. As the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton laid the groundwork for the Federalists' support of large companies.

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry and John Brown's Body (Song)

Students will read and analyze three letters or newspaper articles in groups of 4-5. They will be looking for meaning, opinions, and how the letters/speeches affected Americans in 1859. They will present their findings to the class in order to form more "knowledgeable" opinion of John Brown's raid. Students will then examine three different portraits of John Brown, and choose one of the portraits that they view was the best representation of him in 1859, and will write a letter to an 1859 newspaper encouraging them to print that particular photo to go along with John Brown’s obituary.

Students will listen to the song "John Brown's Body" by William W. Patton and will use the lyrics to analyze the feelings of Northerners towards John Brown shortly after his raid on Harpers Ferry.

Related lesson: Northern and Southern Differences in 1856

Northern and Southern Differences in 1856

Discussion of the economic needs of the North and South prior to the Civil War. The purpose of this lesson is to place slavery in perspective of each area of the country.

The Abolitionist Movement: A Fight for Freedom

In this mini-unit, we will be covering a part of the reform movement during the mid-1800s, before the Civil War takes place. Specifically, we will be discussing Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, and each of their contributions to the abolitionist movement.