11th Grade Emancipation Inquiry

Does It Matter Who Freed the Slaves?
Download Entire Inquiry Here

Staging the Question
Read and discuss excerpts from the Washington Post article “On Emancipation Day in D.C., Two Memorials Tell Very Different Stories” and view images of the Emancipation Memorial and the African American Civil War Memorial.
Supporting Question 1- What legal steps were taken to end slaver?
Supporting Question 2- What arguements do historians make about who ended slavery?
Supporting Question 3- What are the implications of the debate over who ended slavery?
  • Source A: James McPherson, essay that examines the agency of slaves to free themselves, “Who Freed the Slaves?” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (excerpt and complete article), 1995
  • Source B: Ira Berlin, essay that critically examines the Emancipation Proclamation, “Who Freed the Slaves? Emancipation and Its Meaning in American Life” (excerpt and complete article), Quaderno V, 1993
New York State Social Studies Framework Key Idea & Practices 11.3 EXPANSION, NATIONALISM, AND SECTIONALISM (1800–1865): As the nation expanded, growing sectional tensions, especially over slavery, resulted in political and constitutional crises that culminated in the Civil War.
 Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence       Chronological Reasoning and Causation
 Comparison and Contextualization