AP U.S. History Essay Guide for Unit IISource: College Board AP US History Exam Website


5 DBQs, 27 FRQs = 32 Total
Main Topics: French and Indian War / Causes for Revolution / Revolution / Articles of Confederation / Constitution / Federal Era / Social / Compare-Contrast

French and Indian War Questions (1 DBQ and 2 FRQs)

  1. 2004 Exam (DBQ):In what ways did the French and Indian War (1754-63) alter the political, economic and ideological relations between Britain and its American colonies?
    • Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1740-1766 in constructing your response.
  2. 2007 Exam B (Question 2):The French and Indian War (1754-1763) altered the relationship between Britain and its North American colonies. Assess this change with regard to TWO of the following in the period between 1763 and 1775.
    • Land acquisition
    • Politics
    • Economics
  3. 2012 Exam (Question 2): Analyze the effect of the French and Indian War and its aftermath on the relationship between Great Britain and the British colonies. Confine your response to the period from 1754 to 1776.

Causes for Revolution Questions (1 DBQ and 8 FRQs)

  1. 1982 Exam (Question 2):"The American Revolution should really be called 'The British Revolution' because marked changes in British colonial policy were more responsible for the final political division than were American actions."
    • Assess the validity of this statement for the period 1763-1776.
  2. 1986 Exam (Question 2):"Despite the view of some historians that the conflict between Great Britain and its thirteen North American colonies was economic in origin, in fact the American Revolution had its roots in politics and other areas of American life."
    • Assess the validity of this statement.
  3. 1988 Exam (Question 2):"This history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States."
    • Evaluate this accusation made against George III in the Declaration of Independence.
  4. 1989 Exam (Question 2):"In the two decades before the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, a profound shift occurred in the way many Americans thought and felt about the British government and their colonial governments."
    • Assess the validity of this statement in view of the political and constitutional debates of these decades.
  5. 1992 Exam (Question 2):Evaluate the relative importance of the following as factors prompting Americans to rebel in 1776.
    • Parliamentary taxation
    • Restriction of civil liberties
    • British military measures
    • The legacy of colonial religious and political ideas
  6. 1995 Exam (Question 2):"For the period before 1750, analyze the ways in which Britain's policy of salutary neglect influenced the development of American society as illustrated in the following.
    • Legislative assemblies
    • Commerce
    • Religion
  7. 1997 Exam (Question 2):"Britain's wars for empire, far more than its mercantilist policies, dictated the economic fortunes of Britain's North American colonies in the eighteenth century."
    • Assess the validity of this statement.
  8. 1999 Exam (DBQ):To what extent had the colonists developed a sense of their identity and unity as Americans by the eve of the Revolution?
    • Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1750 to 1776 to answer the question.
  9. 2009 Exam (Question 2): Analyze the ways in which British imperial policies between 1763 and 1776 intensified colonials’ resistance to British rule and their commitment to republican values.

American Revolution Question (1 FRQ)

  1. 2010 Exam (Question 2):Analyze the political, diplomatic, and military reasons for the United States victory in the Revolutionary War.
    • Confine your answer to the period 1775–1783.

Problems with the Articles of Confederation Questions (1 DBQ and 4 FRQs)

  1. 1980 Exam (Question 4):"Between 1783 and 1800 the new government of the United States faced the same political, economic, and constitutional issues that troubled the British government's relations with the colonies prior to the Revolution."
    • Assess the validity of this generalization.
  2. 1985 Exam (DBQ):"From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effective government"
    • Using your knowledge of the period, evaluate this statement (documents from this test are not available)
  3. 1996 Exam (Question 2):Analyze the degree to which the Articles of Confederation provided an effective form of government with respect to any TWO of the following.
    • Foreign relations
    • Economic conditions
    • Western lands
  4. 2003 Exam (Question 2): Evaluate the extent to which the Articles of Confederation were effective in solving the problems that confronted the new nation.
  5. 2009 Exam B (Question 2): Analyze how the ideas and experiences of the revolutionary era influenced the principles embodied in the Articles of Confederation.

Basis of the Constitution Questions (6 FRQs)

  1. 1984 Exam (Question 2): What evidence is there for the assertion that the basic principles of the Constitution were firmly grounded in the political and religious experience of America's colonial and revolutionary periods?
  2. 1991 Exam (Question 2):The Bill of Rights did not come from a desire to protect the liberties won in the American Revolution, but rather from a fear of the powers of the new federal government.
    • Assess the validity of this statement.
  3. 1997 Exam B (Question 2):Analyze the extent to which the American Revolution represented a radical alteration in American political ideas and institutions.
    • Confine your answer to the period 1775 to 1800.
  4. 2005 Exam B (Question 3): To what extent was the United States Constitution a radical departure from the Articles of Confederation?
  5. 2006 Exam B (Question 2):"The United States Constitution of 1787 represented an economic and ideological victory for the traditional American political elite."
    • Assess the validity of that statement for the period 1781 to 1789.
  6. 2011 Exam B (Question 3): Analyze the ways in which the political, economic, and diplomatic crises of the 1780s shaped the provisions of the United States Constitution.

Federalist Period Questions (1 DBQ and 3 FRQs)

  1. 1977 Exam (DBQ):The debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 revealed bitter controversies on a number of issues.
    • Discuss the issues involved and explain why these controversies developed (documents from this exam are not available).
  2. 1994 Exam (Question 3): Evaluate the relative importance of domestic and foreign affairs in shaping American politics in the 1790's.
  3. 2002 Exam (Question 3):Analyze the contributions of TWO of the following in helping establish a stable government after the adoption of the Constitution.
    • John Adams
    • Thomas Jefferson
    • George Washington
  4. 2013 Exam (Question 3): Analyze the ways in which the United States sought to advance its interests in world affairs between 1789 and 1823.

Social Change Questions (1 DBQ and 2 FRQs)

  1. 2004 Exam (Question 2): Analyze the impact of the American Revolution on both slavery and the status of women in the period from 1775-1800.
  2. 2005 Exam (DBQ):To what extent did the American Revolution fundamentally change American society? In your answer, be sure to address the political, social, and economic effects of the Revolution in the period from 1775 to 1800.
    • Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1775-1800 in constructing your response.
  3. 2008 Exam B (Question 2): Analyze the reasons for the Anti-Federalists' opposition to ratifying the Constitution.

Compare/Contrast Questions (1 FRQ)

  1. 2007 Exam (Question 2):Settlers in the eighteenth century American backcountry sometimes resorted to violent protest to express their grievances. Analyze the causes and significance of TWO of the following:
    • March of the Paxton Boys
    • Regulator movement
    • Shays' Rebellion
    • Whiskey Rebellion

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