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Advanced Placement United States History
Recent Essay and DBQ Questions

Before 1750

DBQ: Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies. Why did this difference in development occur? Use the documents and your knowledge of the colonial period up to 1700 to develop your answer.

1. "Throughout the colonial period, economic concerns had more to do with the settling of British North America than did religious concerns." Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to economic and religious concerns.

2. 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: (1) legislative assemblies, (2) commerce, (3) religion.

3. Analyze the extent to which religious freedom existed in the British North American colonies prior to 1700.

4. Analyze the cultural and economic responses of TWO of the following groups to the Indians of North America before 1750: (1) British, (2) French, (3) Spanish.

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. Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society (to 1740) in TWO of the following regions: (1) New England, (2) Chesapeake, and (3) Middle Atlantic.

7. Compare and contrast the ways in which economic development affected politics in Massachusetts and Virginia in the period from 1607 to 1750.

8. Analyze the differences between the Spanish settlements in the Southwest and the English colonies in New England in the seventeenth century in terms of TWO of the following: (1) politics, (2) religion, and (3) economic development.

1750-1800

DBQ: To what extent had the colonists developed a sense of their identity and unity as Americans by the eve of the Revolution? Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1750 to 1776 to answer the question.

DBQ: In what ways did the French and Indian War (1754-63) alter the political, economic, and ideological relations between Britain and its American colonies? Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1740-1766 in constructing your response.

DBQ: 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.

DBQ: The debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 revealed bitter controversies on a number of issues. Use the documents and your knowledge of the early national period to discuss the issues involved and explain why these controversies developed.

DBQ: Discuss the changing ideals of American womanhood between the American Revolution (1770s) 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 class and race. Use the documents and your knowledge of the time period in constructing your response.

1. "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 the statement.

2. Evaluate the relative importance of the following as factors prompting Americans to rebel in 1776: (1) parliamentary taxation, (2) restriction of civil liberties, (3) British military measures, (4) the legacy of colonial religious and political ideas.

3. Evaluate the relative importance of domestic and foreign affairs in shaping American politics in the 1790s.

4. Analyze the ways in which TWO of the following influenced the development of American society: (1) Puritanism during the seventeenth century, (2) the Great Awakening during the eighteenth century, (3) the Second Great Awakening during the nineteenth century.

5. Analyze the degree to which the Articles of Confederation provided an effective form of government with respect to TWO of the following: (1) foreign relations, (2) economic conditions, (3) western lands.

6. Analyze the extent to which the American Revolution represented a radical alteration in American political ideas and institutions. Confine your answer to the period between 1775 and 1800.

7. Analyze the contributions of TWO of the following in helping establish a stable government after the adoption of the Constitution: (1) John Adams, (2) Thomas Jefferson, and (3) George Washington.

8. Evaluate the extent to which the Articles of Confederation were effective in solving the problems that confronted the new nation.

9. Assess the impace of the American Revolution on both slavery and the status of women in the period from 1775-1800.

1800-1850

DBQ: “The decision of the Jackson administration to remove the Cherokee Indians to lands west of the Mississippi River in the 1830s was more a reformulation of the national policy that had been in effect since the 1790s than a change in that policy.” Assess the validity of this generalization with reference to the moral, political, constitutional, and practical concerns that shaped national Indian policy between 1789 and the mid-1830s.

DBQ: Jacksonian Democrats viewed themselves as the guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. In light of the following documents and your knowledge of the 1820s and 1830s, to what extent do you agree with Jacksonians' view of themselves?

DBQ: "Reform movements in the United States sought to expand democratic ideals." Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to the years 1825-1850. Use the following documents and your knowledge of the period from 1825-1850 in constructing your response.

DBQ: Discuss the changing ideals of American womanhood between the American Revolution (1770s) 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 class and race. Use the documents and your knowledge of the time period in constructing your response.

1. "Although Americans perceived Manifest Destiny as a benevolent movement, it was in fact an example of aggressive imperialism pursued at the expense of others." Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to American expansionism in the 1840s.

2. In what ways did the early nineteenth-century reform movements for abolition and women's rights illustrate both the strengths and the weaknesses of democracy in the early American republic?

3. Analyze the ways in which supporters of slavery in the nineteenth century used legal, religious, and economic arguments to defend the institution of slavery.

4. Analyze the extent to which TWO of the following influenced the development of democracy between 1820 and 1840: (1) Jacksonian economic policy, (2) changes in electoral politics, (3) the Second Great Awakening, and (4) westward movement.

5. Discuss the impact of territorial expansion on national unity between 1800 and 1850.

6. How did TWO of the following contribute to the reemergence of a two party system in the period between 1820 and 1840?: (1) major political personalities, (2) states' rights, and (3) economic issues.

7. Assess the moral arguments and political actions of those opposed to the spread of slavery in the context of TWO of the following: (1) Missouri Compromise, (2) Mexican War, (3), Compromise of 1850 and (4) Kansas-Nebraska Act.

8. "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 the statement.

9. With respect to the federal Constitution, the Jefferson Republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists. To what extent was this characterization of the two parties accurate during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison?

10. The Jacksonian Period (1824-1848) has been celebrated as the era of the "common man." To what extent did the period live up to its characterization? Consider TWO of the following in your response: (1) economic development, (2) politics, and (3) reform movements.

11. In what ways did developments in transportation bring about economic and social change in the United States in the period 1820 to 1860?

12. Analyze the effectiveness of political compromise in reducing sectional tensions in the period 1820-1861.

13. To what extend 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?

1850-1900

DBQ: In what ways and to what extent did constitutional and social developments between 1860 and 1877 amount to a revolution? Use the documents and your knowledge of the period from 1860 to 1877 to answer the question.

DBQ: How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the factors that contributed to the level of success achieved. Use the documents and your knowledge of the period from 1875 to 1900 to construct your response.

DBQ: To what extent did the natural environment shape the development of the West beyond the Mississippi and the lives of those who lived and settled there? How important were other factors? Use BOTH evidence from the documents AND your knowledge of the period for the 1840s through the 1890s to compose your answer.

1. "The reorganization and consolidation of 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.

2. Compare the debates that took place over American expansionism in the 1840s with those that took place in the 1890s, analyzing the similarities and differences in the debates of the two eras.

3. Discuss the political, economic, and social reforms introduced in the South between 1864 and 1877. To what extent did these reforms survive the Compromise of 1877?

4. Compare the expansionist foreign policies of Thomas Jefferson and James K. Polk. To what extent did their policies strengthen the United States?

5. Compare and contrast the attitudes of THREE of the following toward the wealth that was created in the United States during the late nineteenth century: (1) Andrew Carnegie, (2) Eugene V. Debs, (3) Horatio Alger, (4) Booker T. Washington, and (5) Ida M. Tarbell.

6. Analyze the reasons for the emergence of the Populist movement in the late nineteenth century.

7. Analyze the economic consequences of the Civil War with respect to any TWO of the following in the United States between 1865 and 1880: (1) agriculture, (2) labor, (3) industrialization, (4) transportation.

8. Analyze the impact of any TWO of the following on the American industrial worker between 1865 and 1900: (1) government actions, (2) immigration, (3) labor unions, (4) technological changes.

9. How were the lives of the Plains Indians in the second half of the nineteenth century affected by technological developments and government actions?

10. "From the 1840s through the 1890s, 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.

11. "Although 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.

12. Assess the moral arguments and political actions of those opposed to the spread of slavery in the context of TWO of the following: (1) Missouri Compromise, (2) Mexican War, (3) Compromise of 1850, and (4) Kansas-Nebraska Act.

13. How and why did transportation developments spark economic growth during the period from 1860 to 1900 in the United States?

14. Evaluate the impact of the Civil War on political and economic developments in TWO of the following regions: (1) the South, (2) the North, and (3) the West.

15. Describe the patterns of immigration in TWO of the periods listed below. Compare and contrast tyhe responses of Americans to immigrants in these periods: (1) 1820 to 1860, (2) 1880 to 1924, and (3) 1965 to 2000.

16. Explain why and how the role of the federal government changed as a result of the Civil War with respect to TWO of the following during tyhe period 1861-1877: (1) race relations, (2) economic development, and (3) westward expansion.

1900-1950

DBQ: "It was the strength of opposition forces, rather than the ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson that led to the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles." Using the documents and your knowledge of the period from 1917 to 1921, assess the validity of this statement.

DBQ: To what extent was late nineteenth century and early twentieth century United States expansionism a continuation of the past United States expansionism and to what extent was it a departure? Use the documents and your knowledge of United States history to 1914 to construct your answer.

DBQ: To what extent did economic and political developments as well as assumptions about the nature of women affect the position of American women during the period 1890-1925? Use the documents and your knowledge of history of the years 1890-1925 to construct your response.

DBQ: Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois offered different strategies for dealing with the problems of poverty and discrimination faced by black Americans at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Using the documents and your knowledge of the period 1877-1915, assess the appropriateness of each of these strategies in the historical context in which each was developed.

DBQ: Relying on a critical evaluation of the accompanying documents, analyze the factors that probably influenced Congress to pass the Immigration Act of 1924.

DBQ: President Franklin D. Roosevelt is commonly thought of as a liberal and President Herbert C. Hoover as a conservative. Using the documents and your knowledge of the period 1925-1945, assess the extent to which these characterizations are valid.

DBQ: Analyze the responses of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration to the problems of the Great Depression. How effective were these responses? How did they change the role of the federal government? Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1929-1941 to construct your essay.

1. "Although American writers of the 1920s and 1930s criticized American society, the nature of their criticisms differed markedly in the two decades." Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to writers in both decades.

2. "Although the 1960s are usually considered the decade of greatest achievement for black civil rights, the 1940s and 1950s were periods of equally important gains." Assess the validity of this statement.

3. Analyze the ways in which state and federal legislation and judicial decisions, including those of the Supreme Court, affected the efforts of any TWO of the following groups to improve their position in society between 1880 and 1920: (1) African Americans, (2) Farmers, (3) Workers

4. Identify THREE of the following New Deal measures, and analyze the ways in which each of the three attempted to fashion a more stable economy and a more equitable society: (1) Agricultural Adjustment Act, (2) Securities and Exchange Commission, (3) Wagner Labor Relations Act, and (4) Social Security Act.

5. Describe THREE of the following and analyze the ways in which each of the three has affected the status of women in American society since 1940: (1) changing economic conditions, (2) the rebirth of an organized women's movement, (3) advances in reproductive technology, and (4) the persistence of traditional definitions of women's roles.

6. Analyze the ways in which the Great Depression altered the American social fabric in the 1930s.

7. Analyze the influence of TWO of the following on American-Soviet relations in the decade following the Second World War: (1) Yalta Conference, (2) Communist revolution in China, (3) Korean War, and (4) McCarthyism.

8. To what extent and why did the United States adopt an isolationist policy in the 1920s and 1930s?

9. In what ways did economic conditions and developments in the arts and entertainment help created the reputation of the 1920s as the Roaring Twenties?

10. Assess the relative influence of THREE of the following in the American decision to declare war on Germany in 1917: (1) German naval policy, (2) American economic interests, (3) Woodrow Wilson's idealism, (4) Allied propaganda, and (5) America's claim to world power.

11. To what extent did the United States achieve the objectives that led it to enter the First World War?

12. Describe and account for the rise of nativism in American society from 1900 to 1930.

13. 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.

14. Compare and contrast United States society in the 1920s and the 1950s with respect to TWO of the following: (1) race relations, (2) role of women, and (3) consumerism.

15. Compare and contrast the programs and policies designed by reformers of the Progressive era to those designed by reformers of the New Deal period. Confine your answer to programs and policies that addressed the needs of those living in poverty.

16. Historians have argued that Progressive reform lost momentum in the 1920s. Evaluate this statement with respect to TWO of the following: (1) regulation of business, (2) labor, and (3) immigrants.

1950 and Beyond

DBQ: Analyze the changes that occurred during the 1960s in the goals, strategies, and support of the movement for African American civil rights. Use the documents and your knowledge of the history of the 1960s to construct your response.

DBQ: What were the Cold War fears of the American people in the aftermath of the Second World war? How successfully did the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower address these fears? Use the documents and your knowledge of the years between 1948 and 1961 to construct your response.

1. "Foreign affairs rather than domestic issues shaped presidential politics in the election year 1968." Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to foreign and domestic issues.

2. In what ways did the Great Society resemble the New Deal in its origins, goals, and social and political legacy? Cite specific programs and policies in support of your argument.

3. In 1945, Winston Churchill said that the United States stood at the summit of the world. Discuss the developments in the thirty years following Churchill's speech which called the global preeminence of the United States into question.

4. To what extent did the decade of the 1950s deserve its reputation as an age of political, social, and cultural conformity?

5. How do you account for the appeal of McCarthyism in the United States in the era following the Second World War?

6. "1968 was a turning point for the United States." To what extent is this an accurate statement? In your answer, discuss TWO of the following: (1) national politics, (2) Vietnam War, (3) civil rights.

7. Assess the success of the United States' policy of containment in Asia between 1945 and 1975.

8. Discuss, with respect to TWO of the following, the view that the 1960s represented a period of profound cultural change: (1) education, (2) gender roles, (3) music, and (4) race relations.

9. How did the African American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s address the failures of Reconstruction?

10. Analyze the sucesses and failures of the United States Cold War policy of containment as it developed in TWO of the following regions of the world during the period 1945-1975: (1) East and Southeast Asia, (2) Europe, (3) Latin America, and (4) Middle East.

11. Analyze the extent to which TWO of the following transformed American society in the 1960s and 1970s: (1) the Civil Rights Movement, (2) the anti-war movement, and (3) the women's movement.

12. While the United States appeared to be dominated by consensus and conformity in the 1950s, some Americans reacted against the status quo. Analyze the critizues of United States society made by TWO of the following: (1) youth, (2) civil rights activists, and (3) intellectuals.

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