Explain the relationship between religion and reform in the decades from 1820 to 1860. Why did many religious people feel compelled to remake society? What was their motivation? How successful were they? Do you see any parallels with social movements today?
Compare and contrast society in the American South with that of the North in the first half of the nineteenth century. Is it fair to say that by 1860, America was, in fact, two distinct societies?
In 1860, the institution of slavery was firmly entrenched in the United States; by 1865, it was dead. How did this happen? How did Union policy toward slavery and enslaved people change over the course of the war? Why did it change?
Why did the debate over restoring the South to the Union devolve into an institutional struggle between the presidency and the Congress?