USHAP Essay Questions

I. When Worlds Collide (1492-1753) 1. “Geography was the primary factor in shaping the development of the British colonies in North America.” Assess the validity of this statement for the 1600’s. 2. Early encounters between American Indians and European colonists shaped those relationships among the different cultures. Analyze how the actions taken by BOTH American Indians and European colonists shaped those relationships in TWO of the following regions. Confine your answer to the 1600s. New England Chesapeake Spanish Southwest New York and New France 3. “Throughout the colonial period, economic concerns had more to do with the settling of British North America than did religious concerns.” Evaluate the validity of this statement with specific reference to religious and economic concerns.

4. Compare and contrast the ways in which economic development affected politics in Massachusetts and Virginia in the period from 1607 to 1750. 5. How did economic, geographic, and social factors encourage the growth of slavery as an important part of the economy of the southern colonies between 1607 and 1775?

6. “In the 1600’s the major issues of U.S. colonial history revolved around theological issues. In the 1700’s, the major issues revolved around political issues.” Assess the validity of this statement. 7. Compare the ways in which ____ of the following reflected tensions in colonial society: Bacon’s Rebellion (1676) Pueblo Revolt (1680) Salem Witchcraft trials (1692) Stono Rebellion (1739) 8. For the period before 1750, analyze the ways in which Britain’s policy of salutary neglect influenced the development of American society as illustrated in the following: Legislative assemblies Commerce Religion II. Revolution (1754-1787) 1. The French and Indian War (1754-1763) altered the relationship between Britain and its North American Colonies. Assess this change with regard to TWO of the following in the period between 1763 and 1775 Land Acquisition Politics Economics 2. “Although the thirteen American colonies were founded at different times by people with different motives and with different forms of colonial charters and political organization, by the time of the Revolution the thirteen colonies had become remarkably similar.” Assess the validity of this statement.


3. Evaluate the relative importance of any ____ of the following as factors prompting Americans to rebel 1776: Parliamentary taxation Restriction of civil liberties British military measures Legacy of colonial religious and political ideas 4. “The American Revolution was about white Americans fighting against British imperial control in the East, and for their own imperialism in the West.” Assess the validity of this statement. 5. “The Articles of Confederation was the strongest form of government that the American people would tolerate at the time of revolution.” Assess the validity of this statement.

III. Counterrevolution? (1787-1803) 1. To what extent did the American Revolution fundamentally change American society? In your answer, be sure to address the political, social, and economic effects of the Revolution in the period from 1775 to 1800. 2. To what extent was the United States Constitution a departure from the Articles of Confederation? 3. “The Bill of Rights did not come from a desire to protect the liberties won in the American Revolution, but rather from a fear of the powers of the new federal government.” Assess the validity of this statement. 4. “The Declaration of Independence issued a call for a democratic government of equal citizens that was rejected by the writers of the Constitution, who created an aristocratic government that benefited only the wealthy few.” Assess the validity of this statement. 5. Why have some historians labeled the period 1783-1789 the “Critical Period?” 6. Evaluate the relative importance of domestic and foreign affairs in shaping American politics in the 1790’s. Account for the development of nascent political parties in Washington’s administrations, and show the alignments that flowed from this factionalization. 7. “Indeed what was most significant about the election of 1800 was that it was NOT a revolution.” Assess this evaluation.

IV. Genocide, Slavery, and Capitalist Democracy (1803-1848) 1. Many historians label the War of 1812 as the Second War of Independence. Assess the validity of this characterization. 2. What were the social, economic, and political results of the War of 1812, and how did the war reveal sectionalism? 3. “The achievements of diplomats are in the long run more significant than the achievements of generals.” Assess the validity of this statement with reference to the period 1785-1825.


4. “John Marshall was second only to Alexander Hamilton in creating a strong, centralized federal government.” Assess the validity of this statement with specific references to ____major Supreme Court decisions during Marshall’s tenure (1801-1835) as Chief Justice. 5. “The United States displayed all the typical characteristics of a new nation during the early republic, 1789-1823.” Assess the validity of this view. 6. How did ____of the following contribute to the reemergence of a two party system in the period 1820 to 1840? Major political personalities State’s rights Economics issues 7. Compare and contrast Jacksonian Democracy with Jeffersonian Democracy. 8. Although the power of the national government increased during the early republic, this development often faced serious opposition. Compare the motives and effectiveness of those opposed to the growing power of the national government in _______ of the following. Whiskey Rebellion, 1794 Virginia and Kentucky Resolution, 1798-1799 Hartford Convention, 1814-1815 Nullification Crisis, 1832-1833 9. In what respects did each of the following represent in their expressed opinions and actions the viewpoint of the section of the nation from which he came? Calhoun-The South Clay-the West Webster-New England 10. Analyze the extent to which _____ of the following influenced the development of democracy between 1820 and 1840: Changes in electoral politics Westward movement Jacksonian economic policy Second Great Awakening 11. “Although historically represented as distinct parties, the Federalists and the Whigs in fact shared a common political ideology, represented many of the same interest groups, and proposed similar programs and policies.” Assess the validity of this statement. 12. Compare the expansionist foreign policies of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Polk. To what extent did their policies strengthen the United States? 13. In what way did the early nineteenth century reform movements for abolition and women’s rights illustrate both the strengths and weaknesses of democracy in the early republic? 14. “Although Americans perceived Manifest Destiny as a benevolent movement, it was in fact an aggressive imperialism pursued at the expense of others.” Assess the validity of this statement. 15. “In the first half of the nineteenth century, the American cultural and intellectual community contributed to the development of a distinctive American national consciousness.” Assess the validity of this statement. 16. Discuss the impact of territorial expansion on national unity between 1800 and 1850.


V. Industrialism Triumphant (1840’s – 1877) 1. Analyze the impact of the market revolution (1815-1860) on the economies of TWO of the following regions. The Northeast The Midwest The South 2. “American reform movements between 1820 and 1860 reflected both optimistic and pessimistic views on human nature and society.” Assess the validity of this statement in reference to reform movements in THREE of the following areas: Education Temperance Women’s Rights Utopian Experiments Penal Institutions

3. In what ways did slavery profoundly shape the antebellum South? Make specific reference to political, economic and intellectual life for the period 1820 – 1860. 4. In what ways and to what extent was industrial development from 1800 to 1860 a factor in the relationship between the northern and southern states? 5. To what extent did the debates about the Mexican War and its aftermath reflect the sectional interests of New Englanders, westerners, and southerners in the period from 1845 to 1855? 6. Compare the experiences of TWO of the following groups of immigrants during the period 1830 to 1860: English Irish German 7. “Leaders during the 1780’s appeared to dominate events, while events seemed to dominate leaders in the period of the 1850’s.” Assess the validity of this statement. 8. In what ways are the issues that led to the Civil War similar to those that led to the American War for Independence? 9. In the early nineteenth century, Americans sought to resolve their political disputes through compromise, yet by 1860 this no longer seemed possible. Analyze the reasons for this change. 10. Discuss the changing ideals of American womanhood between the American Revolution (1770’s) and the outbreak of the Civil War. What factors fostered the emergence of “republican motherhood” and the “cult of domesticity”? Assess the extent to which these ideals influenced the lives of women during this period. In your answer be sure to consider issues of race and class. 11. What causes of the Civil War were resolved by the Civil War and Reconstruction? 12. Explain why and how the role of the federal government changed as a result of the Civil War with respect to ____ of the following during the period 1861-1877: Race relations Economic development Westward expansion


VI. The Corporatization of America (1870’s-1900) 1. In what way did ______of the following affect the development of the West? Introduction of barbed wire End of the Indian wars Building of the railroads Introduction of McCormick reaper 2. For whom and to what extent was the American west a land of opportunity from 1865-1890? 3. Trace the development of Indian Removal policies and practices, from the end of the War for Independence to the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890. 4. “Although the economic development of the Trans-Mississippi West is popularly associated with hardy individualism, it was in fact largely dependent on the federal government.” Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to western economic activities in the nineteenth century. 5. Evaluate Frederick Jackson Turner’s basic thesis about the beneficial influence of the American frontier, particularly its democratizing influence, with specific reference to the treatment of Native Americans, methods of land distribution, and the influence of railroad monopolies. 6. “The reorganization and consolidation of the business structures was more responsible for late nineteenth century American industrialization than was the development of new technologies.” Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to business structures and technology between 1865 and 1900. 7. Analyze the impact of any _____of the following on the American industrial worker between 1865 and 1900: Government actions Immigration Labor unions Technological changes 8. Compare and contrast the attitudes of ______of the following toward the wealth that was created in the United States during the late nineteenth century: Andrew Carnegie Eugene V. Debs Horatio Alger Ida M. Tarbell Booker T. Washington Upton Sinclair 9. “Both the Jacksonian Democrats between 1828 and 1836 and the Populists between 1890 and 1896, desired to eliminate special privilege in American society. The Jacksonian Democrats succeeded; the Populists failed.” Assess the validity of this statement. 10. Following Reconstruction, many southern leaders promoted the idea of a “New South.” To what extent was this “New South” a reality by the time of the First World War? In your answer be sure to address TWO of the following. Economic developments Politics Race relations 11. Compare the debates that took place over American expansion in the 1840’s with those that took place in the 1890’s analyzing the similarities and differences in the debates of the two eras.


VII. The Progressive Response (1900-1920) 1. “1870-1915 reflected American’s uneasiness over the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society.” Assess the validity of this statement. 2. To what extent did the role of the federal government change under President Theodore Roosevelt in regard to TWO of the following: Labor Trusts Conservation World Affairs 3. “In understanding the nature of a reform movement it is as important to know what it seeks to preserve as to know what it seeks to change.” Compare the Populist and Progressive Reform movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in light of this statement. 4. “The Progressive movement solved the problems that rose from industrialization.” Discuss this statement. 5. “In American politics the most significant battles have occurred within the major parties rather then between them.” Discuss this statement with reference to the periods 1850-1861 and 1900-1912.

6. Analyze the relative influence of _______ of the following in the American declaration of war on Germany in 1917. German Naval policy American economic interests Wilson’s idealism Allied propaganda America’s claim to world power 7. “War has united Americans more closely than any other activity.” Discuss this statement and test its validity by references to American history during the years 1812-1824 and 1912-1924. 8. “Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson differed greatly, but both were effective presidents.” Assess the validity of this statement by comparing Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson as presidents.

9. Analyze the ways in which state and federal legislation and judicial decisions, including those of the Supreme Court, affected the efforts of any _______ of the following groups to improve their position in society between 1880 and 1920. African Americans Farmers Workers 10. Distinguish between the membership, tactics, and vision of the Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor, and the Industrial Workers of the World. VIII. Capitalism in Crisis (1920-1945) 1. How did TWO of the following help shape American national culture in the 1920’s? Advertising Entertainment Mass Production 2. From the 1840’s through 1920’s, women’s activities in the intellectual, social, economic and political spheres effectively challenged traditional attitudes about women’s place in society.” Assess the validity of this statement. 6

3. Describe and account for the rise of nativism in American society from 1830 to 1930. 4. Analyze the ways in which the Great Depression altered the American social fabric in the 1930’s. 5. “Although American writers of the 1920’s and 1930’s criticized American society, the nature of their criticism differed markedly in the two decades.” Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to writers in both decades. 6. “The proposals of the Populists as to how to handle the economic conditions of the early 1890’s were not enacted but these proposals provided the framework for the New Deal’s response to the economic conditions of the early 1930’s.” Analyze the validity of this generalization. 7. “Despite superficial similarities, the domestic programs of the New Deal constituted a fundamental departure from those of the Progressive Era.” Assess the validity of this statement. 8. “Republicans have been the party of Big Business and depression; the Democrats have been the party of the Common Man and of war.” State whether you agree or disagree with this statement and defend your position with reference to two of the following events: Panic of 1893 and Spanish American War Panic of 1907 and World War I Great Depression and World War II

9. Prior to American involvement in both World Wars, the United States went through an official policy of neutrality. Compare the policy and its modifications during the period 1914-1917 to the policy and its modifications during the period 1939-1941. 10. During the past four decades, historians have consistently rated Washington, Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt as the greatest presidents. Attempt an explanation as to why historians choose these presidents, and make clear what you think is the criteria on which historians base their judgment. IX. Permanent War (1945-1965) 1. Presidential elections between 1928 and 1948 revealed major shifts in political party loyalties. Analyze both the reasons for these changes and their consequences during this period. 2. Describe the factors that made possible, and the policies that were implemented to ensure, U.S. global economic hegemony in the post-World War II period. 3. Analyze developments from 1941 to 1949 that increased suspicion and tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. 4. Compare and contrast United States foreign policy after the First World War and after the Second World War. Consider the periods 1919-1928 and 1945-1950. 5. The size, character and effectiveness of the organized labor movement changed significantly during the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century. Apply this statement to _____ of the following periods: 1879-1915 1915-1935 1935-1950


6. While the United States appeared to be dominated by consensus and conformity in the 1950’s, some Americans reacted against the status quo. Analyze the critiques of United States society made by ____ of the following. Youth Civil Rights Activists Intellectuals 7. Why did periods of domestic political repression follow in the wake of both the First and Second World Wars? 8. Identify and analyze the issues separating the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War as illustrated by ______of the following: NATO and Warsaw Pact Korean War Berlin Wall Nuclear arms race 9. Analyze the ways in which ______of the following contributed to the changes in women’s lives in the United States in the mid-twentieth century. Wars Literature and/or popular culture Medical and/or technological advances X. Democratic Dissent (1954-1979) 1. How did the African American Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s address the failures of the Reconstruction? 2. Compare and contrast United States society in the 1920’s and the 1950’s with respect to _____ of the following: race relations role of women consumerism 3. Compare and contrast the issues which led to reform and the reforms which were introduced in two of the following periods: The Jacksonian Era The New Deal Period The Kennedy/Johnson years 4. “Americans have learned that, when the nation is divided in its support of military activity, the social fabric of a democratic society is weakened, which results in moral and ethical decline.” Assess the validity of this quotation by using information from _____ of the following: Mexican War Civil War World War I Vietnam War

5. “From 1964 to 1972, the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the history of the world made a maximum military effort, with everything short of atomic bombs, to defeat a nationalist revolutionary movement in a tiny, peasant country- and failed.” Compare this assessment of the Vietnam War with the history of the War in the Philippines from 1899-1902. 6. Discuss, with respect to _____ of the following, the view that the 1960’s represented a period of profound cultural change: Education Gender Roles Music Race relations 7. “American history reveals that government by the majority can be divisive and that the views of the minority must be considered in executing policy.” Assess the validity of this statement for the periods 1793-1812 and 1953-1974.


8. Describe and account for changes in the American presidency between 1960 and 1975, as symbolized by Kennedy’s “Camelot”, Johnson’s “Great Society”, and Nixon’s “Watergate”. In your answer, address the powers of the presidency and the role of the media. 9. Analyze the successes and failures of the United States Cold War policy of containment as it developed in _____ of the following regions of the world during the period 1945 to 1975. East and Southeast Asia Europe Latin America Middle East 10. Analyze the extent to which _____ of the following transformed American society in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Civil Rights movement The antiwar movement The women’s movement XI. The Conservative Restoration (1979-Present) 1. In what ways was the change in the political control of the federal government a result of economic issues in _____ of the following presidential elections: McKinley’s defeat of Bryan in 1896 Wilson’s defeat of Taft in 1912 Roosevelt’s defeat of Hoover in 1932 Reagan’s defeat of Carter in 1980 2. Trace the development of the United States taking over from Britain the role of Western superpower in Middle Eastern politics, making specific reference to U.S. relations with Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia since World War II. 3. “Landslide presidential victories do not ensure continued political effectiveness or legislative success.” Assess the validity of this statement by comparing TWO of the following presidential administrations. Franklin Roosevelt (1936) Lyndon Johnson (1964) Richard Nixon (1972) Ronald Reagan (1984) 4. “Although it has been argued that the United States fought the Gulf War of 1991 to ensure its domination of Middle Eastern politics, and therefore its oil reserves, in fact the war was really fought to uphold international law.” Assess the validity of this statement. Describe ______ of the following and analyze the ways in which each of the three affected the status of women in American society since 1940: Changing economic conditions The persistence of traditional definitions of women’s role. Advances in reproductive technology The rebirth of the organized women’s movement


6. “Shifts in party control of the presidency during the twentieth century have generally NOT brought about shifts in domestic policy.” Assess the validity of this generalization. 7. “Social dislocations resulting from wartime conditions frequently bring lasting change within a society.” Evaluation the relevance of this generalization of American society in the twentieth century in view of the experiences of African Americans and women. 8. Describe the patterns of immigration in _____ of the periods listed below. Compare and contrast the responses of Americans to immigrants in these periods. 1820 to 1860 1880 to 1924 1965 to 2000 9

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