U.S. History 1, HIST 1301 DIL

Independent Study Course


Dr. T. Thomas, Professor, History

Austin Community College

Copyright 2015 - DO NOT post this material on any Internet site


History is not about “memorizing” data, facts, names, and dates.  History is about knowing and understanding the past and its impact on the present:  what happened, when and where, who was involved, what motivated the participants, why events happened, and the consequences of these events/actions.  So in order to be successful in this course, you must know the “who, what, when, where and why” but also the “connections” between people and events, the “motivations”, and the “consequences (short-term and long-term)” of the events of the past.

Memorizing can be helpful, but it will not give you a complete understanding of history.

The questions in this Study Guide are designed to help you achieve a greater understanding of the past.  Some of the questions are easy to answer; some require you to analyze what you have read and arrive at the best answer.  Some answers are short; some are long.


The study questions in this guide are provided to help you achieve success on the exams and in this course and are not to be turned in to Dr. Thomas. 


With this in mind, here are some other suggestions for achieving success in this course:

v  Read the chapter first, to get a good overview of what the chapter is about. Pay attention to the chapter subheadings (subtitles).  They are often clues to the important themes of a chapter.  Similarly, pay attention to the opening paragraph of each section - here you will usually find the thesis, or "main point" of a section.

v  Then read the chapter again, answering the study questions.

v  Write short answers to each of these study questions. Some students use index cards, writing one question/answer on each card. Don't just highlight the answers in your textbook - write them.

v  Read with a dictionary.  Look up any word whose meaning you do not know.

v  Approach this course as you would a job. Set aside a specific time each day - or every other day - to work on reading and study questions.  This is your work schedule; honor it as you would your job schedule.

v  Work on the reading and study questions gradually, completing small amounts of work each day (or every other day).  Research shows that people retain information better if they work for no more than 2 hours at one task.  For example, on Mondays from 2-4 pm, read half the chapter.  On Tuesday, read the other half.  On Wednesday, write out the first 20 study questions; on Thursday, the next 20, and so on. Don't try to do all the reading and the study questions the night before the exam.  "Cramming" is not an effective, nor is it a successful study method.

v  If possible, form a study group with 2 or 3 other students.  Work together to find answers, quiz each other, and offer general support.  Study groups are a proven, effective means of studying.

v  If you have any trouble finding answers, or if you are unsure of your answers, contact Dr. Thomas for clarification.



Exam Strategy Suggestion:

The first exam (Map Test) is pretty easy - so don't spend more than a couple of hours studying for it. However, the other four exams are much harder. Take the Map Test within the first few days of the semester then spend most of your time on the other four exams!


UNIT 1   Map Test


Because the history of the United States was shaped and influenced to a large degree by the geography of the continent, it is important for you to know some basic North American geography.  


Your first exam will be a 30-question “Map” test.


When you take your exam, you will be given a map of the U.S. and will be asked to identify 30 of the items listed below.  A passing grade (70%) is 21 correct out of 30.


You should be able to locate all of these on a map:


Each of the 50 states of the United States

Canada                              All 5 Great Lakes              Chicago, IL

Mexico                              Missouri River                   Richmond, VA

Atlantic Ocean                 Red River                          Charleston, SC

Pacific Ocean                    Columbia River                  Boston, MA

Gulf of Mexico                  Chesapeake Bay                 San Francisco, CA

Great Plains                      Hudson River                     Austin, TX

Appalachian Mountains     Ohio River                         Washington, D.C.

Rocky Mountains               Mississippi River               New York City

                                                                                    Philadelphia, PA


Online Map Test Practice Quiz of States in the U.S.  (This site also contains other world geography quizzes that you might find fun and interesting.)


This site can test ONLY your knowledge of the 50 states of the United States. It does not test you on the other geographic features listed above. So, in addition to the states, make sure you also know the rivers, lakes, oceans, mountain ranges, and cities listed above.





UNIT 2   (Chapters 1 - 5)


Chapter 1 – Ancient America: Before 1492


1.          Locate the origin of the Paleo-Indians, the first “Americans”.

2.         Explain how environmental change and the extinction of large game (i.e., mammoths)             contributed to the development of greater diversity among Native American cultures.

3.         Describe how Native American cultures differed from European cultures in the late 15th century.

4.         Identify and locate the most powerful Native American culture in the New World and describe how they rose to power.

5.         Analyze the role of “tribute” in the advances made by the Mexica society.

6.         Identify the major weakness of Mexican society that the Spanish conquerors eventually discovered.


Chapter 2 – Europeans Encounter the New World, 1492-1600


7.         Identify the demographic catastrophe and technological devices in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries that encouraged European voyages of exploration.

8.         Explain what motivated the Portuguese to explore foreign lands in the early 15th century.

9.         Define “caravel” and discuss its importance in Portuguese exploration.

10.        Name the first Europeans to trade on the West African coast and the objects of their journeys.

11.        Name the countries of the “East Indies”.

12.        List the consequences of the Portuguese exploration of Africa during the 15th century`.

13.        Explain how the competing Spanish and Portuguese claims to the New World were             settled.

14.        Explain how “America” got its name.

15.        Discuss the significance of Magellan’s voyage of 1519.

16.        Define and give examples of the “Columbian exchange”.

17.        Analyze how Hernán Cortés and his small army were able to successfully conquer the vast and powerful Mexica empire.

18.        Locate the two geographic regions of greatest wealth in Spanish America.

19.        Name the great Portuguese colony in the Western Hemisphere.

20.       Define “royal fifth”.

21.        Define “encomienda”, identify the goal of encomienda, and explain how it worked.

22.       Identify the single most important economic activity in Spanish America during the 16th century.

23.       Describe the social class hierarchy that developed in New Spain.

24.       Enumerate the demographic impact of European diseases on Native Americans by 1570.

25.       Explain why Martin Luther’s ideas concerning religion were considered “dangerous” by church officials and other defenders of the Catholic Church.

26.       Discuss how riches from New Spain resulted in short-term gains but also long-term problems for Spain.


Chapter 3 – The Southern Colonies in the 17th Century, 1601-1700


27.       Describe the benefits that the Virginia Company and its supporters hoped to derive             from its colony in North America.

28.       Name the leader of the Algonquian peoples who inhabited coastal Virginia in 1607.

29.       Explain how English settlers were able to survive their first year at Jamestown.

30.       Discuss the circumstances that resulted in Jamestown becoming a royal colony in 1624.

31.        Identify the oldest elected representative legislative assembly in the English colonies.

32.       Identify the main source of wealth of the Virginia colony in the 17th century.

33.       Locate the geographic areas known as the “Chesapeake region”.

34.       Identify and describe the predominant labor system used in the Chesapeake colonies in the 17th century.

35.       Show how Chesapeake planters profited from the indenture system.

36.       Identify the two main social classes that had developed in Chesapeake society by the 1670s - and the relationship between the two.

37.       Discuss the King’s response to Bacon’s Rebellion and how this impacted the different social classes of the Chesapeake region.

38.       Explain how Carolina was a “frontier outpost” of the British West Indies in the 17th century.

39.       Compare how planters viewed the advantages of slaves over free laborers in the 17th century Chesapeake.

40.       Discuss how slavery indirectly contributed to reducing class tensions between rich white plantation owners and poor white farmers.


Chapter 4 – The Northern Colonies in the 17th Century, 1601-1700


41.        Define 16th century “Puritanism” and its goals and principles.

42.       Explain how Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony hoped to achieve their goal of becoming “a city upon a hill”.

43.       Compare the demographic characteristics (race, class, gender, occupation, etc.) of Massachusetts settlers with those of Chesapeake settlers.

44.       Discuss how Puritans in New England would ensure that only “godly” men would decide government policies.

45.       Name the most prominent “dissenters” in Puritan New England and describe what happened to them.

46.       Describe the Quakers’ attitudes toward gender, race, and class.

47.       Locate the “middle colonies” founded in the late 17th century.

48.       List the goals of English economic policies towards the colonies in the mid-17th century, and how the Navigation Acts supported those goals.

49.       Identify the person called “King Philip” by the New England colonists and explain the consequences of King Philip’s War.

50.       Discuss how the Glorious Revolution affected the Massachusetts colony.





Chapter 5 – Colonial America in the 18th Century, 1701-1770


51.        Enumerate the population growth of the colonies in the 18th century and discuss its significance.

52.       Explain the significance of increased immigration to the colonies in the 18th century.

53.       Explain how “partible inheritance” resulted in the growth and expansion of New England settlements.

54.       Locate the geographic origins of the immigrants known as “Pennsylvania-Dutch” and “Scots-Irish” and explain why they often felt compelled to leave their homelands.

55.       Identify the demographic and economic differences between the “upper South” and the “Lower South” in the 18th century.

56.       Define and describe the “Middle Passage”.

57.       Identify colonial America’s only slave rebellion and evaluate its consequences.

58.       Explain how slave labor resulted in making the southern colonies the wealthiest region in North America.

59.       Define the “Great Awakening” and what its leaders sought to achieve.

60.       Describe the relationship between colonial governors and colonial assemblies and how this shaped colonists’ expectations concerning power.



UNIT 3   (Chapters 6 - 9)


Chapter 6 – The British Empire and the Colonial Crisis, 1754-1775


1.          Identify the participants, and discuss the issues that resulted in a French-British conflict in the Ohio Country beginning in the 1740s.

2.         Discuss the goal(s) of the Albany Conference.

3.         Explain how the 1763 Treaty of Paris changed the political map of North America.

4.         Explain how the Proclamation of 1763 provoked American anger.

5.         Name the act of Parliament that triggered widespread, open colonial resistance in 1765.

6.         Explain what colonists meant when they distinguished between Parliament’s authority to levy “internal” and “external” taxes.

7.         Define the colonists’ concepts of “liberty” and “slavery”.

8.         Name the political principle upheld by the Declaratory Act.

9.         Define “nonconsumption agreements” and what they hoped to accomplish.

10.        Compare the actions of the “Sons of Liberty” with the “Daughters of Liberty” during protests against British policies.

11.        Define “committee of correspondence” and explain the significance of these committees.

12.        Describe Boston colonists’ reaction to the Tea Act and Britain’s response.

13.        Identify the goals and outcomes of the First Continental Congress of 1774.

14.        Show where the first shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired.

15.        Name the young domestic slave from Boston who wrote so eloquently of the hypocrisy of Africans enslaved in a liberty-loving America.



Chapter 7 – The War for America, 1775-1783



16.        Identify the objectives and the results of the Second Continental Congress.

17.        Name the delegate to the Second Continental Congress who was feared to be a British spy.

18.        Explain why George Washington was chosen to command the Continental Army.

19.        Describe the obstacles faced by George Washington as he took charge of the Continental Army.

20.       Discuss Tom Paine’s role in American independence.

21.        Explain why printed copies of the Declaration of Independence did not include the signers’ names.

22.       Define “militia” and discuss the traditional roles played by militias in the colonies.

23.       Enumerate the number of African American men who served the American cause in the Revolutionary War.

24.       Discuss the American and the British strategies for winning the War.

25.       Analyze how local “committees” were used to comply allegiance to the American cause.

26.       Define and enumerate “loyalists”.

27.       Explain why Joseph Brant and other Native American leaders pledged Indian support for the British.

28.       Explain what some loyalists meant when they feared the “democratic tyranny” of an American victory.

29.       Summarize the financial instabilities of the colonies during the war years.

30.       Explain the significance of the battle at Saratoga in 1777 as a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

31.        Name the American traitor whose actions ultimately contributed to reviving Americans’       commitment to victory.

32.       Discuss the impact on Native Americans of the Treaty of Paris.


Chapter 8 – Building a Republic, 1775-1789


33.       Explain how the Articles of Confederation provided for a central (“confederation”) government with very little authority.

34.       Discuss what early Americans meant by “republicanism” as they wrote new state constitutions.

35.       Define “bill of rights” and identify some of the specific rights guaranteed in the state constitutions.

36.       Define “suffrage,” and “disfranchise”.

37.       Compare the actions taken towards slavery in the north and in the south during the 1770s and 1780s.

38.       Identify the main problems faced by the Confederation government in the early 1780s.

39.       Explain how the Northwest Ordinance provided for the orderly expansion of the U.S.

40.       Explain the impact of Shay’s Rebellion on the Confederation government (the government that operated under the Articles of Confederation).

41.        Discuss the differences between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan.

42.       Describe how the U.S. Constitution addressed slavery.

43.       Name the groups who supported, and those who opposed ratification of the Constitution.

44.       Identify the most widespread objection to the Constitution by those who opposed its ratification.

45.       Explain how New Yorkers were urged to ratify the U.S. Constitution.


Chapter 9 – The New Nation Takes Form, 1789-1800


46.       List the most significant issues and ideologies that prompted intense and passionate disagreements among political leaders of the 1790s.

47.       Name the first departments of government created by Congress, and the men appointed to lead them.

48.       Explain why formal education for women became a priority in the new republic.

49.       Discuss the outcome of the First Congress’ debate on slavery in 1790.

50.       List the three areas in which the U.S. experienced significant growth in the 1790s.

51.        Identify the topics of the three major reports Hamilton presented to Congress.

52.       Explain how Hamilton’s plan for debt “assumption” increased the power of the federal government over the states.

53.       Discuss the compromise between Hamilton and Madison that resolved conflict over the “assumption” plan.

54.       Discuss the opposition to a national bank, as offered by Madison and Jefferson.

55.       Define “tariff” and explain why Hamilton favored tariffs.

56.       Show how the Whiskey Rebellion tested the federal government’s power to maintain civil order.

57.       List the terms of the Treaty of New York.

58.       Show the results of the U.S. attempts to resolve several long-standing problems with England in the 1790s.

59.       Discuss the positions of the two distinct political factions that developed in response to economic and foreign policy debates in the 1790s.

60.       Analyze the purposes (stated and intended) of the Alien and Sedition Acts.



UNIT 4  (Chapters 10 - 13)


Chapter 10 – Republicans in Power, 1800-1824


1.          Discuss Jefferson’s interpretation of “Republican simplicity”.

2.         Describe how Jefferson limited the size and power of the federal government.

3.         Discuss the historical significance of the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison.

4.         Locate the geographic area in which the Barbary Wars were fought.

5.         Discuss Jefferson’s urgency in acquiring the Louisiana Territory.

6.         Name the explorers who led the “secret” scientific and military expedition into the Louisiana Territory.

7.         Discuss the goals and the consequences of the Embargo Act of 1807.

8.         Describe Dolley Madison’s role in ensuring her husband’s successful governance.

9.         Name the leaders who worked to unify and strengthen Native American rights on the northwestern frontier.

10.        Identify the leaders and the goals of the War Hawks.

11.        Discuss the diplomatic and political results of the War of 1812.

12.        Define “feme covert” and discuss how it applied to married women in the U.S.

13.        Explain why the south insisted on Missouri as a slave state.

14.        Discuss the principles of the Monroe Doctrine.

15.        Discuss the results of the Election of 1824.


Chapter 11 – The Expanding Republic, 1815-1840


16.        Identify the components that revolutionized the economy and facilitated the development of a “market revolution” after the War of 1812.

17.        Identify the political and cultural advantages of improved transportation.

18.        Discuss the significance of the Erie Canal.

19.        Explain why an all-female factory labor force was considered ideal.

20.       Discuss the role of banks in the growth of the market economy.

21.        Discuss the role of commercial law in the growth of the market economy

22.       Describe the new campaign styles and activities that appeared in the 1828 presidential election.

23.       Name the main political parties in the U.S. in the mid-1830s.

24.       Define the “spoils system” first employed by Andrew Jackson.

25.       Describe Andrew Jackson’s Indian policy and its consequences for the Cherokee in Georgia.

26.       Identify the issue(s), both stated and implied, at the heart of the Nullification Crisis.

27.       Show how Andrew Jackson destroyed the Bank of the U.S.

28.       Describe the changes in education motivated  by the “market economy”.

29.       Explain how the Second Great Awakening sought to improve society, especially in towns.

30.       Describe the philosophy and goals of the Female Moral Reform Society.

31.        Name the abolitionist newspaper and the prominent Bostonian who published it.

32.       Discuss the opposition that the Grimké sisters faced on their anti-slavery speaking tour.

33.       Identify the most prominent issue of the Van Buren presidency.

34.       Name the new political party that characterized and helped guide the activist moralism and state-sponsored entrepreneurship of the 1830s.


Chapter 12 - The New West & the Free North, 1840-1860


35.       Name the first American president born west of the Appalachian Mountains.

36.       Discuss the fundamental changes in American society that fueled an “industrial evolution” between 1840 and 1860.

37.       Identify the factors that boosted agricultural production in the U.S.

38.       Define the “American system” of manufacturing and its significance.

39.       Show how the federal government contributed to the growth of railroads.

40.       Discuss the characteristics of the “free-labor” philosophy and its significance for the average American.

41.        Name the largest immigrant group in antebellum America and why many came to America in the 1840s.

42.       Explain the philosophy of “manifest destiny”.

43.       Describe the nature of the conflicts between Anglo-Americans in Texas and the Mexican government that prompted the Americans to establish the Lone Star Republic.

44.       Identify the issue at the center of the 1844 election and which set the stage for war between the U.S. and Mexico.

45.       Show how “manifest destiny” impacted Chinese immigrants in California.

46.       Explain the purpose of the convention at Seneca Falls in 1848 and evaluate its success.

47.       Describe the condition of free African Americans in the North.

48.       Define “underground railroad”.


Chapter 13 – The Slave South, 1820-1860


49.       Locate and define the Mason-Dixon Line.

50.       Explain how the Lower South had become the “cotton kingdom” by 1860.

51.        Define “miscegenation”.

52.       Show how white southerners worked to defend and strengthen slavery.

53.       Discuss how slavery supported a sense of unity among whites of varying socioeconomic classes.

54.       Enumerate the percentage of families in the south that owned slaves and the percentage that were considered “planters”.

55.       Describe how plantation slavery in the south benefited the north.

56.       Define the concept of “Christian guardianship” and its economic benefits to southern planters.

57.       Describe how slaves adapted the Christian religion to serve their spiritual, emotional, and worldly needs.

58.       Describe the ways in which slaves resisted the will of their masters.

59.       Enumerate and describe the condition of free blacks in the South.

60.       Identify the political and cultural beliefs shared by both slaveholding and non-slaveholding southern men.



UNIT 5   (Chapters 14 - 16)


Chapter 14 – The House Divided, 1846-1861


1.          Identify the slavery-related issue that divided north and South after the Mexican War.

2.         Explain why northerners supported the Wilmot Proviso and why southerners opposed the bill.

3.         Define “popular sovereignty” as proposed by Senator Lewis Cass.

4.         List the provisions of the Compromise of 1850.

5.         Show how Uncle Tom’s Cabin contributed to the conflict between north and south.

6.         Show how the Kansas-Nebraska Act impacted political parties in the U.S.

7.         Describe the basic beliefs and goals of the “Know-Nothings”.

8.         Describe the basic beliefs and goals of the Republican Party.

9.         Discuss the issues that led to a “Bleeding Kansas” in the mid-1850s.

10.        List the results of the Dred Scott case.

11.        Describe Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery and racial equality.

12.        List the events that northerners believed were evidence of a slave power conspiracy.

13.        Name the leader of the Harper’s Ferry raid in 1859.

14.        Discuss southerners’ reactions to Lincoln’s election in 1860.

15.        Discuss Lincoln’s reaction to secession.


Chapter 15 – The Crucible of War, 1861-1865


16.        Name the president of the Confederate States of America.

17.        Discuss the secession decisions made by western states.

18.        Compare Union and Confederate advantages in the Civil War.

19.        Explain how the Union and the Confederacy financed the War.

20.       Locate the capital of the Confederacy.

21.        Assess the significance of the July, 1861 Confederate victory at the battle at Bull Run (Manassas).

22.       Name the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.

23.       Locate the Civil War’s bloodiest single day of fighting.

24.       Evaluate the success of the Union’s naval blockade on the Atlantic coast.

25.       Explain and assess the effectiveness of “King Cotton diplomacy”.

26.       Explain the Union’s realization that it would have to destroy slavery in order to defeat the Confederacy.

27.       Identify the limitations of the Emancipation Proclamation.

28.       Describe the military experiences of African American soldiers.

29.       Describe how the Civil War affected the lives and work of plantation slaves.

30.       Discuss how a Republican-dominated Congress changed the U.S. economy during the Civil War.

31.        Show how women contributed to the war effort.

32.       Name the founder of the American Red Cross.

33.       Locate the turning points of the Civil War in the east and in the west.

34.       Identify Sherman’s goal(s) in his march across Georgia in 1864.

(page 427)  inflict as much damage as possible on the Confederacy’s war resources; destroy the will of the southern people to continue the war.

35.       Explain the historical significance of actor John Wilkes Booth.

36.       Discuss why the Civil War has been called the “Second American Revolution”.

37.       Identify the central task of Reconstruction.


Chapter 16 – Reconstruction, 1863-1877



38.       Compare the Reconstruction terms of Lincoln and Congress.

39.       Describe the “compulsory free labor” system of the Mississippi Valley and its purpose.

40.       List the activities of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

41.        List the goals that freedmen and freedwomen adopted as priorities.

42.       Name Lincoln’s successor to the presidency and discuss his goals for Reconstruction.

43.       List the provision(s) of the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

44.       Discuss the intent of black codes.

45.       Identify the goal(s) of the radical wing of the Republican Party.

46.       List the provision(s) of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

47.       Describe public reaction to passage of the 14th amendment.

48.       Explain the actions that led to Andrew Johnson’s impeachment.

49.       List the provision(s) of the 15th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

50.       Discuss the impact of the 15th Amendment on the post-War feminist movement.

51.        Define “carpetbagger” and “scalawag”.

52.       Describe the goals and methods of the Ku Klux Klan.

53.       Explain what is meant by “Jim Crow” laws.

54.       Analyze how the “crop lien” system contributed to a near-permanent state of poverty and dependence for sharecroppers.

55.       Name the Reconstruction-era president scandalized by corruption in his administration.

56.       Explain why northerners abandoned Reconstruction.

57.       Define and identify the goals of the “Redeemers”.

58.       Evaluate the successes of the Redeemers, by 1876.

59.       Explain why Congress had to decide who would be president in 1876.

60.       Discuss the provisions of the Compromise of 1877.