World History : American Civil War

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : American Civil War

The first battle of the American Civil War was _________________.

Possible Answers:

None of these

Battle of Camp Wildcat

The Battle of Boonville

The Battle of Fort Sumter

Correct answer:

The Battle of Fort Sumter

Explanation:

The Battle of Fort Sumter was fought between Union and Confederate forces from April 12-14, 1861. After this battle both sides rallied tens of thousands more troops, and the American Civil War began in earnest.

Example Question #2 : American Civil War

Which of the following was the piece of U.S. legislation that regulated the practice of owning slaves in the western territories leading up to the Civil War?

Possible Answers:

The Three-Fifths Compromise

The Articles of Confederation

The Louisiana Purchase 

The Missouri Compromise

The Mason-Dixon Line

Correct answer:

The Missouri Compromise

Explanation:

The Three-Fifths compromise was a compromise reached by delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention regarding how slaves were to be counted for census purposes, so that would not be the best answer here. The Louisiana Purchase was the agreement that purchased a large swath of territory from France, so that would not be a good choice. The Mason Dixon Line was a surveying project in the early 19th century to demarcate the boundaries of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, so that would not be the best choice. The Articles of Confederation outlined the first, short-lived government of the U.S., and so that would also not be the best choice. The Missouri Compromise was put forward by Henry Clay, and it was a federal statute that regulated the practice of slavery in the new western territories, so that would be the best choice.

Example Question #2 : American Civil War

What was the result of the "Battle of the Ironclads" between the Confederate CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) and the Union USS Monitor that occurred on March 8-9, 1862?

Possible Answers:

Victory for the Merrimack

Victory for the Monitor

Inconclusive, both ships were sunk

Inconclusive, a draw

Correct answer:

Inconclusive, a draw

Explanation:

The Civil War forced an innovation in naval warfare as both the Monitor and the newly renamed Virginia were newly ironclad. This was a large departure from previously purely wooden ships. Even though both ships were able to ship other non-ironclad ships during the battle, they themselves sustained little to no damage throughout the engagement and the naval battle was inconclusive. However, neither ship fought ever again after the battle. 

Example Question #3 : American Civil War

Where was the effective Confederate surrender of the Civil War signed?

Possible Answers:

White House, Washington DC

Savannah County Courthouse, Georgia

Appomattox Court House, Virginia 

Herald's Barn, Mississippi

Stuyvesant Court House, Maryland

Correct answer:

Appomattox Court House, Virginia 

Explanation:

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia officially surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant's Union Army at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Although there were other Confederate armies throughout the south, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was the largest and best-trained force in the confederacy. Their surrender effectively ended all violence in the war and led to the subsequent surrender of all confederate forces thereafter. 

Example Question #4 : American Civil War

Which of the following is not a reason cited by Southern states to justify their secession from the Union?

Possible Answers:

Fear of invasion by the Northern states

States had a right to leave the Union at any time

Threat of losing slavery

Loyalty to state over Union

Correct answer:

Fear of invasion by the Northern states

Explanation:

President Lincoln made several assurances that his administration would not initiate civil war. All aggressions early in the war were perpetrated by Confederate forces, finally culminating in the declaration of war after the attacks on Fort Sumter.

Example Question #4 : American Civil War

In what way was the American Civil War one of the earliest industrial wars?

Possible Answers:

Extensive use of railroads, telegraphs, and factory-produced goods

Fought between a largely agrarian South and mostly industrial North

Declared due to civil rights issues in the United States

Featured minimal use of powerful navies

Correct answer:

Extensive use of railroads, telegraphs, and factory-produced goods

Explanation:

The widespread use of contemporary inventions such as the railroad, telegraph, mass-produced weapons, and mobilized factories are what lead to the Civil War being labeled as an "industrial war."

Example Question #5 : American Civil War

Which Union general captured Atlanta after a long siege in 1964, followed by a scorched earth policy during his march from the city to Savannah?

Possible Answers:

William Tecumseh Sherman

Ulysses S. Grant

George Mclellan

Winfield Scott Hancock

Joshua Chamberlain

Correct answer:

William Tecumseh Sherman

Explanation:

Sherman invaded from Chattanooga, Tennessee in May, 1964, resulting in the fall of the city on September 2. He battled Confederate General Joseph Johnston and Jon Bell Hood. After the fall of Atlanta, he began "Sherman's March to the Sea", an operation deep within enemy territory that focused on gaining supplies as they went and leaving wasteland in the army's path.

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