Like Connections to the Philippine-American War, this assessment gauges students' knowledge of the past. Rather than measure whether students can simply recall decontextualized facts, this assessment requires students to make connections across time and construct an argument about how events are connected. Students with a strong sense of the past will be able to explain that Abraham Lincoln's election contributed to the formation of the Confederacy because of his opposition to slavery in the territories. Strong students will also explain that the rising price of cotton on the international market due to textile mills in England made slavery even more indispensable to the South. Both of these connections point ultimately to the start of the Civil War.