The Path to the Civil War - An Interactive Timeline - Kingswood Oxford

News & Events

February 10, 2022

The Path to the Civil War – An Interactive Timeline

Once upon a timeline, in the notoriously long and cold month of January, history teacher Steph Sperber decided she needed to change up the scenery for her class. Rather than meeting in their usual classroom, they met in the Hoffman Field House to take on their next interactive and hands-on learning project.


Students were given a set of events leading up to the Civil War, broke into small groups, and collaborated to place the events on a scale of sectionalism and the path to disunion. Or, in other words, to what degree did each event cause a rift between different states and regions of the US before 1860? These events included Bleeding Kansas, the Dred Scott Decision, John Brown and Harper’s Ferry, the Caning of Charles Sumner, The Election of 1856 and the New Republican Party, and the Lecompton Constitution. 


Students compared their scales, scoring them from 1-10, 1 indicating nothing that in their opinion would have incited war or caused national tension, and 10 indicating that regional perspectives were so dissimilar that compromise is impossible and all-out violence is likely. Alongside their group, they discussed in-depth how divisive some events were, and what the short-term causes of the Civil War were.


Students were incredibly engaged with the project as they discussed and decided what belonged where on the timeline. It’s another win for Sperber in what was definitely an innovative and interactive way to highlight a period of history and see the path to a major historical event.

Main News