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Search > Learning Exercise Results > The Amistad Trials

Learning Exercise: The Amistad Trials

The Amistad Trials
The trials of the Africans on board the Amistad shaped national opinion about slavery and had increasing impact on polarizing the nation.
Course: United States History


Submitted by:
William Paquette
Date Last Modified:
August 03, 2009


Instructions: CLICK "go to material." SCROLL to the bottom of the page. CLICK "Famous Trials." CLICK "Amistad Trials." READ "The Trial Account" by Douglas Linder. Answer the following questions: 1. Describe the background of the travels of the ship Amistad from contemporary newspaper accounts, 2. Who were the key figures in the trial and explain the connection of each one to the Amistad?, 3. How many people were actually involved in the trial?, 4. Summarize the trial testimony for and against the accussed, 5. Summarize the Supreme Court's opinion on Janury 1841 regarding the Amistad, 6. What role did the Lewis Tappan letter play in the trial?, 7. Was the trial fair?, 8. What was the verdict?, 9. How did the verdict affect the Africans on trial?, 10. How did the trial affect the slavery question in the United States?



  • College General Ed
  • College Lower Division
  • High School


Slavery; Amistad; John Quincy Adams.



Learning Objectives

To present the legal arguments about slavery in the context of the illegal shipment of Africans to the United States.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Supplemental Activity
  • Unsupervised



Technical Notes