Advanced Placement United States History Exam Study Guide



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Advanced Placement United States History

Exam Study Guide

The “Big 75”
The 75 items below in bold print are subjects that frequently appear in the multiple-choice section of the College Board exam. The remaining items have also appeared on many occasions.


  • colonial slavery

  • Transcendentalism

  • New Deal/AAA/social security

  • First Great Awakening

  • Garrison/uncompensated emancip.

  • 1920s foreign policy/isolation

  • mercantilism

  • American Colonization Society

  • 1920s pro-business policies

  • Puritanism

  • nativism/Know-Nothings

  • Japanese internment

  • Anne Hutchinson

  • Manifest Destiny/Texas annexation

  • Lost Generation” of writers

  • Bacon’s Rebellion

  • popular sovereignty

  • cause of Great Depression

  • indentured servitude

  • utopian communities

  • Harlem Renaissance

  • Jamestown

  • Wilmot Proviso

  • Hoover’s policies/Hoovervilles

  • Constitutional Convention

  • Reconstruction/sharecropping

  • Articles of Confederation

  • Radical Reconstruction

  • World War II home front

  • French Alliance

  • Black Codes

  • 1920s agriculture

  • Hamilton’s program

  • Emancipation Proc./Lincoln’s views

  • 1930s migrations

  • Northwest Ordinance

  • Cotton Diplomacy

  • Bonus Army

  • Stamp Act

  • Dawes Act/assimilation

  • Good Neighbor policy

  • causes of the Revolution

  • late 19c farmer discontent

  • Great Migration (African American)

  • Deism

  • New Immigration

  • Palmer Raids

  • Shays’ Rebellion

  • Populism

  • Scopes trial

  • Washington’s Farewell

  • Social Darwinism

  • war bonds (World Wars I and II)

  • Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions

  • urbanization

  • Brown v. Board of Education

  • Proclamation of 1763

  • American Federation of Labor

  • suburbia

  • Election of 1896

  • containment policy/George Kennan

  • republicanism

  • political machines

  • Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Treaty of Paris (1783)

  • railroads

  • Eisenhower’s economic policies

  • Monroe Doctrine

  • settlements houses

  • Election of 1968

  • Louisiana Purchase

  • Turner’s thesis

  • 1950s conformity/non-conformist lit.

  • Marbury v. Madison

  • Progressivism

  • baby boom

  • Missouri Compromise

  • Open Door policy

  • Rev’n” of 1800/TJ’s republicanism

  • muckrakers

  • Black Power

  • American System

  • The Jungle/Pure Food and Drug Act

  • causes of the Korean War

  • Jackson’s policies

  • League of Nations

  • Fair Deal

  • canals

  • Plessy v. Ferguson

  • Great Society

  • Lowell factories/factory girls

  • imperialism/jingoism

  • McCarthyism

  • Nullification crisis

  • Riis’ How the Other Half Lives

  • rock-n-roll

  • Hartford Convention

  • Sherman Antitrust Act

  • sit-ins

  • TR’s Square Deal

  • causes of Vietnam War

  • Antebellum South/slavery

  • WEB DuBois

  • 1970s economy/stagflation

  • Dred Scott case

  • World War I mobilization/war boards

  • Gulf of Tonkin incident/resolution

  • Old Immigration

  • causes of Spanish-American War

  • Carter’s policies

  • Antebellum education reforms

  • causes of World War I

  • “graying”/aging of American population

  • Comp. of 1850/Fugitive Slave Law

  • Philippine annexation/war

  • Nixon’s policies

  • Republican Party/free-soilers

  • Roosevelt Corollary

  • Reaganomics

  • Seneca Falls Convention

  • women’s suffrage movement

  • Tet Offensive


The Colonial Period (1607—1754)


  • C&C Spanish, French, English settlements in America

  • C&C colonial regions (New England, Middle, Chesapeake, South): economic, political, social, geographic

  • indentured servitude/slavery in colonies

  • religion: Puritans, Salem Witch Trials, Halfway Covenant, Holy Experiment, Toleration Act, Great Awakening

  • mercantilism, Triangular Trade, Navigation Acts

  • Enlightenment, social contract theory

  • Salem Witch Trials

  • colonial government: Mayflower Compact, Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, House of Burgesses, Zenger trial

  • salutary neglect


Revolutionary Period (1754—1783)


  • French and Indian War, Albany Plan of Union, Treaty of Paris (1763), effect of war on British-colonial relations

  • Pontiac’s Rebellion, Proclamation of 1763

  • Stamp Act, Sons of Liberty, Boston Massacre, Coercive Acts

  • First Continental Congress, Second Continental Congress

  • Common Sense, Declaration of Independence

  • Revolutionary War battles: Lexington & Concord, Saratoga, Yorktown

  • Treaty of Paris (1783)

  • Articles of Confederation: weaknesses and accomplishments, Northwest & Land Ordinance, Shays’ Rebellion


Constitution and Federalist Era (1783—1800)


  • Constitution: Great Compromise, 3/5 Compromise, slave trade, commerce

  • Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists, The Federalist, Federalist #10, Bill of Rights

  • Hamilton’s program (FAT Bank)

  • Washington: Whiskey Rebellion, Neutrality Proclamation, Jay’s and Pinckney’s Treaties, Farewell Address

  • Adams: Quasi-war, XYZ affair, Alien and Sedition Acts

  • development of political parties (Federalists and Republicans)

  • Republican motherhood


Jeffersonian Period, the Era of Good Feelings, Age of Jackson (1800—1845)


  • “Revolution of 1800”

  • Jefferson: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, Barbary pirates, Embargo Act, Non-intercourse Act

  • Marbury v. Madison

  • War of 1812: War Hawks, Battle of New Orleans, Hartford Convention, Treaty of Ghent

  • nationalism vs. sectionalism

  • Henry Clay, American System, Second Bank of the United States, canals and turnpike roads

  • Era of Good Feelings, Panic of 1819

  • Missouri Compromise

  • Marshall Court: McCulloch v. Maryland, Gibbons v. Ogden, Fletcher v. Peck, Dartmouth College v. Woodward

  • Monroe Doctrine

  • Jackson: “corrupt bargain,” spoils system, Kitchen Cabinet, veto, Indian removal

  • Jacksonian Democracy

  • Nullification Crisis: Tariff of Abominations, doctrine of nullification, John Calhoun

  • Bank War: Jackson’s veto, “pet banks,” Specie Circular, Panic of 1837

  • Whigs: leaders, principles; second-party system


Social Reforms, Manifest Destiny, 1850s (1830—1860)


  • Old Immigrants: Irish, Germans, nativism

  • Industrial Revolution/Market Revolution: Eli Whitney, Lowell factory girls

  • Cult of Domesticity (Cult of True Womanhood)

  • religion: Second Great Awakening, Charles Finney; Mormons

  • utopian communities: Shakers, Oneida, New Harmony, Brook Farm

  • Antebellum reforms: temperance, mentally ill (Dorothea Dix) and prison reform, education (Horace Mann)

  • women’s rights: Seneca Falls, Declaration of Sentiments; Mott, Stanton, Anthony

  • abolition: slave rebellions, American Colonization Society; Garrison, Douglass, Truth, Tubman

  • Transcendentalism: Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman

  • Manifest Destiny: Polk, Texas, Mexican War, Oregon, Gadsden Purchase

  • hierarchy of southern society: planters, yeomen farmers, poor whites, slaves; “King Cotton”

  • slavery debate: Wilmot Proviso, popular sovereignty, Compromise of 1850, fugitive slave law

  • Kansas-Nebraska Act, Republican party, “Bleeding Kansas,” John Brown, Dred Scott case, Lincoln-Douglas debates


Civil War and Reconstruction (1860—1877)


  • Election of 1860

  • secession, Confederate States of America, Fort Sumter

  • C&C Union and Confederate advantages, goals, strategies, foreign diplomacy

  • suspension of habeas corpus, conscription, greenbacks

  • Civil War: Bull Run, Monitor & Merrimac, Antietam, Gettysburg, Vicksburg

  • Emancipation Proclamation, role of African Americans in war

  • end of war: surrender at Appomattox, assassination of Lincoln

  • Reconstruction: Freedmen’s Bureau, Civil War amendments, Radical Republicans, Civil Rights Act

  • C&C Lincoln’s, Johnson’s, Congress’ plans

  • scalawags, carpetbaggers, sharecropping

  • Grant: scandals, Ku Klux Klan, Panic of 1873

  • Compromise of 1877

  • Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, Redeemers, Plessy v. Ferguson


Gilded Age and Populism (1865—1900)


  • railroads: transcontinental railroad, federal government subsidies, Munn and Wabash cases

  • West: mining, ranching, farming, Homestead Act, Turner’s thesis

  • Indian policies and wars: Plains Indians, buffalo, Dawes Act, assimilation, Wounded Knee

  • big business and industrialization: captains of industry vs. robber barons, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, vertical and horizontal integration, monopolies, trusts

  • Social Darwinism, “Gospel of Wealth”

  • labor: work conditions, labor unions (Knights of Labor, AFL), strikes (Haymarket, Homestead, Pullman)

  • Gilded Age politics: laissez-faire, Pendleton Civil Service Act, tariffs, Billion-Dollar Congress

  • political machines, bosses; Boss Tweed, Thomas Nast

  • New Immigrants, Chinese Exclusion Act, Social Gospel, settlement houses

  • Populism: Grangers, Alliance, Populist party platform, Panic of 1893, Election of 1896, silver vs. gold


Imperialism, Progressivism, and World War I (1890—1920)


  • imperialists vs. anti-imperialists: arguments, proponents

  • Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” diplomacy: Panama Canal, Roosevelt Corollary, Great White Fleet

  • Taft’s “Dollar Diplomacy” and Wilson’s “Moral Diplomacy”

  • Spanish-American War: causes, results, Treaty of Paris (1898), Cuba, Philippines

  • Progressive reforms: local, state, national

  • muckrakers: Sinclair/The Jungle, Tarbell, Riis, others

  • Roosevelt: Square Deal, coal strike, “trustbuster,” conservation, consumer protection

  • Progressive presidents and accomplishments: Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson

  • African Americans: Washington, DuBois, NAACP, Great Migration

  • women’s rights: Alice Paul, 19th Amendment

  • World War I: challenges to neutrality, decision to enter war, war at home

  • Treaty of Versailles, Fourteen Points, League of Nations, irreconcilables and reservationists


Twenties, Great Depression, and New Deal (1920—1941)


  • Republican pro-business policies: tariffs, tax cuts, budget cuts

  • Harding scandals: Teapot Dome

  • Roaring Twenties: consumerism, movies, radio, celebrities, automobile, flappers, Harlem Renaissance, Jazz Age

  • cultural conflicts: fundamentalism, Scopes Trial, Prohibition, nativism, Ku Klux Klan, Sacco and Vanzetti

  • causes and effects of the Great Depression

  • Hoover’s policies: Hawley-Smoot Tariff, debt moratorium, RFC, Bonus Army

  • New Deal: FDIC, FERA, PWA, CCC, TVA, NRA, AAA

  • Second New Deal: WPA, Wagner Act, Social Security

  • FDR’s critics: Long, Coughlin, Townsend, Supreme Court

  • Washington Disarmament Conference, Kellogg-Briand Pact, Dawes Plan, Good Neighbor Policy

  • Neutrality Acts, “cash and carry,” Lend-Lease, Atlantic Charter


World War II and the Cold War (1941—1975)


  • Allied conferences: Casablanca, Teheran, Yalta, Potsdam; creation of United Nations

  • World War II: Pearl Harbor, Japanese internment, Midway, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, Okinawa, atomic bombs

  • postwar economy: demobilization, inflation, GI Bill, Taft-Hartley Act

  • start of Cold War, Iron Curtain, Truman Doctrine/Marshall Plan, NATO

  • successes and failures of containment: China, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam

  • Second Red Scare: HUAC, McCarran Act, McCarthyism, the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss

  • 1950s America: baby boom, suburbs, rock-n-roll

  • Eisenhower: Sputnik, Interstate Highway Act, “military-industrial complex”

  • election of 1960 and debates, Kennedy, New Frontier, Camelot, Kennedy assassination

  • Kennedy: Berlin Wall, “flexible response,” Diem overthrow, Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Civil Rights movement: MLK, Brown v. Board of Education, March on Washington, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, King assassination, Black Power

  • Johnson: Great Society, War on Poverty, Tonkin Gulf Resolution, escalation in Vietnam, Tet Offensive

  • election of 1968, counterculture, sexual revolution


Modern America (1968—present)


  • Vietnam: My Lai massacre, Kent State, Vietnamization, Pentagon Papers, War Powers Act, “peace with honor”

  • New Federalism, détente, China visit, Watergate and resignation, Ford’s pardon of Nixon

  • women’s liberation, Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, NOW, Equal Rights Amendment, Roe v. Wade

  • Carter: Washington outsider, human rights, Camp David Accords, energy crisis, Iranian hostages, Afghanistan

  • Reagan Revolution, New Right, Moral Majority, Reaganomics, deregulation, deficits

  • Nicaragua, Grenada, Lebanon, “Star Wars,” Iran-Contra affair, glasnost/perestroika

  • Bush: end of Cold War, Panama, Persian Gulf War, “no new taxes,” Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Clinton: NAFTA, failure of health care proposal, balanced budget, scandals and impeachment, Bosnia

  • election of 2000, Bush v. Gore, tax cuts, No Child Left Behind, corporate scandals

  • September 11th, War on Terror, Patriot Act, Afghanistan, Iraq War

  • immigration, aging of the population, decline of the nuclear family, disparity in wealth


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