AP US History : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture 1801–1848

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

Passage adapted from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Address on Women's Rights" (1848)

Let us now glance at some of the popular objections to this whole question. There is a class of men who believe in the natural inborn, inbred superiority both in body and mind and their full complete Heaven descended right to lord it over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the beast of the field and last tho' not least the immortal being called woman. I would recommend this class to the attentive perusal of their Bibles—to historical research, to foreign travel—to a closer observation of the manifestations of mind about them and to an humble comparison of themselves with such women as Catharine of Russia, Elizabeth of England distinguished for their statesmanlike qualities, Harriet Martineau and Madame de Stael for their literary attainments, or Caroline Herschel and Mary Summerville for their scientific researches, or for physical equality to that whole nation of famous women the Amazones. We seldom find this class of objectors among liberally educated persons, who have had the advantage of observing their race in different countries, climes, and under different phases, but barbarians tho' they be in entertaining such an opinion—they must be met and fairly vanquished.

Which of the following changes in American culture due to the Second Great Awakening most contributed to the arguments Elizabeth Cady Stanton presents in this address?

Possible Answers:

A turn to traditional religious values.

The rise of various evangelical reform movements.

The increasing prevalence of abolitionism.

The development of new Christian denominations.

Correct answer:

The rise of various evangelical reform movements.

Explanation:

The Second Great Awakening was a wide-scale religious revival that saw increased church membership, new denominations, and a general religious fervor spreading across America. Significantly, the Second Great Awakening created a number of new religious reform movements. One of the more important of these was the brand-new women's rights movement, in which Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a prime figure.

Example Question #2 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

Passage adapted from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Address on Women's Rights" (1848)

Let us now glance at some of the popular objections to this whole question. There is a class of men who believe in the natural inborn, inbred superiority both in body and mind and their full complete Heaven descended right to lord it over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the beast of the field and last tho' not least the immortal being called woman. I would recommend this class to the attentive perusal of their Bibles—to historical research, to foreign travel—to a closer observation of the manifestations of mind about them and to an humble comparison of themselves with such women as Catharine of Russia, Elizabeth of England distinguished for their statesmanlike qualities, Harriet Martineau and Madame de Stael for their literary attainments, or Caroline Herschel and Mary Summerville for their scientific researches, or for physical equality to that whole nation of famous women the Amazones. We seldom find this class of objectors among liberally educated persons, who have had the advantage of observing their race in different countries, climes, and under different phases, but barbarians tho' they be in entertaining such an opinion—they must be met and fairly vanquished.

Which of the following best represents the "whole question" that Elizabeth Cady Stanton speaks of in the opening sentence?

Possible Answers:

Women's rights

Abolitionism

Religious revival

Secession

Correct answer:

Women's rights

Explanation:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the leading lights of the women's rights movements from the 1840s until her death in 1902. Apart from identifying Stanton, the passage itself makes clear what she is referring to as "the whole question" multiple times. She challenges the notion of "inbred superiority" of men over women, enumerates remarkable women in history, and asserts that educated people do not hold the prejudices she rails against.

Example Question #3 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

Passage adapted from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "Address on Women's Rights" (1848)

Let us now glance at some of the popular objections to this whole question. There is a class of men who believe in the natural inborn, inbred superiority both in body and mind and their full complete Heaven descended right to lord it over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the beast of the field and last tho' not least the immortal being called woman. I would recommend this class to the attentive perusal of their Bibles—to historical research, to foreign travel—to a closer observation of the manifestations of mind about them and to an humble comparison of themselves with such women as Catharine of Russia, Elizabeth of England distinguished for their statesmanlike qualities, Harriet Martineau and Madame de Stael for their literary attainments, or Caroline Herschel and Mary Summerville for their scientific researches, or for physical equality to that whole nation of famous women the Amazones. We seldom find this class of objectors among liberally educated persons, who have had the advantage of observing their race in different countries, climes, and under different phases, but barbarians tho' they be in entertaining such an opinion—they must be met and fairly vanquished.

Which of the following is the best explanation for Stanton's challenge to her opponents to take an "attentive perusal of their Bibles?"

Possible Answers:

Stanton wishes to denigrate Christians because they were the strongest opponents of women's rights.

Stanton believes the Bible is not a worthwhile scripture and denigrates it accordingly.

Stanton wishes to mock religious leaders and their most ardent followers.

Stanton is appealing to the widespread belief in the Christian scriptures by a majority of American citizens.

Correct answer:

Stanton is appealing to the widespread belief in the Christian scriptures by a majority of American citizens.

Explanation:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton charges her opponents to look at their Bibles more attentively because she believes they will see that male superiority is not featured in the Bible. She also quickly assumes everyone has a Bible and will accept its authority, when read correctly. This is reflective of the widespread Christian religiosity of the period and the assumption of a generally Christian culture.

Example Question #4 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

"America is destined for better deeds. It is our unparalleled glory that we have no reminiscences of battle fields, but in defence of humanity, of the oppressed of all nations, of the rights of conscience, the rights of personal enfranchisement. Our annals describe no scenes of horrid carnage, where men were led on by hundreds of thousands to slay one another, dupes and victims to emperors, kings, nobles, demons in the human form called heroes. We have had patriots to defend our homes, our liberties, but no aspirants to crowns or thrones; nor have the American people ever suffered themselves to be led on by wicked ambition to depopulate the land, to spread desolation far and wide, that a human being might be placed on a seat of supremacy.

We have no interest in the scenes of antiquity, only as lessons of avoidance of nearly all their examples. The expansive future is our arena, and for our history. We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths of God in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march?"

- 1846

Who is the author of this excerpt?

Possible Answers:

Abraham Lincoln

Thomas Jefferson

John L. O'Sullivan

Horace Greeley

Correct answer:

John L. O'Sullivan

Explanation:

John L. O'Sullivan was an American columnist and editor who coined the term "Manifest Destiny" in the above-excepted article in 1845. Manifest Destiny promoted the inevitability of the expansion of the U.S. across the continent. While the concept was not original to O'Sullivan, he is credited with the phrase and is associated with the promotion of the idea of Manifest Destiny. 

Example Question #5 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

"Have not results in Mexico taught the invincibility of American arms?...The North Americans will spread out far beyond their present bounds. They will encroach again and again upon their neighbors. New territories will be planted, declare their independence, and be annexed. We have New Mexico and California! We will have Old Mexico and Cuba! The isthmus cannot arrest--nor even the Saint Lawrence!! Time has all of this in her womb. A hundred states will grow up where now exists but thirty."

- DeBow's Commercial Review, 1848

Which of the following ideas from the mid-1800s is best reflected in the sentiments expressed in the quotation above?

Possible Answers:

Nationalist fervor for the continued expansion of the United States

Nativist campaigning against the assimilation of new immigrant groups

Concern among European leaders in regards to the growing influence of the United States in the Western Hemisphere

Abolitionist rhetoric supporting the exclusion of slavery from all new territories

Agitation for war based on the assumed racial superiority of Americans of European descent

Correct answer:

Nationalist fervor for the continued expansion of the United States

Explanation:

This quotation is a clear example of "Manifest Destiny," or the belief that America's conquest or acquisition of new lands in the Western hemisphere was assured, preordained and positive.

Example Question #6 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each.

So, if a law be in opposition to the Constitution, if both the law and the Constitution apply to a particular case, so that the Court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the Constitution, or conformably to the Constitution, disregarding the law, the Court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.

Passage adapted from the ruling of Marbury vs. Madison, Supreme Court of the United States (1803)

What principle did Chief Justice Marshall establish in this case?

Possible Answers:

Lower Federal Courts

Supremacy of the Constitution

Judicial review 

Original Jurisdiction

Correct answer:

Judicial review 

Explanation:

Marbury v. Madison established the principle of judicial review in what some consider one of the most brilliant judicial opinions in American history. Judicial review establishes that legislative and executive actions can be reviewed by the judiciary and invalidated if they are incompatible with the Constitution or other overriding law. 

The supremacy of the constitution is established in Article VI, Paragraph 2, commonly referred to as the Supremacy Clause. It establishes that the federal constitution, and federal law generally take precedence over state laws, and even state constitutions. Original jurisdiction is also governed by Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, and most frequently involves suits between states. Only the Supreme Court is established by the Constitution, and Congress is given power to create lower federal courts as needed by Article III, Section 1. Courts do not have the ability to create the law. By "say what the law is," Justice Marshall is referring to courts' role in interpreting and clarifying law.

Example Question #7 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice...

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.”

- Seneca Falls Convention, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, 1848

The passage from the Seneca Falls convention advocates all of the following ideas EXCEPT?

Possible Answers:

Women should educate their children about their rights as citizens.

Women should have the right to keep any wages they earn.

Women should be granted the right to vote.

Women should have the right to own property.

Women should enjoy equal political rights as men.

Correct answer:

Women should educate their children about their rights as citizens.

Explanation:

The 1848 Seneca Falls convention was the first women's right convention in the United States. It advertised itself as a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women. Its declarations included statements that women should have the same political freedom as men, including the right to vote, own property and maintain financial independence.

Example Question #8 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

"America is destined for better deeds. It is our unparalleled glory that we have no reminiscences of battle fields, but in defence of humanity, of the oppressed of all nations, of the rights of conscience, the rights of personal enfranchisement. Our annals describe no scenes of horrid carnage, where men were led on by hundreds of thousands to slay one another, dupes and victims to emperors, kings, nobles, demons in the human form called heroes. We have had patriots to defend our homes, our liberties, but no aspirants to crowns or thrones; nor have the American people ever suffered themselves to be led on by wicked ambition to depopulate the land, to spread desolation far and wide, that a human being might be placed on a seat of supremacy.

We have no interest in the scenes of antiquity, only as lessons of avoidance of nearly all their examples. The expansive future is our arena, and for our history. We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths of God in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march?"

1846

The author of this piece would most likely support __________.

Possible Answers:

westward territorial expansion of the U.S

increased Tariffs

no territorial expansion of the U.S

emigration from the U.S.

Correct answer:

westward territorial expansion of the U.S

Explanation:

The author of the excerpt is arguing for Manifest Destiny, which is a 19th century American doctrine. Proponents of Manifest Destiny argued for the inevitability of the expansion of the United States throughout the continent. In the piece, the author argues for the continued expansive growth of the United States. As a result, the author would most likely favor western territorial expansion of the U.S.

This excerpt was written by John L. O'Sullivan in 1846.

Example Question #9 : Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, And Culture 1801–1848

Not being allowed to hold meetings on the plantation, the slaves assemble in the swamps, out of reach of the patrols. ... The speaker usually commences by calling himself unworthy, and talks very slowly, until, feeling the spirit, he grows excited, and in a short time, there fall to the ground twenty or thirty men and women under its influence. ...The slave forgets all his sufferings, except to remind others of the trials during the past week, exclaiming: "Thank God, I shall not live here always!" Then they pass from one to another, shaking hands, and bidding each other farewell, promising, should they meet no more on earth, to strive and meet in heaven, where all is joy, happiness and liberty. As they separate, they sing a parting hymn of praise.

Passage adapted from Peter Randolph's "The Difference Between the Christianity Taught by Masters and Practiced by Slaves" (1893)

Which of the following assertions does this paragraph best illustrate?

Possible Answers:

African slaves delighted in defying their masters by meeting in the swamps.

African slaves practices native forms of witchcraft during the time their masters were in church.

African slaves became firm believers in Christianity, which was taught to them by their masters.

African slaves developed means to resist the dehumanizing aspects of slavery and maintain their own religions.

Correct answer:

African slaves developed means to resist the dehumanizing aspects of slavery and maintain their own religions.

Explanation:

Africans and African descendents working in the early modern Atlantic commercial system were exposed to the world of European Christianity as early as the fifteenth century, when Portuguese missionaries came to the coasts of Africa. Some slaves, therefore, brought Christian beliefs with them when they were thrust into slavery. Others converted in America. Even blacks who embraced Christianity in America, however, did not completely abandon Old World religion. Instead, they engaged in syncretism, blending Christian influences with traditional African rites and beliefs. This allowed them to maintain their own cultures and religions as a tool to resist the brutal, often dehumanizing effects of slavery.

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