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15.6: Critical Thinking Exercises
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- Historian James McPherson maintains the Kansas-Nebraska Act “may have been the most important single event pushing the nation toward civil war.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
- Ever since the Civil War, historians have debated the causes of the conflict. Slavery clearly seems to have played a role in the coming of the war; however, other factors also contributed to the tensions. How much of a role did economic differences between the two regions play in the conflict? What influence did religion, culture, and ethnicity have?
- Historians have also debated whether the Civil War was avoidable or not. At what point (if any) did civil war become inevitable? In other words, did the nation need the war to determine whether it would be slave or free? What might it have taken to avoid the Civil War?