Exam preparation materials

Answer Key For Practice Test 1

Section I: Multiple-Choice Questions

1. B

30. A

2. E

31. C

3. D

32. A

4. C

33. D

5. D

34. D

6. A

35. B

7. C

36. B

8. B

37. C

9. A

38. D

10. D

39. D

11. C

41. A

12. C

42. D

13. C

43. A

14. C

44. B

15. E

45. C

16. D

46. A

17. B

47. C

18. D

48. B

19. E

49. E

21. B

50. E

22. A

51. A

23. B

52. A

24. D

53. E

25. A

54. D

26. C

55. C

27. A

56. B

28. B

57. D

29. C

58. D

59. D

71. E

61. D

72. C

62. E

73. D

63. A

74. B

64. C

75. D

65. D

76. B

66. B

77. C

67. B

78. D

68. A

79. C

69. C

80. B

70. A

 

Answers and Explanations for Practice Test 1

Section I: Multiple-Choice Questions

1. B. The Knights of Labor (1869) was open to “all producers,” including skilled and unskilled workers, African-Americans, and women. The American Federation of Labor (1886) organized skilled workers by craft. The Congress of Industrial Organizations, which was founded in the 1930s, is outside the time frame of the question.

2. E. You should be familiar with the Seneca Falls Declaration from your reading. Modeled after the Declaration of Independence, it was a strong call for equality between men and women and went beyond the issue of the right to vote. It was written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott and adopted by the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

3. D. All the cases listed deal with civil rights issues, and three pertain to the rights of African-Americans. The Dred Scott decision was a key event leading to the Civil War but does not relate to the question. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the Court ruled that “separate but equal” facilities did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision was overturned in Brown v. Board of Education, which in 1954 required the desegregation of public schools “with all deliberate speed.”

4. C. Indentured servants were an important part of the labor force in the southern colonies in the seventeenth century; there is ample evidence in the historical records that indentured servants were in fact sold from one planter to another despite the terms of their labor contracts.

5. D. Wilson received less than fifty percent of the vote in the election against President William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s decision to run as a Progressive after failing to get the Republican nomination gave the Democrats the election.

6. A. Kerouac is the father of the “Beat Generation.” Fitzgerald and Joyce reflect the literature of the 1920s. J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is an important 1950s novel about conformity, but he is not identified with the “Beat Generation.”

7. C. The Virginia Resolves were protests against the Stamp Act adopted by the House of Burgesses; the main point was that Virginians were Englishmen and could be taxed only by their own representatives.

8. B. You should be able to eliminate several of the answers based on chronology. The America First Committee was an isolationist group formed on the eve of Word War II, and the Army-McCarthy hearings are associated with the “Second Red Scare” of the early 1950s. The Palmer raids took place in 1919, under Woodrow Wilson's Attorney General. The Scopes trial concerned the teaching of evolution, and while it reflected the conservative tide of the 1920s, it did not revolve around a fear of left-wing subversion. By this process of elimination, the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti is the correct answer.

9. A. The “Trail of Tears” refers to the removal of Native Americans primarily from the southeast to lands west of the Mississippi between 1830 and 1838 under the provisions of the Indian Removal Act and related treaties.

10. D. Unlike the other movements or organizations listed, the Social Darwinists would not show particular compassion for the problems of the working class. They would argue that workers were in the position they were because of natural selection and their inability to compete.

11. C. This question requires you only to read the table. 1933 was the year with the highest unemployment.

12. C. Here, you have to come up with an interpretation of the data based on your knowledge of the period. The downward trend in the unemployment numbers was primarily due to increased spending on defense-related industry with the outbreak of the war in Europe. The jump in unemployment in 1938 can be seen as evidence that the New Deal programs were not effective in dealing with the country’s basic economic problems.

13. C. All the answers are historians whose works you should know. Beard’s views are set down in his classic An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (1913); Turner is associated with the “Frontier Thesis” of American history.

14. C. A proprietary colony was one founded by an individual or group of individuals by a grant from the king. Maryland was established by George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) in 1634. Carolina was also a proprietary colony (1663); Jamestown, Massachusetts Bay, and New Amsterdam were all established by joint-stock companies.

15. E. Anti-Catholic sentiment was important in the calls for immigration restriction in the 1840s and 1850s, particularly in the program of the Know-Nothing party; while anti- Catholicism was probably a factor in the later period as well, it was not as significant as the other choices.

16. D. 1976 was the first presidential election after the Watergate scandal; Ford assumed the presidency on the resignation of Richard Nixon. Jimmy Carter campaigned on the pledge that he would never lie to the American people, an obvious reference to Watergate.

17. B. Roosevelt would probably not have tried to “pack” the Supreme Court if the justices were following a loose construction of the Constitution; the problem was that they were inteipreting the Constitution too narrowly, as far as Roosevelt was concerned, and invalidating many of the New Deal programs — for example, the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the National Industrial Recovery Act.

18. D. The federal Fugitive Slave Act made it a federal crime to assist runaway slaves. The Northern states greatly reduced its effectiveness, however, by refusing to support or enforce it. Although slavery was allowed to continue in the District of Columbia, the slave trade was banned there under the Compromise of 1850.

19. E. Dix began an investigation of prisons and asylums in Massachusetts in the 1840s. Her report to the state legislature in 1843 led to improvements in the conditions in these institutions.

20. C. With the reduction of tariff rates, the federal government paid its expenses with revenue generated from the new personal income tax. The income tax was a “progressive” tax in the sense that the tax rate was higher for higher-income individuals.

21. B. The decision of the United Nations to send troops to South Korea required approval of the Security Council. Each of the five permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, France, Great Britain, the USSR, and China (Taiwan at that time) — had the power to veto this action. The Soviet Union would have exercised its veto but was boycotting the sessions because of the failure of the United Nations to recognize the People’s Republic of China (Communist China).

22. A. The Emancipation Proclamation applied only to the Confederate states. Slavery remained legal in such states as Kentucky and Delaware until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. All of the other choices are accurate statements about the Proclamation.

23. B. Garfield’s assassination (July 1881) by a deranged and disappointed office seeker led to the passage of the Pendleton Act (1883), the first significant federal civil service reform law. Garfield’s nomination by the Republicans in 1880 touched off a major debate in the party over the spoils system between the Stalwarts and Half-Breeds.

24. D. The Proclamation of 1763 attempted to create a boundary between the colonies and the Native American tribes in the trans-Appalachian region newly acquired from France after the French and Indian War. Choice C, taken literally, is incorrect, since white Native American contact east of the Appalachians already existed.

25. A. The legislation brought major reforms to the government’s policy toward Native Americans, rejuvenated the tribal structure, and ended the disastrous policy of allotting acreage to individual Native Americans that had been the keystone of the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887.

26. C. This is a question where you have to define the term. All of the choices pertain to the post-Civil War period, but you should know that “scalawag” was a derogatory term used against whites in the South who cooperated with Reconstruction policies.

27. A. The idea of equality championed by the American Revolution did improve the status of women without granting them any additional rights. While separation of church and state was strengthened, several states continued to support established churches, and non- Christians could not hold office in some states as well. The only direct social change was the granting of freedom to slaves who fought with the Continental Army.

28. B. The Populist party tried to include the concerns of urban workers in its 1892 platform. With the exception of the direct election of senators and restrictions on immigration, the other choices were primarily of interest to farmers, the Populists’ main constituency. Organized labor, particularly the American Federation of Labor, was most concerned with legislation that would restrict immigration because it was felt that immigrants were taking jobs from American workers.

29. C. The policy of intervention in Latin-American affairs occurred when Theodore Roosevelt became President in 1901 and was given its justification in Roosevelt's Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (December 1904), not in the original provision of the Monroe Doctrine.

30. A. The Immigration Act of 1965 abolished the national origins quota system in place since 1924. It eliminated the racial provisions that had restricted immigration from Asia in the past. Although the law put limits on immigration from the Western Hemisphere for the first time, immigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico and Central America rose sharply after 1965 because of political upheavals and economic problems.

31. C. While the Puritans were determined to rid the Church of England of all Catholic influences, to purify it, the Pilgrims did not believe the Church could be reformed and therefore separated themselves from it. The Pilgrims, in contrast to the Puritans, were a fringe group.

32. A. Major Supreme Court cases almost always come up on the AP exam, and you’re expected to know the main points of the decisions. Marbury v. Madison states the principle of judicial review — that is, the Supreme Court has the authority to determine the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress.

33. D. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 provided the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads with land grants that could be sold to prospective settlers. Justification for this decision was based on the fact that the railroads would run through unoccupied territory that would be economically worthless unless the railroads could offer them for sale.

34. D. Following the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed a series of laws specifically to punish Massachusetts. These were known as the Coercive Acts in Great Britain but as the Intolerable Acts in the colonies and included closing the port of Boston until the destroyed tea was paid for.

35. B. A political bargain was struck that resulted in the Republicans putting Rutherford B. Hayes in the presidency and freeing the South from military rule, a bargain known as the Compromise of 1877.

36. B. You need to know the “Alphabet Soup” of the New Deal programs: CCC = Civilian Conservation Corps, WPA = Works Progress Administration. NRA = National Recovery Administration, TVA = Tennessee Valley Authority. The RFC is the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which was established under Herbert Hoover in 1932. It was authorized to lend money to banks, railroads, and insurance companies.

37. C. The quotation clearly captures the stock speculation mania of the late 1920s that contributed to the stock market crash of 1929.

38. D. Because no candidate won a majority in the Electoral College, the election was decided by the House of Representatives as provided for in the Constitution. This question requires you to know not only the facts about the election of 1824, but the provisions of the Constitution as well. The “corrupt bargain” was a charge that Jackson’s supporters made after the House vote and not the way in which the election was decided.

39. D. This question tests your sense of chronology as well as your knowledge of American economic history. The development of railroads and cheap immigrant labor were not factors in American industrialization until after 1820; the cotton gin and the Louisiana Purchase were more relevant to the growth of American agriculture than that of industry. The protective tariffs imposed after the War of 1812, on the other hand, were particularly significant to the protection of infant American manufacturing from British competition.

40. C. Although the South hoped that Britain’s need for cotton would encourage the British government to provide recognition and aid. British factory owners had stockpiled cotton in anticipation of the war. The South’s hope for British aid failed.

41. A. Calhoun outlined the theory of nullification in his “South Carolina Exposition and Protest” (1828), which was a response to the so-called Tariff of Abominations.

42. D. William Marcy Tweed. “Boss Tweed,” was the political boss of New York City for a brief period in the late 1860s and early 1870s and became the symbol of the corruption in urban politics at the time. There are probably cartoons on Tweed by Nast in your textbook.

43. A. This question addresses an aspect of late nineteenth-century social/cultural history.

The Chautauqua movement began in 1874 and over the years featured touring lecturers who spoke on literature, science, economics, and government. It also offered correspondence courses for adults.

44. B. Colonial assemblies had the power to tax and approve expenditures. This power gave them some control over the governors, who were appointed by the crown. Although there were property qualifications for voting, these did not significantly limit the right of free white males to vote. Qualifications for office holding were somewhat higher than those for voting.

45. C. The Battle of Saratoga (1777) was a major American victory and is considered a turning point in the Revolution because it led to a formal alliance with France (1778).

46. A. The war-produced demand for agricultural products combined with improvements in farm technology — increased mechanization and use of chemical fertilizers — led to serious overproduction during the 1920s. With production up and demand down, prices for farm products fell sharply.

47. C. The policy tried to persuade, without much effect, the nations that already had their own spheres of influence in China to agree to respect the trading rights of all countries, including the United States. The Open Door Policy was outlined by Secretary of State John Hay in 1899. Following the Boxer Rebellion (1900), Hay announced in another series of Open Door notes that the United States supported the preservation of the territorial integrity of China.

48. B. The Neutrality Act of 1939 reflected a shift in U.S. policy brought about by the outbreak of World War II in Europe in September 1939. It provided that the United States could trade with belligerents as long as those countries paid cash for the goods and carried them on their own ships.

49. E. The Constitution itself provided for the ratification process, which required the approval of nine of the thirteen states. New Hampshire was the ninth state to approve the Constitution in June 1788. Remember that the Articles of Confederation required unanimous approval before they were adopted.

50. E. Article III. Section 2, of the Constitution states that "trial of all crimes, except impeachment, shall be by jury.” The Bill of Rights in Amendment VI expands on what trial by jury means — speedy and public — and specifies the rights of the accused.

51. A. South Carolina seceded on December 20. 1860; Kentucky, although a slave state, remained in the Union; North Carolina and Virginia seceded after the surrender of Fort Sumter (April 14, 1861), while Georgia left the Union before Fort Sumter (January 19, 1861). It’s not important to know the specific dates of secession but rather the pattern of secession.

52. A. Taft believed that foreign markets could provide an outlet for American business to profitably penetrate other countries without the expense of maintaining colonies.

53. E. Hoover believed strongly in self-help and community efforts and opposed direct federal relief efforts as demoralizing to the individual. Here you have two directly opposite choices.

54. D. Prior to the publication of Paine’s Common Sense (January 1776), most Americans believed that Parliament was the colonies’ main enemy. The pamphlet attacked royal authority for the first time and contributed significantly to the move for independence.

55. C. The transportation revolution — canals, steamboats, improved roads, railroads — dramatically lowered costs and made trade between distant parts of the country economically feasible.

56. B. Helper argued that slavery was an outmoded practice the South could not sustain in the coming industrial age. He believed that slavery led nonslaveholding white Southerners into poverty.

57. D. In this landmark 1877 decision, the Supreme Court found that state laws regulating businesses that operated in the public interest were constitutional.

58. D. The key fact relevant to this question is that the United States did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles. The only possible answer is a joint resolution of Congress.

59. D. This quotation is from the debates on American imperialism following the Spanish- American War. The key clue is the last sentence: the reference to Germany, England, and Japan eliminate all of the choices except D.

60. B. Garrison took an uncompromising position for the immediate freedom for slaves without paying the owners the so-called market prices for slaves.

61. D. Between 1818 and 1846, thousands of people had taken the Oregon Trail to new homes in the Pacific Northwest. Beaver trapping declined in the region during that time as well, making it feasible for Great Britain to agree to a westward boundary extension of the forty-ninth parallel.

62. E. Jackson argued that while political factions could divide Congress on issues, the President represented all of the people. His use of the veto underscored his belief in a strong executive branch.

63. A. Sharecropping and tenant farming became the principal forms of African-American agriculture in the South after the Civil War. This question asks for a definition of share- cropping. You should know that the significant migration of African-Americans from the rural South to northern cities did not take place until World War I and that independent black-owned farms were almost unknown in the post-Civil War South.

64. C. The official authorization for the buildup of U.S. forces in Vietnam was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (August 1964). It gave the United States the right to repel an armed attack against its forces and to prevent further aggression. Congress never declared war against North Vietnam, and the United States never sought the backing of international organizations. The Truman Doctrine (1947) applied to Greece and Turkey, although the theory behind it — U.S. support for free peoples resisting armed minorities — was applicable to Vietnam.

65. D. This is a “when” question. The Interstate Commerce Commission was established in 1887 to regulate the railroads. It was the result of the Supreme Court decision in Wabash v. Illinois, which held that states could not regulate the rates of railroads engaged in interstate commerce, since control of such commerce was reserved for the federal government under the Constitution.

66. B. This cartoon draws a sharp contrast between the “two ends of the national table”: the powerful trusts, depicted by a large, muscular figure, and the frail figure, probably representing the rest of the country. The artist uses the tattered and worn tablecloth at one end to illustrate poverty.

67. B. Faulkner, along with Thomas Wolfe, made the South the focus of his writing. Faulkner lived most of his life in Oxford, Mississippi.

68. A. The Soviet Union had wanted the allies to open a “second front” in Europe almost as soon as Germany invaded in June 1941. Although this was not possible until the United States entered the war after Pearl Harbor, it did not take place until June 1944. The “second front” refers to the invasion of German-occupied France.

69. C. This position, which is sometimes called “accommodation,” was formally put forward by Booker T. Washington in 1895. The exactly opposite view was taken by W. E. B. Du Bois. You should know that both Garrison and Douglass are associated with the pre-Civil War abolitionist movement, while Garvey was involved with the “Back to Africa” movement that found support after World War I.

70. A. Melville’s Moby Dick is representative of the American Renaissance in literature in the mid-nineteenth century, while John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath captures the mood of the Depression of the 1930s. Although Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888) is in the right period, the utopian novel hardly represents the Realist school. The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins is an example of the Realist school in art.

71. E. Maryland, established as a proprietary colony by the Calvert family, was specifically founded for English Catholics who faced discrimination. The only other possible choice is Rhode Island, which was founded by Roger Williams for religious dissenters from Massachusetts and respected religious tolerance.

72. C. Bay of Pigs invasion (1961), limited nuclear test ban treaty (1963), Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964), U.S. intervention in Dominican Republic (1965).

73. D. The legislation had little immediate success. There was a new surge of business mergers and combination after the law was passed, including the U.S. Steel Corporation and the so-called “Money Trust” under J. P. Morgan.

74. B. In the face of a strike by steel workers during the Korean War, President Truman ordered the seizure of the mills by the federal government. The Court ruled that there was no authority for the President to take such action even in his role as commander-in-chief.

75. D. The choices include two significant foreign-policy actions of the Carter administration. The Camp David Accords, which brought an end to the state of war between Israel and Egypt (March 1979) was a more important accomplishment than the Panama Canal Treaty by which the United States agreed to turn over the canal to Panama.

76. B. The United States established protectorates in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Nicaragua for varying periods of time from the Spanish-American War to the establishment of the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933. Only Puerto Rico (not shaded) became an American possession, and U.S. military bases have been only in Panama and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

77. C. The Navigation Acts, first enacted in 1651, gave England and English merchants a monopoly on trade with the colonies. Certain products, such as sugar, tobacco, cotton, and indigo, could be shipped only to England or to other British ports.

78. D. The acquittal of Peter Zenger on the charge of seditious libel in 1735 established the principle of freedom of the press. The time frame of the question, the colonial period, eliminates the Bill of Rights as a plausible answer.

79. C. The Other America described mass poverty that existed in our “affluent society.”

The book played a role in stimulating the antipoverty programs of the Kennedy-Johnson administrations, including food stamps.

80. B. Deficit spending assumes that increased federal expenditures — on public works programs, for example — will stimulate the economy by providing jobs; the employed will spend their money, leading business to increase production and hire more workers.

Section II: Essay Questions

Part A

Student DBQ Essay

The melting pot as stated by de Crevecoeur assumes that immigrants who settle in the United States lose their national identity, and are transformed into something completely different by the experience of living here — Americans. Whether or not the melting pot idea is a valid theory of acculturation depends on the perspective of time. While the attachment to the old world culture was strong among the immigration generation, it lost its hold on their children rather quickly.

In his classic study on immigration, Oscar Handlin described the newcomer to America as “uprooted”; an individual taken from known surroundings and transplanted in an alien environment. Under these circumstances, it was natural for the immigrant to cling to what was familiar. Aside from the obvious economic reasons, this was the key factor in the emergence of distinct immigrant neighborhoods. Every large city, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest had its “Little Italy,” Jewish quarter, section where Greeks lived. It was not just that Italians lived with Italians but people from the same region or even town congregated together. This is clearly described in Moses Rischin’s description of the living patterns of East European Jews on New York’s Lower East Side (Document J). Similarly, in an Italian neighborhood in Missouri, the Festival of Santa Fara, the patron saint of Cinisi, was a reminder of the “old country” for immigrants from that town. (Document B)

To the outsider, there was little evidence that the melting pot was working in these immigrant neighborhoods. The fact that the immigrants continued to speak their native

languages and read foreign-language newspapers, that the signs on the storefronts were in Italian, Greek, Russian, or Yiddish, and that each immigrant group formed their own network of self-help organizations could easily have been seen as proof that the new immigrants were unassimilable. But the “education and civic” programs mentioned in the Report of the Massachusetts Commission on Immigration (Document D) were often classes in English and citizenship. While both the number and readership of foreign- language newspapers grew during the new immigration, the New York Times report (Document C) does not go into their content. The Jewish Daily Forward, for example, had a regular column on English and carried articles about baseball and how the Constitution worked.

Both the Massachusetts Report and Miller and Park in Old World Traits Transplanted (Document E) argue that the institutions the immigrants created were essential to their adjustment to America. Miller and Park also point out that assimilation did not take place overnight and that the immigrant institutions, while they might appear to encourage separatism, were in fact bringing about the integration of the immigrant into American society. Patience was not necessary for the children of immigrants. Both Mario Petruzzelli and Hutchins Hapgood note that a gulf developed between the immigrant and the second generation, which reflected how quickly each became Americanized. Knowledge of the language was not necessarily passed down (Document F) and the sons and daughters considered themselves

Americans while the parents remained “greenhorns.’’ (Document I)

America as a melting pot is a valid theory of acculturation but not in the way de Creveceour stated. Clearly, the new immigrants did not leave behind “their ancient prejudices and manners.” They brought them

with them and they became important elements in adjusting to America. For the children of the immigrants, however, the fact of living in the United States was a powerful force toward acculturation. This is obvious from the sources.

Reader's Comments

In qualifying Crevecoeur’s statement, the student has written a strong essay demonstrating that immigration was an experience in which acculturation, if not assimilation, was a process validated by the second generation. The essay is well organized and is a useful model on how to structure an answer:

Paragraph 1: Introduction that clearly states the thesis.

Paragraphs 2-4: Evidence to support the thesis.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion that restates the thesis.

The student makes effective use of Oscar Handlin’s The Uprooted and analyzes the documents rather than simply restates what they say. Describing the documents while providing their letter designation is a good technique that can help students avoid the “laundry list” approach to the DBQ.

The one weak spot in the essay is the focus on European immigration. Although the documents themselves focus on the classic period of the New Immigration (1880-1924), the question itself is not so limited. Late nineteenth- and twentieth-century immigration does include immigrants from Latin America and Asia. Bringing these groups into the essay would have earned high marks for outside information, which is somewhat limited in the essay as written. The end result is a good essay that falls just a bit short of a top score.

Possible student score: 8

Part B

Question 2 Student Essay

The idea that the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800 represented a “revolution,” which means radical and rapid change, is difficult to support. Although portrayed as a dangerous radical during the campaign, there is little evidence that he was able to completely abandon the programs the Federalists had put in place. The smooth transition from Federalist to Republican control of the government may have been “revolutionary” in the context of the times, but Jefferson’s own actions were not.

There were basic differences between the Federalists and Republicans over economic policy. Jefferson had opposed Hamilton on excise taxes on whiskey to produce revenues and the national bank, which he challenged on constitutional grounds as giving too much power to the Federal government. Further, Hamilton’s vision of an America in which manufacturing, supported by protective tariffs, would play a key role contrasted with Jefferson’s emphasis on the agrarian ideal — U.S. as a nation of yeoman farmers. Despite these sharp differences, the only part of Hamilton’s program that Jefferson ended was the whiskey tax and other excises. Jefferson accepted the bank as a necessary convenience and continued to rely on tariffs. The Embargo of 1807, which was not very successful in ending trade with Europe or keeping the United States out of the European war, was a factor in the long term in encouraging American industrialization. Clearly, in terms of the economic policies he followed, Jefferson did not bring about radical change.

In another area, Jefferson showed that he was more a practical politician than a revolutionary. The most important accomplishment of his administration was the Louisiana Purchase (1803), which doubled the size of the country. The acquisition of the territory did present him with a problem. Republican concerns over a strong central government made them take a strict view of the Constitution; the authority of the Federal government was limited to the powers specifically mentioned in the Constitution. The Constitution made no provision for the purchase of the new territory. Jefferson used a loose construction argument — the power of the president to make treaties — to justify the purchase. His willingness to compromise did not go over well with his own party. After the victory in 1804, some Republicans believed that the national government was continuing to grow at the expense of the states and individual liberty. This indicates that even among his supporters, there was a feeling that Jefferson was not going far enough to put Republican principles into practice.

Reader's Comments

This essay has several problems. The student doesn’t point out that the concept of the “Revolution of 1800” was Jefferson’s own. With this information, the answer might have been better framed as a contrast between what Jefferson hoped to accomplish and what he was able to do. The evidence presented to support the thesis is limited; the student doesn’t mention Jefferson’s actions with respect to the Alien and Sedition Acts, for example, nor does he/she note the fact that the Louisiana Purchase, by opening more land to farming, was an attempt to support Jefferson’s agrarian vision of the United States.

It’s always helpful in this type of essay to recognize the other point of view. The “Revolution of 1800” concept has validity if examined on ideological grounds — the importance of individual liberty and democracy and the idea of a unified government with the demise of the Federalists after 1804.

The most glaring shortcoming of the essay is the lack of a concluding paragraph. The essay just ends without any recap. This is so obvious that points would certainly be taken off in the scoring. You might want to try to write a conclusion for this essay as it is presented. Also, rewrite the essay as an exercise, using these comments and information from your textbook and lecture notes as a guide.

Possible student score: 4

Part B

Question 3 Student Essay

The American people were not wholly united on the issue of war with Mexico, but events in the mid-1840s resulted in support of the government’s decision to go to war. These events included the annexation of Texas and the dispute over the exact boundary of the Rio Grande. Although not an “event” in the literal sense of the word, the view of Manifest Destiny also caught the imagination of many people at this time. This was the idea that the North American continent would some day be under the U.S. flag and that the United States would extend from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast.

The United States recognized the independence of Texas as soon as the Lone Star Republic successfully established itself following the Battle of San Jacinto. Although Mexico refused to admit the reality of an independent Texas, this was not in itself a cause for war with the United States. Texas functioned as an independent nation for nine years. Early in 1845, President Tyler proposed the annexation of Texas, a move that met with favor in Texas but which was opposed by many people in the United States, especially the Whig party. This was because the admission of Texas was seen as adding another slave state to the union. After Polk became President, however, the Democrats put through the annexation. Mexico could do nothing about this because its government was experiencing another in a series of political upheavals. Therefore, although the annexation provoked Mexico, it was not an immediate cause of war.

The Rio Grande boundary dispute was related to the annexation of Texas, but in an odd way. Without conceding the loss of Texas, Mexico maintained that the true southern boundary of Texas was not the Rio Grande, but instead was the Nueces River, some three hundred miles to the north. In between was disputed territory. Did this area belong to Texas — and after annexation, the United States? Or did it belong to Mexico because the Texans were claiming an improper boundary? This dispute did not immediately escalate into war. Soldiers from both the United States and Mexico patrolled the disputed region. In April 1846, however. Mexican soldiers fired upon Americans in the area, providing the “spark” that started the war. Abraham Lincoln, serving his only term in the House of Representatives as a member of the minority Whig party, sponsored the “Spot Resolution” — a resolution calling for a monument on the “spot” of American soil where blood was shed starting the war. This was the Whig way of scolding the Democrats for upholding the claim of the Rio Grande boundary.

Perhaps the most significant cause of the war was the general (but not unanimous) feeling of Manifest Destiny, a term that first became popular in the early 1840s. Americans had migrated to Texas and become the majority population there; the British were caving in on the Oregon question, even with Polk compromising on the 54° 40' issue; reports were being published by explorers and frontiersmen describing the unknown western half of the continent. Mexico claimed much of the southwest but, except for a few isolated communities, had done little to colonize it. The land was ripe for the taking, and the Polk administration wanted it. The annexation of Texas contributed to the tension between the two countries, and the Rio Grande boundary dispute provided a spark for war. But the belief in Manifest Destiny provided a justification. however wrong in hindsight it may have been, for the war to take place.

Reader's Comments

This is a well-written essay that could have been better had the student chosen to organize the ranking of the factors more clearly. As it is, the essay begins with the weakest of the impact factors and places the major argument at the end. This was apparently done because the student placed the factors in a chronological framework, which wasn’t necessary, given that the question asks the writer to “assess the impact.” On that basis, the student essay would have been more assertive had it begun with the strongest argument first and placed the other factors as subordinate reasons. The conclusion, however, does wrap up the argument neatly and makes its point.

Possible student score: 7

Part C

Question 4 Student Essay

In order to broaden its base of support, the Populist Party included the demands of organized labor into its 1892 platform — the 8- hour day. restrictions on immigration, and an end to the use of Pinkerton detectives to break up strikes. The platform went further than this, and stated that workers and farmers had the same concerns and enemies. The fact that the Populists did not get a significant percentage of the vote of urban workers in 1892 indicates the weakness of this position.

The Populists’ appeal to workers was more than just a tactical move in an election campaign; they sincerely believed that farmers and labor as producers had a common cause against their exploiters — banks, big business, corrupt politicians. The Populists did not fully understand, however, that workers were also consumers. There were parts of the platform that were directly contrary to the interests of workers as consumers.

Farmers had long supported inflation. Increasing the amount of paper money in circulation and the unlimited coinage of silver meant higher prices, making it easier for them to pay off their debt. Hourly workers are the ones hardest hit by inflation. Unskilled workers in particular, frequently unemployed or able to find only seasonal jobs, barely earned enough in the late 19th century to meet basic expenses such as food, rent, clothing, and medicine. It is doubtful their real wages would have increased to meet the additional costs caused by high inflation.

The Populists also supported the subtreasury plan, which was actually a federal subsidy for agriculture. Since overproduction was the key cause of declining farm prices, they wanted the government to establish warehouses where commodities could be stored until market prices rose. While higher prices for bread and other foodstuffs would have helped the farmer, it would only have added to the financial problems of urban workers.

The Depression of 1893 seemed to put farmers and workers in the same boat. Falling prices meant that it cost farmers more to plant crops and grow livestock than they could sell them for; wages fell faster than the cost of food. Buying power began to disappear, and with that came either wage cuts or unemployment as factories closed. The response of the Populists to these conditions during the election of 1896, however, supports the idea that there was a clash of interests between the two groups.

William Jennings Bryan ran on both the Democratic and Populist Party tickets in 1896. The cornerstone of his campaign was the free and unlimited coinage of silver, captured in his famous “Cross of Gold” speech at the Democratic convention. Although he used the Populist idea of “producers,” he believed that the future of the country lay in the farmers rather than the cities. The Republican McKinley, on the other hand, stressed that free silver meant higher prices and directly appealed to the workers with the slogan “a full dinner pail.” Rather than showing the shared concerns of workers and farmers, the election of 1896 almost pitted the two groups against each other.

Despite the Populists’ conviction that farmers and workers were logical allies, the economic policies they supported, particularly inflation, offered nothing to labor. If this alliance existed, we would expect to see it reflected in the political process. It was not. The Populists failed to win the backing of workers and urban groups in 1892 and 1896.

Reader's Comments

The student has written a good essay that points out the basic conflict between an important element of Populist beliefs — inflation — and the economic interests of workers. He/she also makes the valid point that despite their attempt to win the support of workers, this was not successful given the results in the 1892 and 1896 elections.

The essay focuses a bit too much on the farmers’ position and should have pointed to aspects of the American labor movement that support the thesis. Unlike the Populists, for example, organized labor didn't see factory owners as a hostile class. Also, while the Knights of Labor did advocate worker control of mines, factories, and railroads, which was similar to the Populists’ call for government ownership of key industries, the American Federation of Labor strictly concerned itself with “bread and butter” issues — hours, wages, working conditions. The student might have pointed out that the Populists’ support for immigration restriction, which the AFL backed, probably didn’t go over well with the significant percentage of the labor force in the 1890s who were recent immigrants themselves.

Within its limits, the organization of the essay is fine. The point that the Populist platform contained planks that were contrary to the interests of workers should be included in the first paragraph as part of a stronger statement of the thesis.

Possible student score: 6

Part C

Question 5 Student Essay

During the 1950s and 1960s, the civil rights movement was the most important domestic issue in the United States. This period saw important victories for black Americans in their struggle for equality a century after the Civil War. Key actions by the Supreme Court, and legislation passed by Congress supported by strong presidential leadership both played a role.

A new era in the civil rights for black Americans began with the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954). Here the Court overturned the more than a half century old “separate but equal” doctrine and ruled that segregated schools were inherently unequal. While the Court expected desegregation to go forward “with all deliberate speed,” it did not. Segregated public schools continued to exist in both the South and the North for decades after the ruling. Still the decision was crucial because it gave confidence to the civil rights movement that it could count on the Court’s support.

In the wake of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, the Court also ruled segregation in public transportation was unconstitutional (1956). The combination of growing public awareness of and push to end segregation, and the actions of the Supreme Court probably encouraged Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and 1960. The legislation created the Civil Rights Commission and gave the Justice Department the power to go to court to protect the right of blacks to vote.

Under Johnson, two critical civil rights laws were enacted. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination in public accommodations, gave authority to the Justice Department to sue to end segregation in schools and other public facilities, and barred discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origins. The Supreme Court quickly declared the Act constitutional. In the following year, Congress, again at Johnson’s insistence, passed the Voting Rights Act suspending literacy and other tests that were used primarily in the South to deny blacks the right to vote. The federal government also was to supervise elections where these tests had been used in the past. The new law led to a tremendous increase in black voter registration in the South.

Untangling the various forces at work to protect and expand the civil rights of blacks during the 1950s and 1960s is difficult. If we take out the role of those involved in the civil rights movement and the political leadership, a case can be made that the Supreme Court was the vital element in the 1950s while Congress was critical to advancing equality in the 1960s. Although it validated the civil rights legislation in the 1960s, the Court’s activism at that time was focused in the area of civil liberties — the rights of criminal defendants and the separation of church and state (school prayer).

Reader's Comments

This student comes close to answering the question but just misses. The question asks for an analysis of the “relative importance” of the Supreme Court and Congress; the student’s point made in the concluding paragraph that the Court was important in the 1950s while Congress was more important in the 1960s should have been made in the introduction as a thesis statement. Too much is left to the reader to decide about which side the student is supporting. The notion that the Brown decision created a climate in which Congress passed civil rights legislation suggests that the Court was the dominant factor.

The student shows a good command of most of the important civil rights legislation of the period. The essay fails to mention, however, the Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution (January 1964), which eliminated the poll tax for voting in federal elections. The poll tax was used to deny African-Americans the right to vote.

Possible student score: 6

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