American History Final Exam 2008

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Your Name: ______________________________________________
American history exam - the entire course.
Nothing deducted for wrong answers.
45 minutes in time.


1. Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World where?

(a) Plymouth in what is now New England
(b) in what is now Virginia (slightly south of Jamestown)
(c) in what is now St. Augustine, Florida
(d) in what is now the Bahamas (San Salvador) and also what is now Haiti
(e) in what is now Mexico

2. The initial purpose of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 was which of the following?

(a) to fix the Declaration of Independence
(b) to fix the Magna Carta
(c) to fix the Articles of Confederation
(d) to completely replace the Articles of Confederation
(e) to completely replace the Declaration of Confederation

3. Which high-ranking American government official illegally spied for the communist Soviet Union during the Cold War, as confirmed by a jury trial and, decades later, confirmed by a study led by Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan?

(a) Richard Nixon
(b) Harry Truman
(c) Alger Hiss
(d) Chief Justice William Rehnquist
(e) Edward Teller

4. One aspect of the Jamestown settlement that most Puritans would have rejected was:

(a) working hard and eventually thriving
(b) being the first permanent English settlement
(c) learning to deal with the American Indians
(d) starting to develop Virginia, which produced George Washington
(e) resorting to the frequent use of slavery

5. A key turning point in the Revolutionary War in favor of the Continental Army was when:

(a) George Washington resigned
(b) General Benjamin Franklin defeated the British at Bunker Hill
(c) Benedict Arnold, a brilliant British general, came over to the American side
(d) the British admitted they were wrong and apologized
(e) France ended its neutrality and entered in support of George Washington

6. The Compromise of 1877 had the following effect:

(a) it ended Reconstruction
(b) it averted the Civil War
(c) it elected the first Democratic President in 40 years
(d) it resolved the dispute over bimetallism once and for all
(e) it allowed interleague baseball play between the National and American Leagues

7. The Bill of Rights expressly establishes all of the following rights EXCEPT:

(a) freedom of speech
(b) freedom of religion
(c) abortion
(d) freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
(e) the right not to be forced to testify against yourself

8. Shays’ Rebellion is significant for which of the following reasons?

(a) It was an important first step towards the American Revolution
(b) Its lawlessness convinced George Washington of the need for a stronger national government
(c) Shays became a national hero
(d) George Washington used troops to suppress the rebellion
(e) Shays Rebellion had no significance whatsoever

9. John Peter Zenger was put on trial for printing embarrassing things about the Governor of New York in the early 1700s. The jury found him:

(a) guilty and he served the rest of his life in jail
(b) guilty but he was pardoned by the Governor
(c) not guilty, by reason of insanity
(d) not guilty even though he did violate the law in effect at the time
(e) there were no juries in those days!

10. The Marshall Court is best known for doing which of the following:

(a) greatly expanding the power of the federal courts
(b) issuing the Dred Scott decision
(c) invalidating the Alien & Sedition Acts
(d) issuing a ruling that was overturned by the 11th Amendment
(e) presiding over the impeachment of Andrew Johnson

11. The Stamp Act did which of the following:

(a) the first major indirect tax on the colonies, it increased the cost of postal stamps
(b) the biggest direct tax, it lasted for ten years before it was repealed
(c) it was a proposed tax that never passed the British Parliament
(d) it was the first direct (internal) tax on the colonies, attempting to tax printed items including newspapers
(e) it was a tax imposed after the Declaration of Independence

12. What was the Battle of New Orleans?

(a) the British army attacked American troops led by Andrew Jackson, but Jackson and his sharpshooters crushed the British
(b) it was a battle between Americans and the Spanish in Louisiana
(c) it marked the beginning of the War of 1812
(d) it was a key battle in the Revolutionary War
(e) it was the last battle in the Spanish American War

13. The Dawes Act of 1887:

(a) granted land to American Indians for individual ownership; this was a failure
(b) granted land to American Indians for individual ownership; this was a success
(c) granted land to the railroad companies to complete the transcontinential railroad
(d) granted land to former slaves
(e) bought back land from American Indians and former slaves

14. This American delivered one of the most powerful sermons in all of history, which included the following: “All wicked men’s pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment. Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done.” Who gave this famous sermon?

(a) Jonathan Edwards
(b) George Whitefield
(c) John Peter Zenger
(d) John Harvard
(e) John Winthrop

15. The person most closely identified with Manifest Destiny is:

(a) Andrew Jackson
(b) John Tyler
(c) James Polk
(d) Abraham Lincoln
(e) George Washington

16. I went to the finest schools and was masterful at tactical retreats; later I became governor of New Jersey. About my boss, who was homeschooled, I said, “The President is nothing more than a well-meaning baboon … I went to the White House directly after tea where I found ‘the original Gorilla’ about as intelligent as ever. What a specimen to be at the head of our affairs now!” Who am I?

(a) General George McClellan
(b) Jefferson Davis
(c) General Robert E. Lee
(d) General Ulysses S. Grant
(e) General Ambrose Burns

17. The Declaration of Independence did which of the following:

I. Declared certain rights to be inalienable
II. Declared grievances against the King of England
III. Acknowledges God

(a) I only.
(b) II only.
(c) III only.
(d) I and II only.
(e) I, II and III.

18. The Radical Republicans passed which law in Congress, only to be vetoed by President Abraham Lincoln?

(a) the Homestead Act
(b) the Pacific Railway Act
(c) the Morrill Land Grant Act
(d) the Wade-Davis Bill
(e) the Civil Rights Act

19. Which political parties tended to favor higher protective tariffs, and which parties tended to oppose them, in the 1800s? (a) Favor: Federalist, Whig and Republican Parties; Oppose: Democrats
(b) Favor: Federalist and Whig Parties; Oppose: Democrats and Republicans
(c) Favor: Federalist Party; Oppose: Whigs, Republicans and Democrats
(d) Favor: Democrats; Oppose: Republicans
(e) Favor: only the Know-Nothing Party; Oppose: only the Anti-Mason Party

20. Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation established that the United States:

(a) would remain neutral between England and France
(b) would remain neutral between England and Germany
(c) would remain neutral between France and its colonies
(d) would not become involved in the French Revolution
(e) would remain neutral between Spain and its colonies

21. In the 1950s it was “cool” for people to __________, while in the 1960s it was “cool” for people to _____________.

(a) conform … be different
(b) be different … conform
(c) watch television … go on the internet
(d) listen to the radio … watch television
(e) homeschool … go to public school

22. President Lyndon Johnson is known for two things. What are they?

(a) starting the Korean and Vietnam Wars
(b) landing a man on the moon and ending poverty
(c) starting the Great Society and the Vietnam War
(d) being nice to people and, above all, telling the truth
(e) being elected twice as president by landslide margins

23. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was:

(a) passed by Congress, but stopped in the state legislatures before ratification
(b) opposed by President Jimmy Carter, but supported by Ronald Reagan
(c) passed by Congress, and ratified by the States
(d) the 27th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
(e) never passed by Congress

24. The achievements of Thomas Edison include:

(a) although mostly deaf, he invented the phonograph (record player)
(b) although failing on many attempts to the invent light bulb, he tried until success
(c) although his teacher said he was mentally retarded, it did not discourage him
(d) although from a poor family, he constructed a modern research laboratory
(e) All of the above.

25. What officially started World War II for the United States, and what ended it?

(a) Beginning: Germany bombs London. End: Hitler is caught.
(b) Beginning: Germany sinks our ships. End: Russia captures Berlin.
(c) Beginning: England asks for our help. End: D-Day.
(d) Beginning: Pearl Harbor. End: dropping the atomic bombs.
(e) Beginning: Japan invaded California. End: We invaded Japan.

26. President Grover Cleveland was an unusual Democrat for holding which of the following positions?

I. Supporting the gold standard
II. Opposing union power
III. Opposing more federal spending

(a) I only
(b) II only
(c) III only
(d) I, II and III
(e) I and II

27. “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” Who said that?

(a) Woodrow Wilson
(b) Teddy Roosevelt
(c) Abraham Lincoln
(d) James Madison
(e) Barack Obama

28. In Korematsu v. U.S., the United States Supreme Court held that:

(a) the Japanese were entitled to affirmative action in job applications
(b) American citizens of Japanese descent could be lawfully removed from their homes and detained in internment camps during World War II
(c) the atomic bomb could not be dropped on Japan until its environmental effects could be determined and minimized
(d) the Chinese Exclusion Act was constitutional
(e) Truman needed the Supreme Court’s approval before dropping the bomb

29. “Women’s suffrage” achieved its goal of amending the U.S. Constitution to require that women be allowed to vote throughout the nation in which year?

(a) 1865
(b) 1890
(c) 1905
(d) 1920
(e) 1945

30. “The Jungle” was what?

(a) a book by Upton Sinclair that led to new laws during the progressive movement
(b) a book by Helen Hunt Jackson that described the mistreatment of Indians
(c) an Academy Award-winning movie directed by Steven Spielberg about the Vietnam War
(d) Nathaniel Bacon’s autobiography, written before he burned Jamestown
(e) a pamphlet about politics in the United States in the 19th century

31. Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the only president in American history whose actions compelled the passage of a constitutional amendment to prevent any future president from doing it again. What did he do?

(a) formally declared war
(b) had as a relative a prior president
(c) served during an economic depression
(d) had a bitter disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court
(e) served more than two terms in violation of the example (precedent) set by George Washington

32. The Gilded Age was:

(a) a prosperous economic period after the Civil War, having some scandal and corruption underneath the “surface”
(b) a booming economic time for the South leading up the Civil War
(c) a period of prosperity during “salutary neglect”
(d) the Second Great Awakening
(e) another name for the Great Depression

33. What was “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD)?

(a) a theory during the Cold War that aggression by one side was deterred by the threat of an all-out nuclear war that would destroy both sides
(b) a theory during World War I that prevented the use of chemical warfare, because if one side used it, then the other side would also
(c) a theory during the Civil War that reduced bloodshed because each side knew that if one attacked, then the other would attack also
(d) a theory of President John F. Kennedy’s that it is better to attack first rather than to defend against attack
(e) a popular magazine that often had Alfred E. Newman on the cover.

34. The cartoon below asks, “WHAT WILL HE DO?” and at the bottom, “The eyes of the world are upon him. – Minneapolis Tribune.” What did he do as referenced by this cartoon? Spanish American War cartoon.jpg (a) Teddy Roosevelt did expel many immigrants from America.
(b) William McKinley did allow Spain to continue to control Cuba.
(c) William McKinley did not allow Spain to continue to control Cuba.
(d) William McKinley did allow Spain to continue to control the Philippines.
(e) William McKinley did not allow Spain to continue to control the Philippines.

35. The legislation that stopped the growing power of unions shortly after World War II was:

(a) McCarran Internal Security Act
(b) Landum-Griffin Act
(c) Taft-Hartley Act
(d) Full Employment Act
(e) Lend-Lease Act

36. The “New Deal” was a set of:

(a) massive government spending programs that accomplished very little in lifting America out of the Great Depression.
(b) programs by President Herbert Hoover to avert the Great Depression.
(c) Teddy Roosevelt’s improvement on his “Square Deal.”
(d) a program under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that quickly restored the economy to its booming successes of the 1920s.
(e) Congress never passed this proposal by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

37. Supporters of Prohibition included:

I. Women’s Christian Temperance Union
II. Anti-Saloon League
III. Susan B. Anthony
IV. The Democratic Party in 1933

(a) II only.
(b) I, III and IV.
(c) II, III and IV.
(d) I, II and III.
(e) I and IV.

38. President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” program (“Strategic Defense Initiative”) consisted of:

(a) developing a new defensive shield for the United States against nuclear attack that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which could not compete with it
(b) a stimulus package to get more people to watch movies made by Hollywood
(c) a program supported by everyone, earning Reagan the Nobel Prize
(d) a proposal that was more popular in the Soviet Union than in the United States
(e) humor by Reagan, who loved to play practical jokes on the public

39. The “Roaring Twenties” were:

(a) a period of great comedy in the 1820s.
(b) another name for the Great Awakening in the 1720s.
(c) a period of strife and conflict in the 1620s in the new settlements.
(d) a period of great economic success and cultural improvement in the 1920s.
(e) the unforgettable success in the 1920s under the leadership of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

40. The Scopes Trial was about _____________, and which side won in court?

(a) teaching human evolution in public school … and supporters of teaching human evolution won
(b) William Jennings Bryan … and he lost
(c) Clarence Darrow … and he won
(d) Hollywood values … and Hollywood won
(e) teaching human evolution in public school … and supporters of teaching human evolution lost

41. The Indians acquired these new things from the Europeans: ___________. The Europeans acquired these new things from the Indians: _____________.

(a) horses, cattle and orange trees; cocoa, corn and tobacco
(b) nothing but diseases; rice, wheat and timber
(c) violence and hardship; mathematics
(d) horses and cattle, but not orange trees; corn and cocoa, but not tobacco
(e) horses and orange trees, but not cattle; tobacco, but not corn or cocoa

42. When did Utopian societies thrive in America?

(a) in the 1810s
(b) in the 1820s
(c) in the 1830s
(d) in the 1840s
(e) in the 1850s

43. The “Warren Court” did which of the following?

(a) banned official prayer in public school
(b) granted broad new rights to criminals
(c) unleashed a flood of pornography in the nation
(d) forced state legislatures to redistrict to achieve “one man, one vote”
(e) All of the above

44. “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” Who said that?

(a) Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(b) Andrew Johnson
(c) Abraham Lincoln
(d) John Calhoun
(e) General Robert E. Lee

45. In the Zimmermann telegram was which of the following?

(a) Sent in 1940, was a threatening message by Germany sent to the United States warning us not to declare war
(b) Sent in 1917, and was a telegram by Germany to Mexico promising it the return of the Southwest of the United States if Mexico would invade the U.S.
(c) a communication that contained the Sussex Pledge
(d) Adolf Hitler’s attempt to have Japan attack the United States
(e) Thomas Edison’s dispatch to Abraham Lincoln at the start of the Civil War

46. The economic (financial) policy of President Ronald Reagan (“Reaganomics”) focused on:

(a) raising taxes
(b) increasing spending
(c) reducing (“cutting”) taxes
(d) ending poverty
(e) starting new wars

47. Who won his political party’s nomination for president, with perhaps the finest speaking skill in American history, by saying, “you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

(a) William McKinley
(b) Teddy Roosevelt
(c) William Jennings Bryan
(d) Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(e) John F. Kennedy

48. James Meredith was significant to the civil rights movement in which way?

(a) he was the first black to play baseball in the National League
(b) he was the first black to attend the University of Mississippi
(c) he was a big supporter of affirmative action
(d) he refused to go to the back of the bus, triggering the bus boycott
(e) he wrote letters from the Birmingham jail, where he was held for racial reasons

49. “9/11” was an attack on the United States by citizens of which nation?

(a) Iraq
(b) Afghanistan
(c) United States
(d) Mexico
(e) Saudi Arabia

50. What do the Inchon Landing and the statement “Tear down this wall” have in common?

(a) Both were creative, successful approaches to defeat communism, which were undertaken against the advice of “experts”
(b) Both were predictable failures against the inevitable triumph of communism
(c) The fighter planes that destroyed the “wall” first landed at Inchon to refuel
(d) In both cases, other politicians immediately praised these bold feats
(e) Communists were very appreciative of both initiatives

51. The year is 2023, and you are over 25 years old. Based on current trends, the Constitution, and anything else you learned in this course, what do you think will most likely be true then?

(a) Barack Obama will be president, serving his fourth term.
(b) the most successful companies will be using unions.
(c) even more people will be homeschooling than now.
(d) even more people will be moving out of the United States than moving in
(e) there will be no terrorism in the world


52. The Stalwarts were whom, and what did they stand for?

(a) Republicans who favored the “spoils system,” and who included former Radical Republicans.
(b) liberal Republicans who favored the “spoils system,” and who included former Northern Democrats.
(c) supporters of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” Party.
(d) conservative Republicans who opposed the “spoils system.”
(e) liberal Republicans who opposed the “spoils system,” who included former Radical Republicans.

53. Bimetallism favored whom?

(a) Bankers
(b) Bankers and farmers
(c) Republicans
(d) Farmers and miners
(e) Republicans and Democrats

54. In Munn v. Illinois, the Supreme Court held:

(a) that Illinois may not regulate the railroads; this energized the Democrats
(b) that Illinois properly regulated a public facility (a grain warehouse); this energized the populist movement
(c) that Illinois improperly regulated a public facility (a grain warehouse); this was a victory for the Republican Party
(d) that Munn could force Illinois to allow his railroad to terminate at Chicago
(e) that Munn could force Illinois to allow his planes to land at O’Hare Field

55. Under the leadership of Teddy Roosevelt, the United States ambitiously built this, paid for it, and generously allowed the world to use it. But some criticized it as an example of “imperialism”. President Jimmy Carter gave it away, and now the country that owns it allows communist China to operate and control it. What is this?

(a) the base at the Guantanamo Bay
(b) the Panama Canal
(c) Tokyo
(d) the capitol building in Puerto Rico
(e) the oil rigs in Saudi Arabia

56. Eugene V. Debs was jailed for which reason?

(a) for participating in the Haymarket Riot
(b) for conspiring with future Professor Bill Ayers to bomb the statute of a policeman in Haymarket Square
(c) for leading a strike against Pullman railroad cars in 1894
(d) for passing secrets from the Manhattan Project to the communists
(e) for having the courage to break a strike by actually showing up for work

57. How did the “Good Neighbor” policy differ from prior policies?

(a) The Good Neighbor policy of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt consisted of greater restraint towards Latin America, unlike prior policies of the “Big Stick” and “Dollar Diplomacy”
(b) The Good Neighbor policy of President Woodrow Wilson consisted of using the League of Nations to keep peace, unlike the “Big Stick” and “Dollar Diplomacy” policies
(c) The Good Neighbor policy of President Teddy Roosevelt was a modification of the “Big Stick” policy
(d) The Good Neighbor policy was a proposal by the United Nations that was never ratified by the U.S. Senate
(e) The Good Neighbor policy was a Cold War approach to communism

58. To which conflict does the poster to the right (about Liberty Bonds) refer?

Liberty Bonds.jpg

(a) the Spanish American War
(b) World War I
(c) World War II
(d) the Korean War
(e) the Cold War

59. “Yellow journalism” was which of the following?

(a) it was sensationalistic journalism in the 1890s that whipped the public into a pro-war mood, causing the Spanish American War
(b) it was sensationalistic journalism in the 1910s that whipped the public into a pro-war mood, causing the Spanish American War
(c) it was sensationalistic journalism in the 1950s that whipped the public into a pro-war mood, causing the Korean War
(d) it was unbiased, objective reporting, much like journalism today
(e) it was not journalism at all, but a style of television reporting that relied on soundbites

60. “Tin Pan Alley” was an area of _____ known for _____ in the _______.

(a) Chicago; beggars; Great Depression.
(b) New Orleans; only jazz; 1920s.
(c) New York City; music including jazz; 1920s.
(d) San Francisco; theater; 1970s.
(e) Boston; poverty; 1980s.

61. We end our course where we started: the Age of Discovery. Place the following in following explorers or conquerors in chronological order by their achievements:

I. Sir Humphrey Gilbert
II. John Cabot
III. Hernando Cortes
IV. Samuel de Champlain

(a) I, II, III and IV.
(b) II, III, I and IV.
(c) IV, I, II and III.
(d) I, IV, II and III.
(e) III, IV, II and I.


(BOYS ONLY) We can thank _____________ for helping along the development of the game of ________.

(a) Thomas Jefferson … baseball.
(b) Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr … football.
(c) the Spanish American War … baseball
(d) the Civil War … baseball.
(e) World War II … women’s softball.

(GIRLS ONLY) Which of the following are uniquely American in origin?

I. Jazz
II. The Mormon (LDS) Church
III. Democracy
IV. Baseball

(a) I only.
(b) I, III and IV.
(c) I and IV.
(d) I, II and IV.
(e) I, II, III and IV.


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