Exam preparation materials


Following are four complete practice AP U.S. History exams. The best way to use the practice exams is to take them as simulations. This means having the right tools — two number 2 pencils and two good quality, medium-point pens. Time yourself with an alarm clock. Follow the hints for answering questions — that is, avoid wild guessing, mark questions you do skip so that you can go back to them, and mark up the questions to eliminate wrong answers. After you finish the multiple-choice section, take the required fifteen minutes to read over the DBQ and the standard essay questions if possible. Use the suggested writing times in Section II as a guide.

When you complete the entire exam, check your multiple-choice answers using the answer key and go over the explanations of all the answers, paying special attention to those you got wrong. This will help you determine if you have a weakness in a particular area of U.S. history or have trouble with a certain type of question. Compare your essays to the student DBQ and standard essays and go over the reader’s comments. Again, look for weaknesses. Are your essays organized as well as they could be? Did you provide enough factual information to support your thesis? If you have a study group, it will be particularly helpful for each member to take a simulation on the same day and then exchange essays for review and comment. Once you understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, you should try to answer the essays again using your textbook or other materials for support. Do the same with the essays in Parts B and C that you didn’t answer. Remember that the more experience you have in writing essays and revising what you write, the higher you’ll score on the exam itself.

Practice Test 1

Section I: Multiple-Choice Questions

Time: 55 Minutes 80 Questions

Directions: Select the best answer for the following questions or incomplete statements from the five choices provided. Indicate your answer by darkening the appropriate space on the answer sheet.

t. Which of the following was the most broadly based labor organization in the late nineteenth century?

A. American Federation of Labor

B. Knights of Labor

C. The Grange

D. Congress of Industrial Organizations

E. Industrial Workers of the World

2. The Seneca Falls “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” dealt with

A. the abolition of slavery

B. colonial opposition to British taxes

C. working conditions of children in factories

D. the concern of farmers over railroad rates

E. women’s rights

3. The principle of separate but equal facilities for blacks and whites was set down in

A. the Dred Scott decision

B. Bakke v. Board of Regents

C. Brown v. Board of Education

D. Plessy v. Ferguson

E. Roe v. Wade

4. All of the following statements about indentured servitude in colonial America are true EXCEPT:

A. Indentured servants were primarily young men.

B. Indentured servants provided most of the labor in tobacco cultivation in the seventeenth century.

C. Indentured servants could not be sold as property.

D. Indentured servants came primarily from the unemployed and lower classes.

E. Indentured servants were replaced by black slaves in the southern colonies by the early eighteenth century. 

5. Woodrow Wilson won the presidency in 1912 largely because

A. there was broad support for his New Freedom program

B. he promised to keep the United States out of a European war

C. he received the endorsement of the Socialist party

D. the Republican vote was split between William H. Taft and Theodore Roosevelt

E. the political bosses in the cities paid recent immigrants to vote twice

6. The mood of the “Beat Generation” is best reflected in which of the following?

A. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

B. J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye

C. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise

D. James Joyce’s Ulysses

E. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

7. The Virginia Resolves

A. declared Virginia’s secession from the Union

B. created the House of Burgesses

C. protested against the Stamp Act of 1765

D. put forward Virginia’s claim to western lands

E. stated the Loyalist position during the American Revolution

8. The fear of left-wing subversion during the 1920s was reflected in the

A. America First Committee

B. trial of Sacco and Vanzetti

C. Scopes trial

D. Palmer raids

E. Army-McCarthy hearings

9. The “Trail of Tears” refers to

A. the removal of the Cherokees and other Native American tribes to Oklahoma

B. the difficulties new immigrants faced in getting to the United States

C. the migration of freed slaves to the North after the Civil War

D. child labor in nineteenth-century factories

E. conditions on slave ships coming to the colonies in the seventeenth century

10. Middle-class concern for the conditions of the working class in a period of rapid industrialization and urbanization was shown in all of the following EXCEPT

A. Social Gospel

B. Salvation Army

C. settlement house movement

D. Social Darwinism

E. Young Men’s Christian Association

Questions 11-12 refer to the following table.

Unemployment in the United States, 1929-1941


Number Unemployed (in thousands)

Percentage of Labor Force Unemployed








































Source: U S. Bureau of the Census. Historical Statistics of the United States from Colonial Times to 1970.

11. According to the information in the above table, the worst year of the Depression was











12. The most likely explanation for the decline in unemployment between 1940 and 1941 is

A. the New Deal public works projects

B. that fewer people were looking for jobs

C. mobilization of industry for World War II

D. that more women were going into the labor market

E. the 1940 presidential election

13. Which of the following historians is most closely associated with the idea that economic factors have shaped American history?

A. Frederick Jackson Turner

B. William Bradford

C. Charles Beard

D. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

E. Alfred Thayer Mahan

14. The first proprietary colony was

A. Jamestown

B. Carolina

C. Maryland

D. Massachusetts Bay

E. New Amsterdam

15. Which of the following was the LEAST significant factor in the demand for restrictions on immigration from 1880 to 1924?

A. Immigrants were a threat to jobs of American workers.

B. Immigrants could not assimilate into American society.

C. Immigrants were radicals and a threat to the government.

D. Immigrants were racially inferior to Anglo-Saxons.

E. Immigrants owed loyalty to the Pope.

16. Gerald Ford’s main liability in the 1976 presidential election was

A. his inexperience in foreign policy

B. the Republican party’s position on civil rights

C. the war in Vietnam

D. the Watergate scandal

E. his support for a national health-insurance plan

17. Which of the following was NOT a reason given by President Franklin Roosevelt in his attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court?

A. He believed he had a mandate after the 1936 election.

B. Most Supreme Court justices were interpreting the Constitution too broadly.

C. He wanted to ease the work load of the Court’s older members.

D. Most of the Supreme Court justices were conservative.

E. The Court was declaring too many New Deal programs unconstitutional.

18. The Compromise of 1850 provided a concession to the South by

A. allowing slavery in New Mexico and Utah

B. permitting the slave trade to continue in the District of Columbia

C. having slavery in Nebraska and Kansas determined by popular sovereignty

D. creating a new Fugitive Slave Law

E. determining how new states would be admitted to the Union

19. Dorothea Dix is most closely associated with which area of social reform in the first half of the nineteenth century?

A. Temperance movement

B. Women’s rights

C. Settlement house movement

D. Abolitionist cause

E. Prisons and asylums

20. The income tax amendment to the Constitution adopted in 1913

A. applied the same tax rate to all incomes

B. redistributed wealth from the rich to the poor

C. recovered revenue lost by reducing the tariff

D. paid for the social-welfare programs of the Wilson administration

E. was repealed at the beginning of the Depression

21. The United Nations was able to provide military assistance to South Korea in 1950 because

A. the USSR opposed the North Korean invasion of the south

B. the USSR boycotted the session of the Security Council at which the decision was made

C. the United States outvoted the Soviet Union

D. the General Assembly approved the decision

E. other nations in Southeast Asia pledged their support

22. Which of the following statements about the Emancipation Proclamation is NOT accurate?

A. It immediately freed all slaves living in the United States.

B. It freed slaves only in the Confederacy or in areas of active rebellion.

C. It led to the creation of all-black units in the Union Army.

D. It was issued in part because slave labor was helping the Confederate cause.

E. It gave the North a high moral reason for continuing the war.

23. The Pendleton Act was enacted in response to

A. efforts to raise tariffs on imported cloth

B. the assassination of President James Garfield

C. protests against civil service examinations

D. complaints about currency deflation

E. the loss of public support for both political parties

24. According to the Proclamation of 1763,

A. colonial militiamen were required to put down Pontiac’s Rebellion

B. colonial paper money could not be printed

C. contact between colonials and Indians was strictly forbidden

D. settlers were prohibited from crossing the Appalachians

E. speculators were allowed to purchase certain lands from trans-Appalachian tribes

25. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 represented a significant change in policy because it

A. ended the government’s allotment policy

B. divided Indian lands into individual plots

C. weakened the legal basis for tribal sovereignty

D. undercut existing barriers to the exploitation of Native Americans

E. expanded the role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

26. The term “scalawag’’ was used to describe

A. homeless unemployed freedmen in the South

B. former plantation owners who had lost their lands

C. native white Southerners who cooperated with the Republicans

D. Union soldiers who occupied the South during Reconstruction

E. Northerners who came to the postwar South to take lucrative federal appointments

27. Which of the following is a direct social change brought about by the American Revolution?

A. The emancipation of slaves who fought against the British

B. The elimination of property qualifications for voting

C. An end to religious requirements for holding political office

D. Recognition of the right of women to inherit property

E. Complete separation of church and state

28. Which of the planks from the 1892 Populist party platform showed a concern with issues raised by organized labor?

A. Graduated income tax

B. Restrictions on immigration

C. Government ownership of the railroads

D. Unlimited coinage of silver

E. Direct election of senators

29. The Monroe Doctrine stated all of the following policies EXCEPT:

A. North and South America were no longer open to European colonization.

B. Existing colonies would not be bothered by the United States.

C. The United States would intervene in the problems South American countries had with other nations.

D. The colonies Europeans had had in the Western Hemisphere were forever lost.

E. The United States would not involve itself in the affairs of European nations.

30. The most significant increase in immigration in recent years has come from

A. Latin America and Southeast Asia

B. Eastern Europe

C. the Middle East

D. newly independent states of Africa

E. northern Europe

31. The Pilgrims were also known as Separatists because they

A. wanted to separate Plymouth from the Massachusetts Bay Colony

B. believed in the complete separation of church and state

C. broke all ties with the Church of England

D. were the first to declare independence from Great Britain

E. tried to isolate the Native Americans from white settlers

32. In Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall argued successfully that the Supreme Court could

A. declare federal laws unconstitutional

B. remove federal officials who would not or could not perform their duties

C. determine cases involving interstate commerce

D. decide whether debts should be considered in contracts

E. uphold the authority of the federal government over the states

33. Which of the following best illustrates government support for the construction of the first transcontinental railroad?

A. Open immigration from China

B. The exchange of Union Pacific stock for federal bonds

C. Creation of the Crédit Mobilier construction company

D. The grant of thousands of acres of public lands to the railroads

E. Preference in hiring to Union Army veterans

34. The most important consequence of the Boston Tea Party was the

A. repeal of the tax on tea

B. failure of other colonies to support Boston’s action

C. opening of negotiations between Britain and Massachusetts

D. enactment by Parliament of the Coercive Acts

E. reopening of the Port of Boston to foreign trade

35. The outcome of the disputed election of 1876 was significant because it

A. was the last victory for the Radical Republicans

B. meant the end of Reconstruction

C. marked the beginning of a long line of Democratic Presidents

D. demonstrated that black voters held the balance of power in Southern politics

E. showed that the North and South were able to reconcile

36. All of the following were New Deal agencies EXCEPT











37. “If I’d only bought a hundred instead of fifty shares, I’d be up two hundred dollars. I’ll buy fifty more now. Doubles or quits. If I lose what I’m ahead now, I’ll quit. 44, 43 1/2. 43. Now I’m behind a little.... Why am I so greedy? No one ever got poor taking a profit. 43 1/2, 44, 44 1/2, 44 3/4. Come on, boy, right through the roof.

The above quotation was most likely written in











38. The outcome of the election of 1824 between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson was decided by

A. the Electoral College

B. a plurality of the popular vote

C. the Senate

D. the House of Representatives

E. the “corrupt bargain”

39. In addition to the Embargo Act of 1807, a significant factor in the development of American industry in the period 1800-1820 was

A. the invention of the cotton gin

B. the development of railroads

C. the availability of cheap immigrant labor

D. protective tariffs

E. the Louisiana Purchase

40. The South hoped to gain diplomatic recognition and active support from Great Britain because

A. slavery was still legal in the British Empire

B. British public opinion generally supported the South

C. British factories needed Southern cotton

D. Britain wanted the help of the South to regain the Oregon Territory

E. the North had placed high tariffs on British goods

41. The theory of nullification, according to which a state can reject a federal law, is associated with

A. John C. Calhoun

B. Daniel Webster

C. Andrew Jackson

D. James Madison

E. John Marshall

42. Which of the following was the principal target of Thomas Nast’s political cartoons?

A. Slavery

B. President Andrew Johnson

C. New immigrants

D. Boss Tweed

E. The trusts

43. Chautauqua movement was

A. an early form of adult education

B. an effort to prevent the teaching of evolution

C. a late nineteenth-century religious revival

D. a literary movement of expatriate American authors

E. a school of fiction based in the Midwest

44. Which of the following statements about colonial politics in the eighteenth century is true?

A. The right to vote for representatives to the colonial assemblies was severely restricted by high property qualifications.

B. The colonial assemblies controlled taxes and expenditures.

C. The colonial assemblies had the right to elect the governors.

D. The governors had unlimited authority as agents of the king.

E. The requirements for office holding were the same as those for voting.

45. The Battle of Saratoga resulted in

A. an embarrassing defeat for the Continental Army

B. an unsuccessful peace overture from Lord North

C. France entering the war on the side of the colonies

D. renewed efforts of the Loyalists to enlist colonial support

E. the treason of Benedict Arnold

46. The decline in agricultural prices after World War I was due primarily to

A. overproduction

B. lack of overseas markets

C. decline in small farms

D. crop failures in the Midwest

E. high transportation costs

47. Which statement best summarizes the Open Door Policy?

A. The United States should have its own sphere of influence in China.

B. Japan should be excluded from trading with China.

C. All nations should be granted equal trading rights in China.

D. China should be punished for its support of the Boxer Rebellion.

E. The United States should control international trade in the Pacific.

48. The Neutrality Act of 1939

A. maintained the ban against trade with countries at war

B. was passed by Congress in response to the outbreak of war in Europe

C. provided for the exchange of naval bases for destroyers between the United States and Great Britain

D. was enacted over President Roosevelt’s veto

E. provided for the cancellation of war debts

49. Ratification of the Constitution

A. required unanimous approval of the states

B. was put to a nationwide referendum

C. was agreed to by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention

D. was determined by electors from each state

E. needed the approval of nine states

50. Which of the following civil liberties

protected by the Bill of Rights was in

the Constitution as originally ratified?

A. Freedom of the press

B. The right to bear arms

C. Freedom of religion

D. Protection against selfincrimination

E. Trial by jury

51. Which of the following states seceded from the Union first?


South Carolina


North Carolina







52. When President Taft called for dollar diplomacy, he advocated

A. that American businessmen should invest in underdeveloped countries rather than lend those countries U.S. dollars

B. that American government money be loaned to underdeveloped countries

C. purchasing foreign-owned territories

D. the rejection of the Open Door Policy

E. encouraging foreign exports by reducing tariffs

53. In responding to the Depression, President Hoover placed primary emphasis on

A. reducing the tariff

B. cutting federal taxes

C. regulating the sale of stocks

D. increasing federal income tax rates

E. encouraging private volunteer efforts

54. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

A. was a call for the abolition of slavery

B. insisted that the British allow the colonies to elect their own representatives to Parliament

C. criticized the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

D. blamed George III for the colonies’ problems and urged Americans to declare their independence

E. demanded that a strong executive be included in the Constitution

55. After 1815, such factors as time, cost, and distance in moving people and goods

A. were increased because of the lack of internal improvement

B. resulted in excessive land speculation

C. were significantly reduced by the transporation revolution

D. mattered less as new market centers were developed

E. caused a downturn in the growth of eastern cities

56. Hinton R. Helper’s book The Impending

Crisis of the South was intended as

A. a refutation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin

B. an argument against slavery as an economic institution

C. a rallying cry against abolitionism

D. a condemnation of the violent acts of Preston Brooks

E. a rational defense of the practice of slavery

57. Which of the following was the main issue in Munn v. Illinois?

A. Suppression of a major strike by the federal government

B. Monopolistic practices of the Standard Oil Company

C. State regulation of labor unions

D. State regulation of grain elevator operators and railroad rates

E. State prosecution of a federal official

58. The participation of the United States in World War I was ended

A. through a separate treaty with Germany alone

B. by a treaty with all of the Central Powers

C. when the Senate ratified the Treaty of Versailles

D. through a joint resolution of Congress

E. by a treaty with the other members of the Big Four

59. The Opposition tells us that we ought not to govern a people without their consent. I answer, The rule of liberty that all just government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, applies only to those who are capable of self-government.... And, regardless of this formula of words made only for enlightened, self- governing people, do we owe no duty to the world? Shall we turn these peoples back to the reeking hands from which we have taken them? Shall we abandon them, with Germany, England, Japan, hungering for them?

This speech is referring to

A. territory acquired from Mexico as the result of the Mexican War

B. land included in the Louisiana Purchase

C. the purchase of Alaska by Secretary of State Seward

D. colonies acquired after the Spanish- American War

E. American intervention in the Caribbean and Central America

60. Which of the following best describes the position of William Lloyd Garrison?

A. Immediate abolition of slavery with compensation to slave owners

B. Immediate abolition of slavery without compensation to slave owners

C. Compensated liberation of slaves over a period of time

D. Prohibition of slavery in newly acquired territories

E. Freedom for all slaves in the states that had seceded from the Union

61. The decisive factor in bringing about the resolution of the dispute with Great Britain over the Oregon Territory in 1846 was

A. the Lewis and Clark Expedition forty years earlier

B. the major influence exercised by the Hudson’s Bay company

C. the American claim of prior discovery

D. the heavy influx of American settlers after 1818

E. British reluctance to go to war against the United States

62. Andrew Jackson’s view of the presidency emphasized

A. strong Cabinet leadership

B. strengthening the power of the states

C. support for the nullification doctrine

D. congressional partisan leadership

E. leadership by the executive branch in the interests of the people

63. After the Civil War, the practice of sharecropping

A. turned African-Americans into a labor force with housing and supplies provided by white planters

B. taught African-Americans and whites to work together as farmers

C. made it possible for African- Americans to save enough money to buy their own farms

D. required African-Americans to form groups to work as gang labor

E. forced African-Americans to migrate to the North

64. President Lyndon Johnson received authorization for the use of force in Vietnam through

A. the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

B. the Truman Doctrine

C. the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

D. a declaration of war by Congress

E. the United Nations Security Council

Source: Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress

65. The first federal agency established to regulate business was the

A. Pure Food and Drug Administration

B. Federal Power Commission

C. Federal Reserve System

D. Interstate Commerce Commission

E. Securities and Exchange Commission

66. According to this cartoon, the trusts

A. were good for the economic growth of the United States

B. were too powerful and contributed to the impoverishment of the country

C. were in control of the food industry

D. opposed restrictions on child labor

E. were positive examples of Social Darwinism at work

67. The novels of William Faulkner are set in

A. Paris during the 1920s

B. the South

C. the frontier after the Civil War

D. New England

E. small towns in the Midwest

68. Which of the following made the Soviet Union suspicious of the motives of the United States and Great Britain during World War II?

A. The delay in opening the second front in Europe

B. The refusal to grant the Soviet Union lend-lease aid

C. The American monopoly on atomic bomb technology

D. The adoption of the Europe-first strategy

E. The failure of the West to accept changes in the borders of Poland

69. In the post-Civil War period, the idea that African-Americans should concentrate on economic betterment rather than political or social equality was advanced by A. W. E. B. Du Bois

B. Frederick Douglass

C. Booker T. Washington

D. Marcus Garvey

E. William Lloyd Garrison

70. Which of the following best represents the Realist school of American literature?

A. The Red Badge of Courage

B. The Gross Clinic

C. Looking Backward

D. The Grapes of Wrath

E. Moby Dick

71. Which of the following colonies was

founded as a haven for Catholics?

A. Plymouth

B. New Amsterdam

C. Pennyslvania

D. Rhode Island

E. Maryland

72. Which of the following is in the correct chronological order?

A. Bay of Pigs invasion; Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; U.S. intervention in Dominican Republic; limited nuclear test ban treaty

B. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; Bay of Pigs invasion; limited nuclear test ban treaty; U.S. intervention in Dominican Republic

C. Bay of Pigs invasion; limited nuclear test ban treaty; Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; U.S. intervention in Dominican Republic

D. Bay of Pigs invasion; U.S. intervention in Dominican Republic; Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; limited nuclear test ban treaty

E. U.S. intervention in Dominican Republic; Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; Bay of Pigs invasion; limited nuclear test ban treaty

73. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 was

A. effective in restoring competition

B. declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court

C. supported by John D. Rockefeller

D. not immediately successful in limiting business concentration

E. passed by Congress over the veto of President Benjamin Harrison

74. The key issue in Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer was the

A. constitutionality of the Taft-Hartley Act

B. right of the President to seize private property

C. power of the states to limit the number of hours worked by children

D. authority of Congress to impose quotas for hiring based on race

E. validity of state right-to-work laws

75. Which of the following was the most significant foreign-policy accomplishment of President Jimmy Carter?

A. Paris Peace Accords

B. Panama Canal Treaties

C. SALT I Treaty

D. Camp David Accords

E. Mayaguez incident

76. The countries shaded on the map were

A. acquired by the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War

B. U.S. protectorates at various times between 1898 and 1933

C. places where the United States intervened to prevent a Communist takeover

D. the only countries in the Caribbean to join the Alliance for Progress

E. locations of important American military bases in the 1960s

77. Which of the following is properly considered the main purpose of the Navigation Acts?

A. The promotion of trade among the colonies

B. The protection of American manufacturing from foreign competition

C. To guarantee that England alone would profit from trade with the colonies

D. To raise revenue for maintaining the British Empire

E. The regulation of the slave trade in the colonies

78. The principle of freedom of the press in colonial America was established by the

A. Articles of Confederation

B. Bill of Rights

C. Virginia House of Burgesses

D. trial of Peter Zenger

E. Mayflower Compact

79. Michael Harrington’s The Other America (1962) had a significant impact on public policy because it

A. vividly described the plight of Native Americans on the reservations

B. addressed the problems of environmental pollution

C. drew attention to the persistence of poverty in the United States

D. dealt with the effectiveness of the Jim Crow laws in the South that denied African-Americans voting rights

E. highlighted the difficulties faced by migrant workers

80. The economic program that emphasizes increasing government expenditures to spur growth and employment is known as

A. supply-side economics

B. deficit spending

C. protectionism

D. voodoo economics

E. stagflation


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