Actual dbq and Essay Questions 1991-2008

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Actual DBQ and Essay Questions 1991-2008

(Organized by historical chronology)

Do not try and answer the questions but rather familiarize yourselves with the topics asked

Part A (DBQ)

1. Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies. Why did this difference in development occur? (1993)

2. In what ways did the French and Indian War (1754-63) alter the political, economic and


relations between Britain and its American colonies? (2004)

3. To what extent had the colonists developed a sense of their own identity and unity as Americans by the eve of the Revolution? (1999)

4. To what extent did the American Revolution fundamentally change American society? In your


be sure to address the political, social and economic effects of the Revolution from 1775 to

1800. (2005)

5. Discuss the changing ideals of American womanhood between the American Revolution (1770’s) 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. (2006)
6. With respect to the federal Constitution, the Jeffersonian Republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists. To what extent was this characterization of the two parties accurate during the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison? (1998)
7. Reform movements in the United States sought to expand democratic ideals. Assess the validity of

this statement with specific reference to the years 1820-1850. (2002)

8. To what extent did the natural environment shape the development of the West beyond the Mississippi and the lives of those who lived and settled there? How important were other factors? (1992)

9. In what ways and to what extent did constitutional and social developments between 1860 and 1877 amount to a revolution? (1996)

10. 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. (2007)

11. How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875 to

1900? Analyze the factors that lead to the level of success achieved. ((2000)
12. To what extent was late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century United States

expansionism a continuation of past United States expansionism and to what extent was it a

departure? (1994)
13. To what extent did economic and political developments as well as assumptions about the nature of women affect the position of American women during the period 1890 – 1925? (1997)

14. It was the strength of the opposition forces, both liberal and conservative, rather than the ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson that led to the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles. Assess the validity. (1991)

15. Analyze the responses of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration to the problems of the Great

Depression. How effective were these responses? How did they change the role of the federal government? (2003)

16. What were the Cold War fears of the American people in the aftermath of the Second World War?

How successfully did the Eisenhower administration address those fears? (2001)

17. Analyze the changes that occurred during the 1960’s in the goals, strategies, and support of the

Movement for African American rights. (1995)

18. 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. (2008)

Part B: (Regular Free Response Essay questions)

1. Analyze the extent to which religious freedom existed in the British North American colonies prior to 1700. (1998)

2. Analyze the differences between t he Spanish settlements in the Southwest and the English colonies in New England in the seventeenth century in terms of TWO of the following: (2006)


Economic Development
3. Early encounters between American Indians and European colonists led to a variety of

relationships among the different cultures.

Analyze how the actions taken by BOTH American Indians and European colonists

shaped those relationships in TWO of the following regions. Confine your answer to

the 1600s.

New England


Spanish Southwest

New York and New France

4. Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society (to 1740) in TWO of the following regions: (2002)

New England


Middle Atlantic

5. For the period before 1750, analyze the ways in which Britain’s policy of salutary neglect influenced the development of American society as illustrated in the following. (1995)

Legislative assemblies


6. Analyze the cultural and economic responses of TWO of the following groups to the Indians of North America before 1750: (2000)



7. Compare and contrast the ways in which economic development affected politics in

Massachusetts and Virginia in the period 1607-1750. (2005)

8. Settlers in the eighteenth-century American backcountry sometimes resorted to violent protest to express their grievances. Analyze the causes and significance of TWO of the following: (2007)

March of the Paxton Boys

Regulator movement

Shays' Rebellion

Whiskey Rebellion

9. 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? (2001)

10. Evaluate the relative importance of the following as factors prompting Americans to rebel in 1776: (1992)

parliamentary taxation

restriction of civil liberties

British military measures

the legacy of colonial religious and political ideas

11. Analyze the degree to which the Articles of Confederation provided an effective form of government with respect to any TWO of the following. (1996)

Foreign relations

Economic conditions

Western lands
12. Evaluate the extent to which the Articles of Confederation were effective in solving the problems that confronted the new nation.(2003)

13. The Bill of Rights did not come from a desire to protect the liberties won in the American Revolution but rather from a fear of the powers of the new federal government. Assess the validity… (1991)

14. Analyze the extent to which the American Revolution represented a radical alteration in

American political ideas and institutions. Confine your answer to the period between 1775 to

1800. (1997)
15. Analyze the impact of the American Revolution on both slavery and the status of women in the period from 1775-1800. (2004)
16. Evaluate the relative importance of domestic and foreign affairs in shaping American politics in the 1790's. (1994)

17. Analyze the contributions of TWO of the following in helping establish a stable government after the adoption of the Constitution. (2002)

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

George Washington

18. Analyze the ways in which TWO of the following influenced the development of American society. (1994)

Puritanism during the seventeenth century

The Great Awakening during the eighteenth century

The Second Great Awakening during the nineteenth century

19. Analyze the extent to which TWO of the following influenced the development of democracy between 1820 and 1840. (1996)

Jacksonian economic policy

Changes in electoral politics

Second Great Awakening

Westward movement

20. In what ways did the Second Great Awakening in the North influence TWO of the following?



The cult of domesticity

Utopian communities
21. Analyze the impact of the market revolution (1815–1860) on the economies of TWO

of the following regions. (2008)

The Northeast

The Midwest

The South

22. 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. (2001)

Economic Development


Reform Movements
23. In what ways did the early nineteenth-century reform movements for abolition and women’s rights

illustrate both the strengths and weaknesses of democracy in the early American republic?


24. How did TWO of the following contribute to the reemergence of a two party system in the period 1820 to 1840? (1999)

Major political personalities

States’ rights

Economic issues

25. Although historically represented as distinct parties, the Federalists and the Whigs in fact shared a common political ideology, represented many of the same interest groups, and proposed similar programs and policies. Assess the validity… (1991)

26. Discuss the impact of territorial expansion on national unity between 1800 and 1850. (1997)

27. Compare the expansionist foreign policies of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James K. Polk. To what extent did their policies strengthen the United States? (1993)

28. Analyze the ways in which supporters of slavery in the nineteenth century used legal, religious, and economic arguments to defend the institution of slavery. (1995)

29. Analyze the effectiveness of political compromise in reducing sectional tensions in the period 1820 to 1861. (2004)

30. Assess the moral arguments and political actions of those opposed to the spread of slavery in the context of TWO of the following. (2000)
Missouri Compromise

Mexican War

Compromise of 1850

Kansas-Nebraska Act
31. 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 1845 to 1855? (2005)
32. In what ways did developments in transportation bring about economic and social change in the United States in the period 1820 to 1860? (2003)

33. Analyze the economic consequences of the Civil War with respect to any TWO of the following in the United States between 1865 and 1880. (1997)




34. Following Reconstruction, many southern leaders promoted the idea of a

“New South.” To what extent was this “New South” a reality by the time of the

First World War? In your answer be sure to address TWO of the following. (2008)

Economic development


Race relations
35. How and why did transportation developments spark economic growth during the period from 1860 to 1900 in the United States? (2001)
36. 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.(2003)

37. Discuss the political, economic, and social reforms introduced in the South between 1864 and 1877. To what extent did these reforms survive the Compromise of 1877? (1992)

38. Although the economic development of the Trans-Mississippi West is popularly associated with hardy individualism, it was in fact largely dependent on the federal government.

Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to western economic activities in the nineteenth century. (1991)

39. Compare the debates that took place over American expansionism in the 1840’s with those that took place in the 1890’s, analyzing the similarities and differences in the debates of the two eras. (1992)

40. 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: (2006)

Race Relations

Economic Development

Westward Expansion
41. How were the lives of the Plains Indians in the second half of the nineteenth century affected by technological developments and government actions? (1999)
42. Compare and contrast the attitudes of THREE of the following toward the wealth that was created in the United States during the late nineteenth century. (1994)

Andrew Carnegie

Eugene V. Debs

Horatio Alger

Booker T. Washington

Ida M. Tarbell

43. Analyze the impact of any TWO of the following on the American industrial worker between 1865 and 1900. (1998)

Government actions


Labor unions

Technological changes

44. Analyze reasons for the emergence of the Populist movement in the late nineteenth century. (1995)

45. Analyze the ways in which state and federal legislation and judicial decisions, including those of the Supreme Court, affected the efforts of any TWO of the following groups to improve their position in society between 1880 and 1920. (1993)

African Americans


45. To what extent did the role of the federal government change under President Theodore Roosevelt in regard to TWO of the following: (2007)




World affairs

46. From the 1840’s through the 1890’s women’s activities in the intellectual, social, economic, and political spheres effectively challenged traditional attitudes about women’s place in society. (1991)

47. Describe and account for the rise of nativism in American society from 1900 to 1940. (2001)
48. Compare and contrast the programs and policies designed by the reformers of the Progressive era to those designed by the reformers of the New Deal period. Confine your answer to the programs and policies that addressed the needs of those living in poverty. (2004)

49. Assess the relative influence of THREE of the following in the American decision to declare war on Germany in 1917. (1995)

German naval policy

American economic interests

Woodrow Wilson’s idealism

Allied propaganda

America’s claim to world power
50. To what extent did the United States achieve the objectives that led it to enter the First World War? (2000)
51. To what extent and why did the United States adopt an isolationist policy in the 1920’s and 1930’s? (1998)

52. In what ways did economic conditions and developments in the arts and entertainment help create the reputation of the 1920’s as the Roaring Twenties? (1999)

53. Historians have argued that Progressive reform lost momentum in the 1920’s. Evaluate this statement with respect to TWO of the following. (2006)

Regulation of business


54. 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.

55. Analyze the ways in which the Great Depression altered the American social fabric in the 1930’s.(1996)

56. Identify THREE of the following New Deal measures and analyze the ways in which each of the three attempted to fashion a more stable economy and a more equitable society? (1993)

Agricultural Adjustment Act

Securities and Exchange Commission

Wagner National Labor Relations Act

Social Security Act

57. Describe THREE of the following and analyze the ways in which each of the three has affected the status of women in American society since 1940. (1993)

Changing economic conditions

The rebirth of an organized women’s movement

Advances in reproductive technology

The persistence of traditional definitions of women’s roles

58. In 1945 Winston Churchill said that the United States stood at the summit of the world. Discuss the developments in the thirty years following Churchill’s speech which called the global preeminence of the United States into question. (1992)

59. Analyze the influence of TWO of the following on American-Soviet relations in the decade following the Second World War. (1996)

Yalta Conference

Communist revolution in China

Korean War


60. 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. (2002)

61. How do you account for the appeal of McCarthyism in the United States in the era following the Second World War? (1997)

62. Assess the success of the United States policy of containment in Asia between 1945 and 1975. (1999)

63. Analyze the successes and failures of the United States Cold War policy of containment as it developed in TWO of the following regions during the period 1945 to 1975. (2004)

East and Southeast Asia


Latin America

Middle East
64. Compare and contrast United States society in the 1920’s and the 1950’s with respect to TWO of the following: (2003)
race relations

role of women


65. To what extent did the decade of the 1950’s deserve its reputation as an age of political, social, and cultural conformity? (1994)

66. While the United States appeared to be dominated by consensus and conformity in the 1950’s, some Americans reacted against the status quo. (2006)

Analyze the critiques of United States society made by TWO of the following:


Civil Rights Activists


67. Although the 1960’s are usually considered the decade of greatest achievement for Black civil rights, the 1940’s and 1950’s were periods of equally important gains. Assess the validity… (1991)

68. How did the African-American Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s address the failures of Reconstruction? (2002)

69. In what ways did the Great Society resemble the New Deal in its origins, goals, and social and political legacy? Cite specific programs and policies in support of your arguments. (1992)

70. “1968 was a turning point for the United States.” To what extent is this an accurate statement? In your answer, discuss TWO of the following: (1998)

National politics

Vietnam War

Civil Rights

71. Discuss, with respect to TWO of the following, the view that the 1960’s represented a period of profound cultural change.(2000)


Gender roles


Race relations
72. Describe the patterns of immigration in TWO periods listed below. Compare and contrast the

responses of Americans to immigrants in these periods(2005)

1820 to 1860

1880 to 1924

1965 to 2000
73. Analyze the extent to which TWO of the following transformed American society in the 1960’s and


The Civil Rights Movement

The anti-war movement

The women’s movement

74. "Landslide presidential victories do not ensure continued political effectiveness or legislative success." (2007)

Assess the validity of this statement by comparing TWO of the following presidential administrations.

Franklin Roosevelt (1936)

Lyndon Johnson (1964)

Richard Nixon (1972)

Ronald Reagan (1984)

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