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The answers provided to the Midterm review questions are not meant to give you an in-depth overview of American history from the beginning of the year until now. The answers given are just those--answers. They provide a response to stated question and not much else. It is recommended that if you are unsure of any topic, you explore any pages most of these question and answer sets link to. For example, Topic 58 focuses on the significance of the Whiskey Rebellion (the precedent set by the federal government) and therefore does not and should not contain too much information about the tax that caused the rebellion.

Note: These answers are currently the compilation/work of only a few individuals and therefore may not be complete. If you'd like to support your classmates while also studying for the exam, please, edit this page to include any information you think would be helpful. Please do not replace the current answer with your answer. Instead, reword or expand on the ideas present.

Also, some sentences or passages may be blatantly plagiarized from other sites including but not limited to Britannica, Wikipedia, or About without any notation whatsoever. This is mainly because this is a nonprofit wiki for personal use only and also because I only just learned how to cite things. So read this illicit content at your own risk. Ha. Kidding. Sort of.

Thanks for your help!

To-Do List (For Editors)Edit

  • Finish all topics, starting with those at the end/difficult ones
  • Add possible essay arguments
  • If someone has a ton of free time, replace content-less internal links with hyperlinks to actual sources

I. Foundations of the American Republic Edit

The answers in this section are incomplete (ie, only the bullets discussed in class) and are currently waiting to be developed into full answers. You can help by expanding any of the ideas below.

Number Topic Description
1 Early democratic influences xxx
2 Problems faced by the settlers of Jamestown and the thing that saved them
  • They couldn't grow crops very well
  • They couldn't raise animals very well
  • The got diseases a lot
  • They were saved by John Smith, the most generically-named man ever
3 Why the Puritans came to the New World and the manner in which they treated others xxx
4 The theory of mercantilism and why it was resented in America
  • Was the economic philosophy and basis of empire
  • The goal was to profit (sell more than purchased)

Resented because:

  • Benefited the mother country (England)
    • Sold produced items to England
    • Bought other produced items from England
5 Salutary neglect xxx
6 Significance of the French and Indian War xxx
7 Why the British attempted tighter control and taxation of Americans after 1763 xxx
8 Colonial arguments regarding taxation xxx
9 Advantages and disadvantages of both the British and the colonies at the start of the revolution. xxx
10 Thomas Paine's Common Sense xxx
11 Significant battles: Saratoga, Yorktown xxx
12 The extent to which colonies were unified prior to the Declaration of Independence xxx

II. The Early Republic Edit

Number Topic Description
13 The specific reasons and general principles used in the Declaration of Independence to justify America's separation xxx
14 The purpose of the Constitution xxx
15 System of checks and balances set up by the Constitution xxx
16 Constitution and slavery xxx
17 The Bill of Rights xxx
18 Why Shay rebelled and the effect it had on the shaping of the government xxx
19 The weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation xxx
20 Constitutional compromises xxx
21 Federalist papers xxx
22 Describe the contrasting membership and principles of the Hamiltonian Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans xxx
23 George Washington's Farewell Address of 1796 xxx
24 Alien and Sedition Acts xxx
25 Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions xxx
26 XYZ affair xxx
27 Why the election of 1800 was a revolution xxx
28 The significance of the Whiskey Rebellion When the US government passed an excise on whiskey tax and farmers started rebelling--violently--things got so out of hand, President Washington himself led an army of nearly 13,000 men to Pennsylvania, where a few of the ringleaders and more violent protesters were taken prisoner but released a few months later. The significance of this relatively swift federal action (and that the President should get involved in the matter) set a precedent for future quarrels. The people won their freedom after the Revolutionary War; the government had debts to pay and it was the duty of the people to help pay for their independence. The authority of the government may at times be taken into question, which is why the United States is a democracy, but under no circumstances should any disgruntled peoples act in the violent and unmannerly way those during the Whiskey Rebellion did.
29 Why the US was able to buy Louisiana and its long-term effects on the country xxx
30 Causes of the War of 1812 and why the Federalists opposed it xxx
31 Nationalism and sectionalism xxx
32 Marbury v. Madison xxx
33 John Marshal's interpretation of the Constitution and how this shaped the early republic xxx
34 The Monroe Doctrine xxx
35 Henry Clay's American System xxx

III. Jacksonian Democracy: Expansion and Reform Edit

Number Topic Description
36 The significance of Jackson's victory in 1828 as a triumph of the "new democracy" xxx
37 The "corrupt bargain" of 1824 xxx
38 Missouri Compromise of 1820 xxx
39 The "tariff of abominations" and why it aroused such anger in the South xxx
40 Indian removal and the "Trail of Tears" The forced relocation of Native Americans after the Indian removal act of 1830 to the present-day state of Oklahoma. Many Natives died during the way to Oklahoma or suffered from unpleasant things like disease and starvation.
41 Tariff Compromise of 1833*** The Tariff Compromise of 1833 was passed in an attempt to stop the [Nullification Crisis] brought on by South Carolina. The compromise lowered the rate of the tariffs of 1828 and 1832. South Carolina threatened to secede unless these rates were lowered.
42 Why Americans like Stephen Austin moved to Texas Austin's father traveled to Spanish Texas and received a grant to bring 300 families to Texas. After he caught pneumonia his son Austin obtained the grant and his mother persuaded him to pursue the colonization of Texas. Once he arrived in Texas he realized it was no longer a Spanish province. It had become a Mexican province. Austin told the people in New Orleans that new land was available to farm with over 1,000 acres per family. This caused more people to move there.
43 Why Jackson was against the Bank of the United States xxx
44 xxx xxx
45 xxx xxx
46 xxx xxx
47 xxx xxx

IV. Union in Crisis: Civil War and Reconstruction Edit

Number Topic Description
48 The significance of Eli Whitney's cotton gin The invention of the cotton gin in 1973, by the same man who would later go on to create the concept of mass production, was a tremendous gift to plantation owners, and on a larger scale, the advancement of technology everywhere. The cotton gin was a device that took the place of a slave or twenty, quickly and easily separating the cotton seeds from the valuable fibres. Significant outcomes include:
  • More efficient, meaning higher income per day
  • More slaves could be devoted to other jobs such as the actual picking of cotton
  • Southern economy boomed; high trade rate of textiles with European countries
49 xxx xxx
50 xxx xxx
51 xxx xxx
52 "Popular sovereignty" Popular sovereignty is the term used to describe "true" democracy. That is, it is the acknowledgement that the legitimacy of the state is created and sustained by the will or consent of its people, who are the source of all its political power. Simply put, the people must be happy because otherwise the state will fall apart. Popular sovereignty was a big issue in the territories acquired from the Mexican-American War and Louisiana Purchase because the South was afraid that they'd lose a bunch of slave states, which is why they argued that it should be up to the state to decide if slavery would be allowed in the territory.
***53*** Lincoln and Douglas' positions in their debates for the senate seat Republican Abraham Lincoln argued that Douglas wanted to nationalize slavery, and tried forcing Douglas to choose between the popular sovereignty proposed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act (see next topic) and the outcome of the Dredd Scott Supreme Court case, which stated that slavery could not legally be excluded from U.S. territories. Both options were bad, the first because at this point, popular sovereignty would not work well for Douglas, and he had proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the first place; the second because although Douglas often argued that Supreme Court rulings were the top law, this went against his position because he believed that states did have a right to exclude slavery. Douglas responded to this with the Freeport Doctrine. Democrat Stephen Douglas mainly tried to convince people that Lincoln was an abolitionist who would bring ruin to the country by creating equality between blacks and whites. Said Lincoln at the Charleston debate, "I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone."
54 How the Kansas-Nebraska Act stirred the sectional controversy to new heights Douglas' intended purpose of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was to create democracy of a sort (through popular sovereignty) over the issue of slavery in the new territories added by the Mexican-American War and Louisiana Purchase. However, it actually pushed the country towards civil war and ended up completely disregarding the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850 which split the issue of slavery in a line down the middle of the country. The main problem brought about by the Act was Bleeding Kansas, a conflict between the inhabitants of states like Missouri and new, pro-slavery settlers who had migrated from the South to use their power of popular sovereignty to see to it that the new territories were also slave states. This lasted a few years and killed a couple dozen people (see John Brown). Physical violence wasn't the only issue the Act caused. Fierce debates erupted in the Senate and House of Representatives and weapons were brandished. In summary, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stirred the sectional controversy to new heights because it allowed states that were formerly protected from slavery by the Compromises to be open for debate.
55 xxx xxx
56 xxx xxx
57 The Union war strategy to defeat the South For a while, there was no real strategy to defeating the South. The Union soldiers just marched into battles and won some fights but lost many more of them. This changed when Winfield Scott devised the Anaconda Plan. Much like an anaconda squeezes its prey to death, the idea behind this strategy was to blockade the rivers and other key economic points of the South to prevent them from obtaining vital supplies and trading with the rest of the country and other nations. Then came General Sherman's plan, which really wasn't a plan at all but just general mayhem. He and his men would stand barely more than an arm's length apart from one another and walk through fields destroying everything in front of them. He even targeted civilians! This was most likely a war crime, but perhaps that's what it took to show the South that the Union was no longer in a trifiling mood and was to be taken seriously.
58 The Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation was a document drawn up by President Abraham Lincoln and issued on September 22, 1862. The proclamation promised freedom for slaves held in any of the Confederate states that didn't return to the Union by the end of the year. If you remember, during the Civil War the primary goal of the Union wasn't originally to free the slaves. That was only added later on in the war. Lincoln once wrote in a letter, "My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or destroy slavery." [citation needed] Lincoln actually had the Proclamation earlier, back in July. Secretary of State Seward, however, advised him not to unleash it upon the nation then, as the Union was losing a fair number of battles and it might seem like this was a last-ditch effort to save the campaign. Once the Union won the battle at Antietam, Lincoln issued the Proclamation, which...did nothing. Because the Confederate states had resigned from the Union, Lincoln had no control over them. The only thing the Emancipation Proclamation did was change the objective of the war from just getting back the Confederate states to a crusade for human freedom.
59 The significance of each: Antietam, Gettysburg and Vicksburg xxx
60 The condition of newly freed slaves and the efforts to assist them xxx
61 The differences between presidential and congressional reconstruction xxx
62 Pros and cons to Radical Reconstruction xxx
63 Why Andrew Johnson was impeached From Wikipedia: Andrew Johnson was impeached for:
  • Dismissing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office after the Senate had voted not to concur with his dismissal and had ordered him reinstated. (He attempted to replace him with Ulysses Grant).
  • Appointing Major General Lorenzo Thomas Secretary of War ad interim despite the lack of vacancy in the office, since the dismissal of Stanton had been invalid.
  • Appointing Thomas without the required advice and consent of the Senate.
  • Conspiring, with Thomas and "other persons to the House of Representatives unknown," to unlawfully prevent Stanton from continuing in office.
  • Conspiring to unlawfully curtail faithful execution of the Tenure of Office Act.
  • Conspiring to "seize, take, and possess the property of the United States in the Department of War." with specific intent to violate the Tenure of Office Act.
  • Issuing to Thomas the authority of the office of Secretary of War with unlawful intent to "control the disbursements of the moneys appropriated for the military service and for the Department of War."
  • Issuing to Major General William H. Emory orders with unlawful intent to violate the Tenure of Office Act.
  • Making three speeches with intent to show disrespect for the Congress among the citizens of the United States.
64 13th, 14th, and 15thAmendments Although the original Constitution never mentioned slavery by name, the 13th Amendment specifically mentioned the crime. It was signed by Lincoln; however it was not ratified until a few months after his assassination.

The full text of the 13th Amendment (1865) reads:

  • "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Known also as the [Reconstruction] Amendment, the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution granted citizenship to anyone "born or naturalized in the United States," at the time, targeted specifically at African Americans. It also prevented any military officer of the Confederacy from ever again holding a position of political power unless Congress overruled the objection through a 2/3 vote.

The full text of the 14th Amendment (1868) reads:

  • "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."
The 15th Amendment was the final piece of the trilogy of amendments that sought to help remove the boundaries between blacks and whites. It stated that the right to vote could not be denied to someone on the basis of their physical features, ethnic background, or whether they had formerly been a slave.

The full text of the 15th Amendment (1870) reads:

  • The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude—The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
65 How militant white opposition gradually undermined the Republican attempt to empower southern blacks xxx

This text is collapsible.

V. Essay Edit

Main article: Midterm essay

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