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Advanced Placement United States History
First Semester Essay Questions
Revolution → Civil War
1) Analyze the degree to which the Articles of Confederation provided an effective form of government with respect to any two
of the following:
a. foreign relations,
b. economic conditions,
c. western lands
2) Analyze how the ideas and experiences of the revolutionary era influenced the principles embodied in the Articles of
3) To what extent was the United States Constitution a radical departure from the Articles of Confederation?
4) To what extent was the election of 1800 aptly named the “Revolution of 1800”? Respond with reference to TWO of the
following areas:
a. Economics
b. Foreign Policy
c. Judiciary
d. Politics
5) Both the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800 and the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828 have been characterized as
“revolutions.” (i.e. the Revolution of 1800 and the Revolution of 1828) To what extent are these characterizations accurate?
Respond with reference to the following areas:
a. Politics
b. Economics
6) 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 the
a. Whiskey Rebellion (1794)
b. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1789-1799)
c. Hartford Convention (1814-18150
d. Nullification Crisis (1832-1833)
7) “American reform movements between 1820 and 1860 reflected both optimistic and pessimistic views of human nature and
society.” Assess the validity of this statement in reference to reform movements in the following areas:
a. education,
b. temperance,
c. women’s rights,
d. utopian experiments,
e. penal institutions.
8) 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 the following in your response:
a. economic development,
b. politics,
c. reform movements
9) In what ways did developments in transportation bring economic and social change in the United States in the period 1820 to
10) Analyze the impact of the market revolution (1815-1860) on the economies of the following regions.
a. The Northeast
b. The Midwest
c. The South
11) Analyze the political, economic, and religious tensions between immigrant Roman Catholics and native-born Protestants in
the United States from the 1830s through the 1850s.
12) How did two of the following contribute to the reemergence of a two party system in the period 1820 to 1840?
a. major political personalities
b. states rights
c. economic issues
13) Analyze the social, political, and economic forces of the 1840s and early 1850s that led to the emergence of the Republican
14) Assess the moral arguments and political action of those opposed to the spread of slavery in the context of two of the
a. Missouri Compromise,
b. Mexican War,
c. Compromise of 1850,
d. Kansas-Nebraska Act
15) Analyze the effectiveness of political compromise in reducing sectional tensions in the period 1820 to 1861.
16) Analyze the ways in which controversy over the extension of slavery into western territories contributed to the coming of the
Civil War. Confine your answer to the period 1845-1861.
17) 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?
18) To what extent and in what ways did the roles of women change in American society between 1790 and 1860? Respond with
reference to TWO of the following areas:
a. Domestic
b. Economic
c. Political
d. Social