Forming a New Nation



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U.S. History Midterm Study Guide

Chapter 2: “Forming a New Nation”


  1. What sorts of problems did Great Britain face after winning the French and Indian War?

  2. What role did the new British Prime Minister, George Grenville, play in the road to Revolution?

  3. Describe the events that led to the Revolution (policies, taxes, boycotts, Congresses, etc).

  4. What happened at Lexington and Concord? Why were these towns significant?

  5. Who were the Patriots, Redcoats, Loyalists, Neutrals, and Hessians? Whose side did they fight on? Why?

  6. What were the strengths/weaknesses of the Patriots and the Redcoats?

  7. What did Thomas Paine argue for in Common Sense (January 1776)? Effects on the colonists?

  8. Name the three unalienable rights in The Declaration of Independence.

  9. What was the significance of the victory at Saratoga, NY (October 1776)?

  10. What happened at Yorktown (October 1781)?

  11. What were the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1783)? What terms are still in effect today?

  12. How did the 13 states think of themselves before the Articles of Confederation? What is a confederation?

  13. When was the Articles of Confederation adopted? What was the body that drafted it? What did it establish?

  14. What were the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation?

  15. What was the significance of state constitutions? What were the states’ views of a national government?

  16. What was the main point of contention among the states regarding a national government?

  17. Who and why supported a strong national government? What was the opponents’ point of view?

  18. What was the Annapolis Convention?

  19. What was Shay’s Rebellion about? What effect did it have on the debate about a weak vs. strong national gov.’t?

  20. Where and when did the Constitutional Convention assemble?

  21. What was the original goal of the Constitutional Convention? What became its new goal? Why?

  22. Describe the background of the Framers & the conditions under which they drafted the Constitution.

  23. Who was the President of the Convention? What was the procedure for voting at the Convention?

  24. What role did James Madison play at the Convention, in the drafting and ratification of the Constitution?

  25. What did the Virginia and New Jersey Plans propose? What was their main difference?

  26. What states did each of the plans benefit? How did the conflict between the two plans get resolved?

  27. Why was the inclusion of slaves in the Constitution controversial? How was it resolved?

  28. What three groups of people were effectively left out of the Constitution?

  29. Who were the two sides in the ratification debate and what did each side believe in?

  30. Why Virginia and New York so important for ratification?

  31. List the major reasons behind the Federalists’ victory in the ratification debate.

  32. Describe the nation’s first government: capital, President and Vice President.

  33. Describe Alexander Hamilton’s economic recovery plan.

  34. Explain how Alexander Hamilton’s economic recovery plan served his hidden agenda.

  35. How did the French Revolution split public opinion in the United States?

  36. Explain what led to Jay’s Treaty, what the terms of the treaty were, and how the nation reacted to it.

  37. What was the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 about AND what was its significance?

  38. What were the nation’s first political parties?

  39. How did the first President, George Washington, feel about political parties?

  40. Discuss the differing views of the Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans.

  41. What was the XYZ affair about AND what did it lead to?

  42. Describe the Alien and Sedition Acts? What reaction did they provoke from people?

  43. What were the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions AND why were they significant?

  44. Discuss why the previously popular President, John Adams, lost the election of 1800.

  45. What was President Thomas Jefferson’s agenda AND how successful was he at accomplishing it?

  46. What changes did Jefferson try to make in the relationship between government and the people?

  47. Explain the significance of Marbury v. Madison.

  48. What was Jefferson’s program in the West?

  49. Describe the circumstances of the Louisiana Purchase.

  50. What was the significance of the Louisiana Purchase on national politics and the economy?

  51. Who were Lewis and Clark? What were their goals?



  1. Describe the place Native Americans occupied in U.S. society in the early 1800s. (2 points)

  2. What was the Treaty of Greenville about? (2 points)

  3. How did Native Americans try to adjust to their position in U.S. society? (4 points)

  4. What was the Battle of Tippecanoe about? AND What was its consequence? (3 points)

  5. What were the two main reasons for the War of 1812? Describe each of them. (4 points)

  6. What were the consequences of the War of 1812? (4 points)

  7. What was the goal (and the result) of the Hartford Convention of 1814? (2 points)

  8. With what treaty was the War of 1812 concluded AND what did it state? (2 points)

  9. What was the Battle of New Orleans about AND why was it significant? (7 points)

  10. Describe the “Era of Good Feelings.” (3 points)

11. Define sectionalism and provide examples. (5 points)

  1. How did sectionalism destroy the “Era of Good Feelings?” (1 point)

  2. Describe the “American System.” (4 points)

  3. How did the South view the “American System?” (2 points)

  4. Describe the circumstances AND the significance of McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819. (12 points)

  5. When did the Missouri Compromise take place AND what was it about? (4 points)




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