American History Lecture Fourteen

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The last class is devoted to the final exam. The make-up of the exam will roughly be:

  • Political history: 35% (politicians, legislation, court decisions)
  • Foreign policy: 15% (Wars, dealings with foreign countries)
  • Economic history: 20% (money, jobs, business, trade)
  • Social history: 20% (reform movements, religion, racism, immigration)
  • Intellectual and cultural history: 10% (books, media, conformity, hippies, etc.)

Ultimately, the score is yours. Ultimately your success is up to you. Try your best.

There are between 360 and 370 events in each of the two event lists. But also keep a perspective on the "big picture." Learn the details about the French and Indian War, but also be sure to know who won the war. Good history preparation requires constantly asking yourself questions: do you know who was president in that year, do you know what the culture was like, do know what the political parties were then and what they stood for, do you know which foreign countries were friendly and which ones were not, etc.?

If the total of about 730 terms in the two event lists seems like too many to learn, then consider this: some students memorize the entire dictionary of tens of thousands of words in order to try to win the national spelling bee. Quiz yourself while you are in the car. Quiz yourself while you are waiting to be picked up. Quiz yourself instead of watching television. Ask your mom to quiz you, and she will be amazed at what you know.

Ted Williams became the best hitter ever in baseball (excluding those who use steroids!) by devoting all of his interest and attention to it. He developed a love for the art of hitting a baseball. He studied every aspect of it in his drive to be the best. Find a way to motivate yourself in a similar manner about American history, and you will do remarkably well.