Florida Social Studies Textbook From 1986 on The Causes of the Civil War

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Joshism

Sergeant Major
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Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
I came across a 1986 Florida grade school social studies textbook and thought it would be interesting to see how they presented the causes of the war. Also, a small glimpse into how school textbooks are made.

The book is simply titled Florida and is part of the HBJ Social Studies series, named after the publishing company: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

The credits page lists three "Content Specialists", all three with PhDs:
G. R. Jimenez, Hillsborough County (Tampa) Social Studies Supervisor
Richard Matthews, Hillsborough Community College (Tampa)
Gary Mormino, Tampa, Florida Historical Society

Oddly, Mormino is not credited as being affiliated with the University of South Florida, where he still teaches today, having been there since 1977. Two decades after this book, Mormino published Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida (University Press of Florida, 2005). I'm not familiar with him, but @Pat Young might be as I see he's written several books on immigrants.

The book also lists 7 "Classroom Consultants", all of them from Florida elementary schools (including one magnet school), presumably all teachers. Three are at schools in SE Florida, two in central Florida, one in NE Florida, and one in Tallahassee (state capital in the panhandle).

Interestingly, all 3 Content Specialists are men and all 7 Classroom Consultants are apparently women.

I will quote from the book in my next post.
 

Pat Young

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Long Island, NY
I came across a 1986 Florida grade school social studies textbook and thought it would be interesting to see how they presented the causes of the war. Also, a small glimpse into how school textbooks are made.

The book is simply titled Florida and is part of the HBJ Social Studies series, named after the publishing company: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

The credits page lists three "Content Specialists", all three with PhDs:
G. R. Jimenez, Hillsborough County (Tampa) Social Studies Supervisor
Richard Matthews, Hillsborough Community College (Tampa)
Gary Mormino, Tampa, Florida Historical Society

Oddly, Mormino is not credited as being affiliated with the University of South Florida, where he still teaches today, having been there since 1977. Two decades after this book, Mormino published Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida (University Press of Florida, 2005). I'm not familiar with him, but @Pat Young might be as I see he's written several books on immigrants.

The book also lists 7 "Classroom Consultants", all of them from Florida elementary schools (including one magnet school), presumably all teachers. Three are at schools in SE Florida, two in central Florida, one in NE Florida, and one in Tallahassee (state capital in the panhandle).

Interestingly, all 3 Content Specialists are men and all 7 Classroom Consultants are apparently women.

I will quote from the book in my next post.
No, sorry I am not familiar with him.
 

Joshism

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Page 75-76 (the following excerpt is transcribed in its entirety - nothing left out, and hopefully I've avoided any typos):

North and South Disagree

The North and South continued to disagree over slavery. Bad feelings grew stronger after Harriet Beech Stowe, an author from Maine, wrote a book called Uncle Tom's Cabin. The cruel treatment of slaves described in the book stirred up many Northerners. More and more Northerners demanded that the slaves be freed. Some even helped slaves to escape.

In addition to slavery, the North and South disagreed about tariffs. Tariffs are taxes on goods that come into the country. The North general favored high tariffs. The use of high tariffs mean that European-made goods were more expensive than American-made goods. Factories in the North were helped by high tariffs.

Southern planters, including those in Florida, were against high tariffs. The planters shipped most of their crops to Europe. With the money they received, they bought clothing, furniture, and other goods from European factories. With high tariffs, planters had to pay more money for European goods.

For years lawmakers North and South had tried to settle their differences in Congress. By 1860, however, this was not working.

In 1860 an Illinois lawmaker named Abraham Lincoln ran for President. Lincoln was known for his sense of humor, his honesty, and his plain ways. What was most important to him though was preserving the Union - the United States.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President. Few Southerners voted for Lincoln because they distrusted him. They feared he would end slavery in the South.

After Lincoln's election, South Carolina chose to secede, or leave the Union.

(From there the book covers secession, the creation of the Confederacy, and Fort Sumter in four paragraphs - none of them I would consider remarkable or debatable. The conflict is refered to as the Civil War, with no synonyms given. Florida is stated as contributing 15,000 to the Confederate army with "a much smaller number" on the Union side.)
 
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huskerblitz

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You fail to mention what grade this text was intended for. That information would be useful in evaluating the material.
 

Joshism

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Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Some Observations:

1. Two causes of the war are given: slavery and tariffs. Tariffs gets two paragraphs to slavery's one (although slavery is mentioned a second time, with regard to Lincoln). Tariff is also one of the chapter's keywords (so it would probably be on a quiz).

2. The people upset about the tariffs are described as "planters". I wonder whether students would understand planters made up only a small portion of Southerners?

3. The term "Abolitionist" is not used.

4. States Rights are not mentioned.
 

Joshism

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Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
You fail to mention what grade this text was intended for. That information would be useful in evaluating the material.
The book only states that it's for elementary school (which in Florida is K-5). Currently, Florida history is covered in 4th Grade and to my recollection as a Florida grade school student not long after this book was published that was also true in the late 1980s.
 
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huskerblitz

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The book only states that it's for elementary school (which in Florida is K-5). Currently, Florida history is covered in 4th Grade and to my recollection as a Florida grade school student not long after this book was published that was also true in the late 1980s.
So, likely 5th grade US History where you're talking about an extremely brief survey look at the nation's history. And if I am not mistaken, Florida was one of the states that did cite tariffs as a cause when they left the Union. So it's no surprise it would be mentioned in a Florida school textbook.
 
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