Good Dbq Essays Us History

The redesign has brought a great deal of uncertainty and confusion amongst APUSH teachers.  In many ways, we are all “rookie” teachers, as all of us have the challenge of implementing fundamental curricular and skills-based changes into our classrooms.

One of the more significant changes is to the structure of one essay on the AP exam, the Document Based question (DBQ).  The rubric for the DBQ was previously a more holistic essay that combined a strong thesis, and use of documents and outside information to support the argument.  This has been transformed into a much more structured and formulaic skills-based rubric.  The change has led to a healthy debate about the pros and cons of both types of essays, but in general the core of the essay has remained the same: write a thesis and support it with evidence in the form of documents and outside information.  If students continue to apply these basic writing skills, they are likely to earn 3 or 4 out of the seven total points for the Document Based Question.

In this post, we will explore one of these points students will be looking to earn to help their chances at passing the APUSH exam this May: the Contextualization point.

What is Contextualization?

According to the College Board, contextualization refers to a:

Historical thinking skill that involves the ability to connect historical events and processes to specific circumstances of time and place as well as broader regional, national, or global processes.
(College Board AP Course and Exam Description, AP US History, Fall 2015)

Contextualization is a critical historical thinking skill that is featured in the newly redesigned course. In my opinion, this is a skill of fundamental importance for students to utilize in the classroom.  Often times, students find history difficult or boring because they don’t see connections between different historical time periods and the world they live in today.  They assume that events occur in a vacuum, and don’t realize that the historical context is critical in helping explain people’s beliefs and points of view in that period of time.  Putting events into context is something I always thought was important, but now that the College Board explicitly has established the skill, it has forced me to be more proactive in creating lessons and assignments that allow students to utilize this way of thinking.

The place that contextualization is most directly relevant on the actual AP exam itself is the Document Based Question.  In order to earn the point for contextualization, students must:

Situate historical events, developments, or processes within the broader regional, national, or global context in which they occurred in order to draw conclusions about their relative significance.
(College Board AP Course and Exam Description, AP US History, Fall 2015)

In other words, students are asked to provide background before jumping right into their thesis and essay and paint a picture of what is going on at the time of the prompt.  Although there is no specific requirement as to where contextualization should occur, it makes natural sense to place it in the introduction right before a thesis point.  Placing this historical background right at the beginning sets the stage for the argument that will occur in the body of the essay, and is consistent with expectations many English teachers have in how to write an introduction paragraph.

I explain contextualization to students by using the example of Star Wars.  Before the movie starts, the film begins with “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” and continues with background information on the characters, events, and other information that is crucial to understanding the film.  Without this context, the viewer would not know what is going on, and might miss key events or be lost throughout the film.  This is what contextualization aims to do in student essays.  It sets the stage for their thesis, evidence, and argument that is to follow.

Contextualization vs. Historical Context

One aspect of the DBQ rubric that can be a bit confusing initially is that students are asked to do this contextualization, but there is also another area which gives them the option to use historical context.  So what is the difference?

Contextualization refers to putting the entire essay into a broader context (preferably in the introduction).  However, when writing their essays, students are also required to analyze four of the documents that they utilize by either examining the author’s point of view, describing the intended audience of the source, identifying the author’s purpose or putting the source into historical context. The latter sounds similar to contextualization (and it is essentially the same skill), but historical context is only focused on the specific document being analyzed, not the entire essay, like the contextualization point.  For example, if a document is a map that shows slavery growing dramatically from 1820 to 1860, a student might point out that this growth can be explained in the context of the development of the cotton gin, which made the production of cotton much more profitable and let to the spread of slavery in the Deep South.  While essentially the same skill, historical context focuses on one specific document’s background.

Examples of Successful Student Contextualization Points

One of the biggest pitfalls that prevent students from earning the contextualization point is that they are too brief or vague.  In general, it would be difficult for students to earn the point if they are writing only a sentence or two.  Early in the year, I assigned students a DBQ based on the following prompt:

Evaluate the extent in which the Civil War was a turning point in the lives of African Americans in the United States.  Use the documents and your knowledge of the years 1860-1877 to construct your response.

This was the third DBQ we had written, and students were now getting brave enough to move beyond a thesis and document analysis and started attempting to tackle the contextualization point. However, the attempts were all over the map. One student wrote:

The Civil War was a bloody event that led to the death of thousands of Americans.

Of course this is a true statement, but is extremely vague.  What led to the Civil War?  Why was it so deadly?  Without any specific detail, this student could not earn the contextualization point.

Another student wrote:

Slavery had existed for hundreds of years in the United States.  It was a terrible thing that had to be abolished.

Again, this is a drive-by attempt at earning contextualization.  It mentions things that are true, but lacks any meaningful details or explanation that would demonstrate understanding of the time period in discussion.  What led to the beginning of slavery in the colonies?  How did it develop?  What made it so horrible?  How did individuals resist and protest slavery?  These are the types of details that would add meaning to contextualization.

One student nailed it.  She wrote:

The peculiar institution of slavery had been a part of America’s identity since the founding of the original English colony at Jamestown.  In the early years, compromise was key to avoiding the moral question, but as America entered the mid 19th century sectional tensions and crises with popular sovereignty, Kansas, and fugitive slaves made the issue increasingly unavoidable.  When the Civil War began, the war was transformed from one to simply save the Union to a battle for the future of slavery and freedom in the United States.

Now THAT is contextualization!  It gives specific details about the beginning of slavery and its development.  It discusses attempts at compromise, but increasing sectional tensions that led to the Civil War.  The writer paints a vivid and clear picture of the situation, events, and people that set the stage for the Civil War.  Students don’t want to write a 6-8 sentence paragraph (they will want to save time for their argument in the body), but they need to do more than write a vague sentence that superficially addresses the era.

Strategies for Teaching Contextualization to Students

Analyze Lots of Primary Sources
One of the best ways to prepare for the DBQ is for students to practice reading and comprehending primary source texts, particularly texts that are written by people who use very different language and sentence structure from today.  This helps them understand and analyze documents, but it also can be helpful in practicing contextualization.  Looking at different perspectives and points of view in the actual historical time periods they are learning is key in allowing students to understand how the era can impact beliefs, values and events that occur.

Assign Many DBQ Assessments and Share Specific Examples
The more often students write DBQs, the more comfortable students will get with the entire process and skill set involved, including contextualization.  One thing that has been especially successful in my classroom is to collect a handful of student attempts at the contextualization point and share them with students.  Students then get to examine them and look at effective and less effective attempts at earning contextualization.  Often the best way for students to learn what to do or how to improve is to see what their classmates have done.

Incorporating In-Class Activities
The course is broken into nine distinct time periods from 1491 to present.  In each period or unit students are assigned activities that force them to put a specific policy, event, or movement into context.  For example, we did lecture notes on the presidency of JFK, learning about the Man on the Moon Speech, Cuban Missile Crisis, and creation of the Peace Corps.  Students had to write 3-4 sentences that asked them to put these events in historical context using the Cold War.  This allowed students to understand that each of these seemingly unrelated historical events were shaped by the tension between the United States and Soviet Union: winning the space race, stopping a communist nuclear threat less than 100 miles from Florida, and spreading goodwill into nations that might otherwise turn to communism all are strategies the United States used to thwart the Soviet threat.  By doing this activity, students gain an appreciation for how historical context shapes events and decisions of the day.

Teach Cause and Effect in United States History
It is very easy to get caught up as a teacher in how to best get lots of minutia and factoids into students heads quickly and efficiently.  However, if we can teach history not as a series of independent and unrelated events, but as a series of events that have a causal relationship that impact what happens next, this helps students grasp and understand contextualization.  For example, in the lead-up to World War I, students create a timeline of events that led to America entering the conflict.  As students examine the torpedoing of the Lusitania, unrestricted submarine warfare, the Zimmermann telegram, etc., they gain an understanding that it was not a random decision by President Wilson, but rather a series of events that precipitated the declaration of war.  This is what contextualization is: the background that sets the stage for a particular moment in American history.

Examine Contextualization with Current Events
I know what you are thinking, I have one school year (less if your school year starts in September) to get through 1491 to Present and now I am supposed to make this a current events class as well?  The answer is yes and no.  Will stuff from the news pages be content the students need to know for the exam: absolutely not.  However, it is a great opportunity for students to understand that our past explains why our country is what it is today.

For example, President Obama’s decision to work towards normalizing relations with Cuba makes more sense if students think about it through the lens of contextualization.  The United States invaded Cuba in 1898 in the Spanish-American War and set up a protectorate.  Cubans, upset with what they perceived as U.S. meddling and intervention led a communist revolution in 1959, ousting the American-backed government and setting the stage for one of the scariest moments in the Cold War: the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Looking at how the past shapes current events today helps students understand this skill, and it also helps them gain a deeper appreciation of how important history is in shaping the world around them.

Any time changes happen, there is a temptation to be reactionary and reject them.  I have found that by being more deliberate about helping students understand historical context, their engagement and understanding have improved significantly.  Teachers always are fighting that battle between covering the content (which is daunting in an AP course) and helping students understand the “so what?” question.  Why does this matter to me?  By making connections, students can see that history does not every happen in a vacuum.  Our shared narrative is a series of events and ideas that continuously evolve and build off of each other.  When students gain a firm understanding of how the past impacts their lives today, it makes learning way more meaningful and fun.

Contextualization is tough for students at first, but it is a skill application that can be perfected and improved to maximize your students’ chances of earning that point and rocking the AP exam.

Looking for AP US History practice?

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Ben Hubing is an educator at Greendale High School in Greendale, Wisconsin.  Ben has taught AP U.S. History and AP U.S. Government and Politics for the last eight years and was a reader last year for the AP U.S. History Short Answer.  Ben earned his Bachelors degree at The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Masters degree at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2015 Edit

The APUSH exam went under a major redesign for 2015. The free-response portion now only contains one DBQ and one LEQ (from a choice of two).

  • Form A
    • DBQ: Explain the reasons why a new conservatism rose to prominence in the United States between 1960 and 1989.
    • Frerelations with Great Britain, analyzing what changed and what stayed the same from the period before the war to the period after it.
      • Evaluate the extent to which the Mexican-American War (1846–1848) marked a turning point in the debate over slavery in the United States, analyzing what changed and what stayed the same from the period before the war to the period after it.0

2014 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: How and why did the goals of United States foreign policy change from the end of the First World War (1918) to the end of the Korean War (1953)?
    • Free response, part B:
      • Choose TWO of the following and analyze their impact on colonial North American development between 1620 and 1776: Puritanism, The Enlightenment, The First Great Awakening
      • Compare and contrast the Jacksonian Democratic Party and the Whig Party of the 1830's and 1840's. Focus on TWO of the following: The role of the federal government in the economy, Social reform, Westward expansion
    • Free response, part C:
      • To what extent were the goals of Reconstruction (1865–1877) regarding African Americans achieved by 1900?
      • Explain the social, economic, and foreign policy goals of New Right conservatives from the 1960's to the 1980's and assess the degree to which the Reagan administration succeeded in implementing these goals in the 1980's.

2013 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: Analyze the causes of growing opposition to slavery in the United States from 1776 to 1852. In your response, consider both underlying forces and specific events that contributed to the growing opposition.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the role of trans-Atlantic trade and Great Britain’s mercantilist policies in the economic development of the British North American colonies in the period from 1650 to 1750.
      • Analyze the ways in which the United States sought to advance its interests in world affairs between 1789 and 1823.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Analyze the impact of technological innovations on the lives of TWO of the following groups. Confine your answer to the period 1865–1920: Factory workers, Middle-class urban residents, Mid-western farmers.
      • Between 1945 and 1975 various groups in the United States engaged in acts of protest. Analyze the reasons that protest emerged in this period for TWO of the following groups: African Americans, College students, Latino Americans, Women.

2012 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: In the post–Civil War United States, corporations grew significantly in number, size, and influence. Analyze the impact of big business on the economy and politics and the responses of Americans to these changes. Confine your answer to the period 1870 to 1900.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the effect of the French and Indian War and its aftermath on the relationship between Great Britain and the British colonies. Confine your response to the period from 1754 to 1776.
      • Analyze how western expansion contributed to growing sectional tensions between the North and the South. Confine your answer to the period from 1800 to 1850.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Analyze the origins and outcomes of the intense cultural conflicts of the 1920's. In your response, focus on TWO of the following: Immigration, Prohibition, Religion.
      • Compare and contrast the Cold War foreign policies of TWO of the following presidents: Harry Truman (1945–1953), Dwight Eisenhower (1953–1961), Richard Nixon (1969–1974).

2011 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: Analyze the international and domestic challenges the United States faced between 1968 and 1974, and evaluate how President Richard Nixon’s administration responded to them.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the origins and development of slavery in Britain’s North American colonies in the period 1607 to 1776.
      • To what extent did political parties contribute to the development of national unity in the United States between 1790 and 1840?
    • Free response, part C:
      • Compare and contrast the ways that many Americans expressed their opposition to immigrants in the 1840's– 1850's with the ways that many Americans expressed their opposition to immigrants in the 1910's– 1920's.
      • African American leaders have responded to racial discrimination in the United States in a variety of ways. Compare and contrast the goals and strategies of African American leaders in the 1890's–1920's with the goals and strategies of African American leaders in the 1950's-1960's.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: Explain the ways that participation in political campaigns and elections in the United States changed between 1815 and 1840, and analyze forces and events that led to these changes.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Compare and contrast the British, French, and Spanish imperial goals in North America between 1580 and 1763.
      • Analyze the ways in which the political, economic, and diplomatic crises of the 1780's shaped the provisions of the United States Constitution.'
    • Free response, part C:
      • Compare and contrast the foreign policies of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
      • Compare and contrast the women’s rights movement of the 1840's–1860's with the women’s rights movement of the 1960's–1980's.

2010  Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: In what ways did ideas and values held by the Puritans influence the political, economic, and social development of the New England colonies from 1630 through the 1660's?
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the political, diplomatic, and military reasons for the United States victory in the Revolutionary War. Confine your answer to the period 1775-1783.
      • 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.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Analyze the roles that women played in the Progressive Era reforms from the 1880's through 1920. Focus your essay on TWO of the following: Politics, Social conditions, Labor and working conditions.
      • Explain the causes and consequences of TWO of the following population movements in the United States during the period 1945–1985: Suburbanization, The growth of the Sunbelt, Immigration to the United States.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: The issue of territorial expansion sparked considerable debate in the period 1800–1855. Analyze this debate and evaluate the influence of both supporters and opponents of territorial expansion in shaping federal government policy. Use the documents and your knowledge of the years 1800–1855 in your answer.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Evaluate the influence of religion on the development of colonial society in TWO of the following regions: The Spanish Southwest, New England, New France.
      • Compare and contrast the experience of slaves on tobacco plantations in the early seventeenth-century Chesapeake region with that of slaves on nineteenth-century cotton plantations in the Deep South. What forces transformed the institution of slavery from the early seventeenth century to the nineteenth century?
    • Free response, part C:
      • Analyze the effectiveness of Progressive Era reformers in addressing problems of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In your answer, focus on reform efforts in TWO of the following areas: State and federal government, The workplace, Living conditions in cities.
      • Analyze the effects of the Vietnam War on TWO of the following in the United States in the period from 1961 to 1975: The presidency, The population between 18 and 35 years old, Cold War diplomacy.
    • Henry Clay NEVER DIES

2009 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: From 1775 to 1830, many African Americans gained freedom from slavery, yet during the same period the institution of slavery expanded. Explain why BOTH of those changes took place. Analyze the ways that BOTH free African Americans and enslaved African Americans responded to the challenges confronting them.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the ways in which British imperial policies between 1763 and 1776 intensified colonials' resistance to British rule and their comitment to republican values.
      • Analyze the social, political, and economic forces of the 1840s and early 1850s that led to the emergence of the Republican Party.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Choose TWO of the following organizations and explain their strategies for advancing the interests of workers. To what extent were these organizations successful in achieving their objectives? Confine your answers to the period from 1875 to 1925. Choices: Knights of Labor, American Federation of Labor, Socialist Part of America, Industrial Workers of the World.
      • Analyze the home-front experiences of TWO of the following groups during the Second World War: African Americans, Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: In what ways did African Americans shape the course and consequences of the Civil War? Confine your answer to the years from 1861 to 1870.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze how the ideas and experiences of the revolutionary era influenced the principles embodied in the Articles of Confederation.
      • 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.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Explain the origins of TWO of the following third parties and evaluate their impact on United States politics and national policies: The People's Party (Populists) in 1892, the Progressive Party (Bull Moose Party) in 1912, the States' Rights Party (Dixiecrats) in 1948, the American Independent Party in 1968.
      • Analyze the ways in which the events and trends of the 1970s diminished the nation's economic power and international influence, and challenged Americans' confidence in both.

2008 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: Analyze the ways in which the Vietnam War heightened social, political, and economic tensions in the United States. Focus your answer on the period 1964 to 1975.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Early encofghvand, Chesapeake, Spanish Southwest, California and New France.
      • Analyze the impact of the market ratchets (1815-1860) on the economies of TWO of the following regions: the Northeast, the Midwest, the South.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Following Reconstruction, many southern leaders promoted the idea of a "New South." To what extent was the "New South" a reality by the time of the First World War? In your answer be sure to address TWO of the following: Economic development, Politics, Race relations.
      • Presidential elections between 1928 and 1948 revealed major shifts in political party loyalties. Analyze both the reasons for these changes and their consequences during this period.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: For the years 1880 to 1925, analyze both the tensions surrounding the issue of immigration and the United States government's response to these tensions. Use the following documents and your knowledge of the period from 1880 to 1925 to construct your answer.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the reasons for the Anti-Federalists' opposition to ratifying the Constitution.
      • Use TWO of the following categories to analyze the ways in which African Americans created a distinctive culture in slavery: Family, Music, Oral traditions, Religions.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Analyze the extent to which the Spanish-American War was a turning point in American foreign policy.
      • Analyze the extent to which the 1920s and 1950s were similar in TWO of the following areas: Impact of technology, Intolerant attitudes, Literary developments.

2007 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: Analyze the ways in which technology, government policy, and economic conditions changed American agriculture in the period 1865-1900. In your answer be sure to evaluate farmers' responses to these changes.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Settlers in the eighteenth-century American back country sometimes resorted to violent protest to express their grievances. Analyze the causes and significance of TWO of the following: March of the Paxton Boys, Regulator movement, Shays' Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion.
      • In what ways did the Second Great Awakening in the North influence TWO of the following? Abolitionism, Temperance, the Cult of Domesticity, Utopian communities.
    • Free response, part C:
      • To what extent did the role of the federal government change under President Theodore Roosevelt in regard to TWO of the following: Labor, Trusts, Conservation, World affairs.
      • "Landslide presidential victories do not ensure continued political effectiveness or legislative success." Assess the validity of this statement by comparing TWO of the following presidential administration: Franklin Roosevelt (1936), Lyndon Johnson (1964), Richard Nixon (1972), Ronald Reagan (1984).
  • Form B
    • DBQ: In what ways did the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson respond to the political, economic, and social problems of the United States? Assess the effectiveness of these responses. Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1960-1970 to construct your response.
    • Free response, part B:
      • The French and Indian War (1754-1763) altered the relationship between Britain and its North American colonies. Assess this change with regard to TWO of the following in the period between 1763 and 1775: Land acquisition, Politics, Economics.
      • Compare the experiences of TWO of the following groups of immigrants during the period 1830 to 1860: English, Irish, German.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Explain how TWO of the following individuals responded to the economic and social problems created by industrialization during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Jane Addams, Andrew Carnegie, Samuel Gompers, Upton Sinclair.
      • Analyze the ways in which the federal government sought support on the home front for the war effort during the First World War.

2006 Edit

  • Form A
    • 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 race and class.
    • Free response, part B:
      • 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: Politics, Religion, Economic development.
      • 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 the period 1861-1877.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Historians have argued that Progressive reform lost momentum in the 1920s. Evaluate this statement with respect to TWO of the following: Regulation of business, Labor, Immigrants.
      • While the United States appeared to be dominated by consensus and conformity in the 1950s, some Americans reacted against the status quo. Analyze the critiques of United States society made by TWO of the following: Youth, Civil Rights Activists, Intellectuals.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: Analyze developments from 1941 to 1949 that increased suspicion and tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1941-1949 to construct your response.
    • Free response, part B:
      • "The United States Constitution of 1787 represented an economic and ideological victory for the traditional American political elite." Assess the validity of that statement for the period 1781 to 1789.
      • In what ways and to what extent was industrial development from 1800 to 1860 a factor in the relationship between the northern and the southern states?
    • Free response, part C:
      • For whom and to what extent was the American West a land of opportunity from 1865 to 1890?
      • How did TWO of the following help shape American national culture in the 1920s? Advertising, Entertainment, Mass production.

2005 Edit

  • Form A
    • 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.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Compare and contrast the ways in which economic development affected politics in Massachusetts and Virginia in the period from 1607 to 1750.
      • 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?
    • Free response, part C:
      • Describe the patterns of immigration in TWO of the periods listed below. Compare and contrast the responses of Americans to immigrants in these periods: 1820 to 1860, 1880 to 1924, 1965 to 2000.
      • Analyze the extent to which TWO of the following transformed American society in the 1960s and 1970s: The Civil Rights movement, the antiwar movement, the women's movement.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: In the early nineteenth century, Americans sought to resolve their political disputes through compromise, yet by 1860 this no longer seemed possible. Analyze the reasons for this change. Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1820-1860 in constructing your response.
    • Free response, part B:
      • "Geography was the primary factor in shaping the development of the British colonies in North America." Assess the validity of this statement for the 1600s.
      • To what extent was the United States Constitution a radical departure from the Articles of Confederation?
    • Free response, part C:
      • How successful were progressive reforms during the period 1890 to 1915 with respect to TWO of the following? Industrial conditions, Urban life, Politics.
      • Analyze the ways in which TWO of the following contributed to the changes in women's lives in the United States in the mid-twentieth century: Wars, Literature and/or popular culture, Medical and/or technological advances.

2004 Edit

  • Form A
    • 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.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the impact of the American Revolution of the both slavery and the status of women in the period from 1775-1800.
      • Analyze the effectiveness of political compromise in reducing sectional tensions in the period 1820 to 1861.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Compare and contrast the programs and policies designed by reformers of the Progressive era to those designed by reformers of the New jkhkDeal period. Confine your answers to programs and policies that addressed the needs of those living in poverty.
      • Analyze the successes and failures of the United States Cold War policy of containment as it developed in TWO of the follow regions of the world during the period 1945 to 1975: East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: How and for what reasons did the United States foreign policy change between 1920 and 1941? Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1920-1941 to construct your response.
    • Free response, part B:
      • To what extent was the election of 1800 aptly named the "Revolution of 1800?" Respond with reference to TWO of the following areas: Economics, Foreign policy, Judiciary, Politics.
      • 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: Domestic, Economic, Political, Social.
    • Free response, part C:
      • Analyze the primary causes of the population shift from a rural to an urban environment in the United States between 1875 and 1925.
      • "Between 1960 and 1975, there was great progress in the struggle for political and social equality." Assess the validity of this statement with respect to TWO of the following groups during that period: African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Women.

2003 Edit

  • Form A
    • DBQ: Analyze the responses of Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration to the problems of the Great Depression. How effective were the 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.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Evaluate the extent to which the Articles of Confederation were effective in solving the problems that confronted the new nation.
      • In what ways did developments in transportation bring about economic and social change in the United States in the period 1820-1860?
    • Free response, part C:
      • Evaluate the impact of the Civil War on political and economic developments in TWO of the following regions: The South, the North, the West. Focus your answer on the period between 1865 and 1900.
      • Compare and contrast United States society in the 1920s and the 1950s with respect to TWO of the following: race relations, role of women, consumerism.
  • Form B
    • DBQ: Evaluate the effectiveness of Progressive Era reformers and the federal government in bringing about reform at the national level. In your answer be sure to analyze the successes and limitation of these efforts in the period 1900-1920.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Compare the ways in which TWO of the following reflected tensions in colonial society: Bacon's Rebellion (1676), Pueblo Revolt (1680), Salem witchcraft trials (1692), Stono Rebellion (1739)
      • 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 TWO of the following: Whiskey Rebellion (1794), Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798-1799), Hartford Convention (1814-1815), Nullification Crisis (1832-1833).
    • Free response, par C:
      • Analyze the ways in which farmers and industrial workers responded to industrialization in the Gilded Age (1865-1900).
      • Describe and account for changes in the American presidency between 1960 and 1975, as symbolized by Kennedy's "Camelot," Johnson's Great Society, and Nixon's Watergate. In your answer, address the powers of the presidency and the role of the media.

2002 Edit

  • Form A
    • 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.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society (to 1740) in TWO of the following regions: New England, Chesapeake, Middle Atlantic.
      • Analyze the contribution of TWO of the following in helping establish a stable government after the adoption of the Constitution: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington.
    • Free response, part C:
      • 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.
      • How did the African American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s address the failures of the Reconstruction?
  • Form B
    • DBQ: Historians have traditionally labeled the period after the War of 1812 the "Era of Good Feelings." Evaluate the accuracy of this label, considering the emergence of nationalism and sectionalism. Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1815-1825 to construct your answer.
    • Free response, part B:
      • Analyze the impact of the Atlantic trade routes established in the mid 1600s on economic development in the British North American colonies. Consider the period 1650-1750.
      • Identify and analyze the factors that changed the American city in the second half of the nineteenth century.
    • Free response, part C:
      • How successful were the programs of the New Deal in solving the problems of the Great Depression? Assess with respect to TWO of the following: Relief, recovery, reform.
      • Analyze the ways in which TWO of the following shaped American politics after the Second World War: Anticommunism in the 1940s and 1950s, the women's liberation movement in the 1960s, the "silent majority" in the 1970s.

2001 Edit

  • Form A
    • 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?
    • Free response, part B:
      • 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?
      • 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: Economic development, Politics, Reform movements.
    • Free response, part C:
      • How and why did transportation developments spark economic growth during the period from 1860 to 1900 in the United States?
      • Describe and account for the rise of nativism in American society from 1900 to 1930.

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