Return to Lecture 1 Index   Return to History 2 Main Page 
American History 2


Unit One             Unit Two              Unit Three               Unit Four

Essay Questions for Test 1

1. Compare and contrast the Reconstruction plans of President Lincoln and Johnson and the Radicals in Congress.  Why did Congress differ so much with the presidents on what Reconstruction should accomplish? How successful were the southern governments created under Radical Reconstruction? What did they accomplish?

2. How did relations between African Americans and whites change after the Civil War? What did the following envision as the role of African Americans in the post-war South: Northern Whites, Southern Whites, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois.

3. What were the features of agriculture in the New South in the 30 years following the Civil War? What were the various aspects of cattle ranching and their effects on the settlement of the West? What were the features of small farming and sharecropping? Explain the problems faced by those engaged in some form of agriculture in the late nineteenth century? What caused the problems?

4. Describe the effects on Indians on the expansion of white settlements in the West. How did the settlers and would be settlers view the Indians? How would you describe the government's Indian policy after the Civil War? What was the effect of that policy on the Indians?

5. List and explain the factors that promoted the growth of industry in the US in the late nineteenth Century. What role was played in changing the nature of work for Americans by each of the following: entrepreneurs, labor unions, government?

6. What were the new problems found in urban areas in the late nineteenth century? How did politicians and reformers try to deal with them? What was the settlement house movement and what were its effects?

7. What were the main characteristics of the “third political system?” Describe the programs advocated by the Populist party in the 1890s. How would you judge their success? How did people at the grassroots level disagree with their leaders over what the crucial issues were in the Gilded Age?

Essay Questions for Test 2

1. Summarize the three main arguments Americans used to justify their imperialism in the late nineteenth century.   Why was there a debate over imperialism after the Spanish-American War? What arguments were put forth by the Anti-Imperialist League? What did the guerilla war in Philippines contributed to the debate?

2.  In what ways was the Progressive movement paradoxical?  Why did Roosevelt lead the creation of the Progressive Party?  Discuss the unintended negative consequences of at least three Progressive reforms.

3. Was the United States really neutral between 1914 and 1917?  What actions of the U. S. were consistent with its official policy of neutrality? What actions of the U. S. were actions supporting a party to the war in Europe?

4. What was the Red Scare after the World War I and what caused it?  Why did fear of radicals in politics and labor unions increase as World War I ended?  What were the Palmer raids?  Did the government engage in violations of laws and civil liberties in carrying out the raids?  How and why did the Red Scare end?

5. Describe the changes that occurred in black life and culture in years after World War I. When and why did a major migration of Blacks from South to North begin? What was the Harlem Renaissance and why was it culturally important? What is meant by Black Nationalism and how was it connected to religion?

6. What happened to Progressivism in the 1920s? Identify at least five contributing factors that contributed to a decline in Congressional support for the Progressive agenda in the early 1920s. What elements of Progressivism and its agenda remained? Why did support for Progressive measures begin to pick up support again as the 1920s drew to a close?

7. What factors contributed to the collapse of the U.S. economy at the end of the 1920s? Describe the speculative mania that occurred during the 1920s, especially the Florida real estate bubble, the development of the Great Bull Market, and the efforts to curb the market. Describe the crash. Identify its causes and its immediate effects.

Essay Questions for Test  Three

1. Describe the ways in which business, labor, and farmers benefited from New Deal programs.  How did the nation's perception of the role of government (i.e., its responsibilities and its use of its powers) change during the 1930s? What role did the political left wing play in shaping the new perception?

2. Describe the Atlantic Charter and identify its significance. What other measures and policies adopted during the 1930s pursued the same goals?  Describe negotiations between Japan and the United States during 1940-41. How did the actions of each contribute to war?

3. Describe American industrial and economic mobilization for World War II.  What were the effects of these actions on women and other minorities?  What happened to these changes after the war?

4. Describe the agreements made during World War II that shaped the post-war world. During the Cold War, many Americans believed that Roosevelt "sold out" the United States to the Soviets. Does the evidence support that conclusion? How did this attitude fit in with the Red Scare and anti-Communist activity that followed World War II?  How was it related to the religious revival and neo-orthodoxy of the 1950s?

5. Describe the growth of the post-war American economy. What were the factors that caused that growth? How did it affect American culture?

6. "The man in the gray flannel suit" became stereotype of the suburbanite businessman of the 1950s. How did the "corporate life" of the 1950s create an image of conformity and uniformity? How did it affect women and their roles? How did the intellectual community of artists, writers, etc., react to it?

Essay Questions for Test 4 (Final)

This test is still being edited.

1. Describe the events that led to the United States adopting an internationalist rather than an isolationist policy after World War II ended.  What was the policy of "containment"?  Evaluate the effect of our lumping socialism and communism together in our foreign policy and the efficacy of our strict anti-Communist foreign policy.

2. What was the "Cold War?"  Identify three major ways in which it affected life in the United States.  Then describe the ways in which the beliefs, values and/or behavioral norms of Americans were affected.

3. Identify four major areas in which there were significant changes in American culture and society during the decade of the 1960s.  What groups were instrumental in making the changes?  What groups resisted them?   Describe the types of conflicts that took place as groups seeking change and groups opposing change confronted each other. Which of the major social changes that took place in the 1960s were positive?  Which were changes that probably should not have occurred?

4. How did the United Sates move from being an industrialized society to a post-industrial society between 1970 and 1990?  What roles were played by government policy?  computer technology?

 Return to Lecture 1 Index   Return to History 2 Main Page