AP US History : 1755–1800

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #22 : Ap Us History

French territories on the continent of America; it is agreed, that, for the future, the confines between the dominions of his Britannick Majesty and those of his Most Christian Majesty, in that part of the world, shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along the middle of the River Mississippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence, by a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the sea; and for this purpose, the Most Christian King cedes in full right, and guaranties to his Britannick Majesty the river and port of the Mobile, and everything which he possesses, or ought to possess, on the left side of the river Mississippi, except the town of New Orleans and the island in which it is situated, which shall remain to France, provided that the navigation of the river Mississippi shall be equally free, as well to the subjects of Great Britain as to those of France, in its whole breadth and length, from its source to the sea, and expressly that part which is between the said island of New Orleans and the right bank of that river, as well as the passage both in and out of its mouth: It is farther stipulated, that the vessels belonging to the subjects of either nation shall not be stopped, visited, or subjected to the payment of any duty whatsoever. The stipulations inserted in the IVth article, in favour of the inhabitants of Canada shall also take place with regard to the inhabitants of the countries ceded by this article.

-Article VII. The Treaty of Paris. 1763

Due to The French and Indian War, to where was the western boundary of the British territory in North America extended?

Possible Answers:

The Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers

Lake Erie

The Mississippi River

The Appalachian Mountains

Correct answer:

The Mississippi River

Explanation:

France and England officially ended in 1763 when the Treaty of Paris was signed. There were four provisions relating to America. These provisions were,

1. France ceded Canada and all the land east of the Mississippi (except New Orleans) to England.

2. New Orleans and the region that France claimed west of the Mississippi went to Spain an ally of France.

3. Spain gave England Florida in exchange for Cuba, which Britain had taken during the war.

4. France kept two small islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for fishing stations. It also retained several islands in the West Indies.

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

 In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity. It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third ... king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland ... and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse , between the two countries upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony.

What is the most likely source of this passage?

Possible Answers:

The Treaty of Versailles

The Second Treaty of Paris

The Louisiana Purchase

The Treaty of Ghent

Correct answer:

The Second Treaty of Paris

Explanation:

On September 3, 1783, two years after the Revolutionary War ended, the United States of America was officially recognized as a free nation by Great Britain. Delegates from America and Great Britain met in Paris to make it official. In addition to declaring the United States a free state, boundaries were set, and important rights to fish the Grand Banks off the coast of Nova Scotia were protected for the Americans. 

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." 

-- 9th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

When did the above amendment become part of the U.S. Constitution?

Possible Answers:

1787

1781

1791

1799

Correct answer:

1791

Explanation:

The Ninth Amendment was ratified in 1791. It was part of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The amendment provides that the enumeration of rights in the Constitution does not limit other rights. Stated another way, individual rights are broader than those listed in the Constitution. 

Example Question #2 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

"An attack was made on Thursday last by a party of Insurgents under Shays, upon the troops commanded by General Shephard, at Springfield—previous to the attack, upon the approach of the Insurgents, General Shephard sent messages to them at three several times, informing them that if they advanced he should assuredly fire on them—Mr. Shays replied, he was resolved to proceed and sleep that night in the barracks, and continued to advance.—General Shephard then ordered several cannon to be discharged on their right and left, but they still advanced; he then ordered the pieces to be leveled against the insurgents, at which time they were within 55 rods; as soon as they were discharged, the insurgents fled with the utmost precipitation—One of the men who managed the cannon, was by accident dangerously wounded—Four of the insurgents were killed, and a number wounded."

Hampshire Gazette, January 1787

Which of the following groups would likely align with the "Insurgents under Shays" described in the article excerpted above?

Possible Answers:

Bankers

Farmers in debt

Prosperous Farmers

Freesoilers

Correct answer:

Farmers in debt

Explanation:

The passage describes part of the events known as Shay's Rebellion in 1786 and 1787. It involved the uprising of debt-ridden farmers, primarily in Massachusetts. The rebellion was led by Daniel Shays, a former captain during the American Revolution. The rebellion was heavily influenced by the severe economic conditions of the time.

Example Question #32 : Ap Us History

"An attack was made on Thursday last by a party of Insurgents under Shays, upon the troops commanded by General Shephard, at Springfield—previous to the attack, upon the approach of the Insurgents, General Shephard sent messages to them at three several times, informing them that if they advanced he should assuredly fire on them—Mr. Shays replied, he was resolved to proceed and sleep that night in the barracks, and continued to advance.—General Shephard then ordered several cannon to be discharged on their right and left, but they still advanced; he then ordered the pieces to be leveled against the insurgents, at which time they were within 55 rods; as soon as they were discharged, the insurgents fled with the utmost precipitation—One of the men who managed the cannon, was by accident dangerously wounded—Four of the insurgents were killed, and a number wounded."

Hampshire Gazette, January 1787

The events described in this excerpt raised concern about the long-term viability of the ___________________.

Possible Answers:

Northwest Ordinance

First Amendment

Declaration of Independence

Articles of Confederation

Correct answer:

Articles of Confederation

Explanation:

Shay's Rebellion -which is described in this passage- was an uprising of farmers, primarily in Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. While the threat was minimal, it raised alarm among the states that the weak central government provided for under the Articles of Confederation was unable to meet the new nation's needs.

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

"Political liberty, the great Montesquieu again observes, consists in security, or at least in the opinion we have of security; and this security therefore, or the opinion, is best obtained in moderate governments, where the mildness of the laws, and the equality of the manners, beget a confidence in the people, which produces this security, or the opinion. This moderation in governments, depends in a great measure on their limits, connected with their political distribution."

The author of this piece is likely a member of which political group?

Possible Answers:

Democratic-Republicans

Federalists

Anti-federalists

Democrats

Correct answer:

Anti-federalists

Explanation:

The excerpt is written by Cato, an Anti-federalist. The author is arguing for moderate and limited governments. These were key positions of people opposed to the new federal constitution. These concerns are mostly reflected in the Bill of Rights, which emerged from the ratification debates.

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

I have heard it asserted by some that, as America has flourished under her former connection with Great Britain, the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that, because a child had thrived upon milk, it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. But even this is admitting more than is true. For I answer roundly that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her…

- Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

This passage advocates which of the following ideas?

Possible Answers:

That the Americas should never have been colonized and Native American cultures would have continued to prosper without European influence

That the American colonies must declare independence from Great Britain in order to gain foreign support

That the American colonists should not try to emulate British culture, but should instead establish a separate identity not influenced by British fashion or trends

That the American colonies have prospered with British assistance and, even though British financial support is no longer needed, diplomatic and trade relationships should be maintained

That the American colonies should declare independence from Great Britain and establish a new government based on Enlightenment ideals

Correct answer:

That the American colonies should declare independence from Great Britain and establish a new government based on Enlightenment ideals

Explanation:

In his pamphlet Common Sense, Paine exhorted Americans to rise in opposition to the British government and establish a new government based on Enlightenment ideals. Historians have cited the publication of this pamphlet as one of the events that greatly influenced public opinion in favor of a clear break with Great Britain and led to the Revolutionary War. 

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

Now, one of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one's house. A man's house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court can inquire. Bare suspicion without oath is sufficient.

-"Against The Writs of Assistance" by James Otis. February 1761 

What are the Writs of Assistance trying to enforce?

Possible Answers:

The beginning of the trade between French and colonists

To prevent smuggling, officers could search a person's property without giving a reason

Trade regulations between colonists and Britain 

Trade regulations with local Iroquois Indians 

Correct answer:

To prevent smuggling, officers could search a person's property without giving a reason

Explanation:

The writs were a general search warrant. It allowed customs officers to enter any ship, home, or warehouse for smuggled goods. The Writs of Assistance was method of stricter regulation in the colonies by the British, implemented in 1761.

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

Whereas several of the houses of representatives in his Majesty's colonies and plantations in America, have of late against law, claimed to themselves, or to the general assemblies of the same, the sole and exclusive right of imposing duties and taxes upon his majesty's subjects in the said colonies and plantations; and have in pursuance of such claim, passed certain votes, resolutions, and orders derogatory to the legislative authority of parliament, and inconsistent with the dependency Of the said colonies and plantations upon the crown of Great Britain : may it therefore please your most excellent Majesty, that it may be declared ; and be it declared by the King's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That the said colonies and plantations in America have been, are, and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent upon the imperial crown and parliament of Great Britain...

-Excerpt from The Declaratory Act 1766, British Parliament

The Declaratory Act _____________.

Possible Answers:

forced colonies to pay higher taxes by declaration

affirmed the Crown's power to legislate for the colonies in all cases

lowered tea taxes within colonies

forced colonists to house soldiers in colonial cities by declaration

Correct answer:

affirmed the Crown's power to legislate for the colonies in all cases

Explanation:

The Declaratory Act of 1766 was a British Law, passed by  the Parliament of Great Britain, that was passed at the same time that the Stamp Act was repealed. The declaration stated Parliament's authority was the same in America as in Britain and asserted Parliament's authority to pass laws that were binding on the American colonies. The colonies did not dispute the notion of Parliamentary supremacy over the law. But the ability to tax without representation was another matter. The Declaratory Act made no such distinction.

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1755–1800

5. That the Resolution lately entered into by the East India Company to send out their Tea to America, subject to the Payment of Duties on its being landed here, is an open Attempt to enforce this Ministerial Plan and a violent Attack upon the Liberties of America.

6. That it is the Duty of every American to oppose this Attempt.

7. That whoever shall directly or indirectly countenance this Attempt, or in any wise aid or abet in unloading, receiving, or vending [selling] the Tea sent, or to be sent out by the East India Company, while it remains subject to the Payment of a Duty here, is an Enemy to his Country.

8. That a Committee be immediately chosen to wait on those Gentlemen who, it is reported, are appointed by the East India Company to receive and sell said Tea, and request them, from a Regard to their own Character, and the Peace and good Order of the City and Province, immediately to resign their Appointment.

-CITIZENS of PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, assembled at the State House, 18 October 1773, Excerpt from resolutions for the boycott of East India Company tea; Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 October 1773

The colonists responded to the Tea Act by ________________.

Possible Answers:

enabling the British East India Company to gain exclusive control of the American tea trade

refusing to unload the ships carrying tea from the East India Company

by matching the low price of the British East India Company

allowing all colonial merchants to go out of out of business

Correct answer:

refusing to unload the ships carrying tea from the East India Company

Explanation:

The Tea Act allowed the company to ship tea directly to America without paying the heavy duty required in England. The Tea Act undercut all merchants of tea within the colonies by giving exclusive rights to the East India Company. Many colonists opposed the Act because it seemed to validate the Townshend Tax on tea.

In New York and Philadelphia, opposition resulted in the return of tea ships back to Britain. In Charleston, the colonists left the tea on the docks to rot. Governor Hutchinson in Boston was determined to leave the ships in port, even though vigilant colonists refused to allow the tea to be landed. Matters reached a crisis when the time period for landing the tea and colonists disguised as Indians swarmed aboard three tea-laden ships and dumped their cargo into the harbor in what is now known as the Boston Tea Party. 

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