“Lincoln” & the Civil War

December 8, 2017

The freshmen American History I class watched Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” to end their unit about the Civil War.  We have spent the beginning of the 2nd quarter learning about the Civil War.  One aspect of the war that was emphasized with every battle and political decision was how Lincoln had to balance both the war and the presidency.  We examined how victories and defeats impacted the decisions Lincoln made and conversely how Lincoln’s decisions affected how Union generals were able to fight the war.  The movie “Lincoln” was the right compliment to what we had been studying because it perfectly wraps the story of the 13th Amendment passage through the House of Representatives within the context of the Civil War.  There were times that we had to stop the movie and discuss what was being said, however the students were able to follow along with the story of the movie.  The movie is also the perfect bridge for our class as we move on to our next unit, Reconstruction.  The film “Lincoln” helped illustrate to the students that the 13th Amendment was more than just freeing the slaves; it was about moving America closer to achieving social equality.  The students were given a good representation of how even in the North, racism was still very much alive among the white population and how the African-American population were willing to do anything to live like Americans.  The stage has been set for discussing how Reconstruction happened and how it then shaped the next 100 years of American history.  If you haven’t watch “Lincoln” here is a link to the trailer and other information about the movie and I hope you do end up watching it!  However, if you want to brush up on your American history after watching it, don’t feel too bad about it!  If you are a history enthusiast, you will also enjoy the site Civil War Animated.  On this site, you can watch simulations of the major battles and read up on the generals involved on both sides.  This website allows the reading to visualize how the battles played out and see how geography really impacted the war.  The American history classes have spent a lot of time studying the various battles and have rather enjoyed the site.  We hope you do as well!