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Iowa Past to Present

Iowa Past to Present Online Teacher's Guide

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Chapter 7: A Nation Divided


In the 1860s, Americans fought a civil war. It is difficult to understand completely why Americans in the North and South fought each other. But there are certain things we know about the views of the North and South and about Iowa's part in that conflict. We know that slavery was one reason why people fought the war. Southern people owned about four million black (African-American) slaves in 1860. Southerners believed that there was nothing wrong with owning slaves and even that it was the proper way to live. Slavery was partly why eleven southern states left the union (United States) to form their own government, the Confederate States of America. Northerners disagreed. They believed that slavery was wrong and that it should be ended. We also know that many Iowans took part in the war. Seventy thousand Iowa men fought and many died or were badly wounded. Women also were involved in the war effort, making bandages, clothing, and food for the soldiers. Many took over farm work when their husbands went off to fight.

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Iowa Past to Present Chapter Listing

This online teachers guide was developed as a companion to the textbook Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie (Revised 3rd Ed.); written by Dorothy Schwieder, Thomas Morain, and Lynn Nielsen; published by University of Iowa Press. Select a chapter from the list below to find related content and classroom resources.



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