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American History. 2013 Semester Exam Study Guide. America’s Founding Documents. What are the age, citizenship, and residency requirements to be a U.S. Senator? How often are elections?. 30 years old Citizen for 9 years Resident of the state you are representing 6 years.

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American History

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American History

2013 Semester Exam

Study Guide

America’s Founding Documents

What are the age, citizenship, and residency requirements to be a U.S. Senator? How often are elections?

  • 30 years old

  • Citizen for 9 years

  • Resident of the state you are representing

  • 6 years

What are the age, citizenship, and residency requirements to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives? How often are elections?

  • 25 years old

  • Citizen for 7 years

  • Resident of the state you are representing

  • 2 years

What are the age and citizenship requirements to be President of the United States? How often are elections?

  • 35 years old

  • Natural born U.S. citizen

  • 4 years

  • 2 term limit

What was Baron de Montesquieu’s major contribution to political thought?

  • Separation of power among three branches of government

  • Checks and balances

In what document are Montequieu’s theories put into practice?

  • U.S. Constitution

What did philosophers of the Enlightenment rely on to understand the world around them?

  • Rationalism – our ability to reason

Who is considered the “father of rationalism”?

  • Rene Descartes

What as the primary weakness of the Articles of Confederation?

  • Federal government was not strong enough to tax or deal with national problems

What role did Adam Smith believe governments should have in a country’s economy?

  • The government should not be involved in economic matters – “hands off” or laissez-faire economics

What three roles did Adam Smith assign to governments?

  • Maintain an army – protect citizens from invasion

  • Maintain a police force – protect citizens from injustice

  • Maintain public works & infrastructure to facilitate economic activity

Why was the Bill of Rights added to the U.S. Constitution?

  • To protect citizens’ individual liberties and freedoms from the Federal government

How long is the term for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice?

  • life

Why did the Founding Fathers include a system of checks and balances in the Constitution?

  • To ensure one branch of the federal government does not gain too much power

What are natural rights? What are our natural rights?

  • Rights all humans are born with

  • Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness

According to John Locke, why do people form governments?

  • To defend and protect citizens’ natural rights

According to John Locke, what right do people have if their government fails in its primary duty?

  • Alter or abolish their government

Who is the author of the Declaration of Independence?

  • Thomas Jefferson

What two truths are “self evident” according to the Declaration of Independence?

  • All men are created equal

  • All men have natural rights

In what two ways is the power of the Federal government limited by the Constitution?

  • Checks & balances

  • Bill of Rights

How does a representative democracy function?

  • Citizens elect people to represent their interests

How many justices serve on the U.S. Supreme Court? How are they chosen?

  • 9 justices

  • Appointed by the President & approved by the Senate

First 5 Amendments

  • 1st: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly

  • 2nd: the right to bear arms

  • 3rd: no quartering of troops!

  • 4th: protection against unreasonable search & seizure

  • 5th: protects against self incrimination, double jeopardy, guarantees a grand jury for serious federal offenses, and ensures the govt must pay a fair price for taking private property

Amendments 6-10

  • 6th: Speedy and fair trial

  • 7th: Right to a trial by a jury of peers

  • 8th: Protection against cruel and unusual punishment

  • 9th: People have rights beyond those stated in the Constitution

  • 10th: Powers not guaranteed to the federal government are held by the states and their citizens


  • Concurrent Powers: powers shared by federal and state governments

  • Enumerated Powers: powers specifically given to the federal government

  • Reserved Powers: powers of state governments

  • Federalism: a system of government where power is shared between federal & state govt’s

Industrial Revolution & Early Labor Unions

How did business leaders try to eliminate their competition?

  • Monopolies

  • Trusts

  • Cartels

What impact did immigration have on the U.S. labor force?

  • Provided a large pool of available labor

  • Provided CHEAP labor

What were some of the problems in America’s growing urban areas?

  • Lack of sanitation

  • Insufficient fire departments

  • Riots/violence/crime

  • Overpopulation

  • Disease

  • Tenement life

How did Congress attempt to limit the power of business combinations in the late 1800’s

  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act, 1890

What two inventions revolutionized communication?

  • Telegraph

  • Telephone

How did industrial growth affect the distribution of wealth in the U.S. post Civil War?

  • The gap between the rich and the poor grew even wider – rich get richer, poor get poorer

How was Rockefeller able to gain control of nearly all of the oil industry?

  • Horizontal consolidation

  • Formed the Standard Oil Trust

Why did children often work in dangerous jobs?

  • From the owners perspective, they were paid less which kept production costs low

  • Families also needed the money to help provided the basic necessities of life

Who had a social philosophy called the “Gospel of Wealth”? What was it?

  • Andrew Carnegie

  • People should be free to create as much wealth as they can, but when they have ensured their businesses sustainability & families security the rest should be given back for the public good.

Who did the government and court system often support in early labor disputes?

  • Management & ownership….everyone but the workers!

What corporate structure allowed Standard Oil to dominate its industry?

  • Formed the Standard Oil trust

  • Horizontal consolidation

What effect did mass production of goods have on the prices consumers paid for them?

  • As production increased, cost decreased

What is Social Darwinism?

  • “Survival of the fittest” Darwin’s theory of evolution applied to society

  • Those who are most fit to lead will rise to the top, those who are not will sink to the lower classes

Why did owners of big businesses generally embrace Social Darwinism?

  • Because it was justification for their position in society

Why did some Americans refer to industrialists as robber barons?

  • Cruel business tactics

  • Cheated people to increase their wealth

  • Looting America’s natural resources

  • Exploited their workers – low pay, long hours, dangerous conditions

  • Bribed government officials to interpret laws/pass laws in their favor

What is an entrepreneur?

  • Someone who starts their own business – assumes the personal and financial risks of owning and operating a business

What does an economic system based on laissez faire principles rely on to regulate wages and prices

  • Supply and demand

According to social Darwinism, what is the role of government in economic matters?

As little a role as possible

How did railroad companies raise most of the money they needed to expand their lines?

  • Sold the land given to them by the Federal government via land grants

In what industry did Andrew Carnegie make his fortune?

  • Steel

What is vertical consolidation?

  • Gaining control of all of the businesses that make up all phases of a product’s development

What was made possible by the Bessemer Process?

  • Cheap and efficient mass production of steel

What effect did industrialization have on population patterns in the U.S. after the Civil War?

  • Urban areas grew rapidly as people moved from rural areas to find jobs

Why would workers want to unionize?

  • To negotiate better hours, wages, and a safe working environment

  • To speak collectively as workers with one voice

What bargaining power do workers have?

  • Their labor

What obstacles did organized labor face in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s?

  • Decreased demand for skilled labor

  • Public perception of organized labor

  • Attitudes of ownership & the government towards workers and unions

  • Social Darwinism

  • No laws specifically legalizing the existence of unions or their practices

What similarities were there in the causes of the great strikes of the late 1800’s?

  • Terrible working conditions

  • Repeated wage cuts

What effect did the great strikes of the late 1800’s have on the public perception of organized labor?

  • That unions led to violence, bloodshed, and anarchy

What was the attitude of management, state governments, the federal government, and the courts towards the industrial working class and labor unrest?

  • Do whatever was necessary to resume production


  • Industrial Union: a union representing all laborers, skilled and unskilled, in a given industry

  • Craft Union: a union representing only skilled workers

  • Scab: a negative term for a worker brought in to replace striking workers

  • Injunction: A court order prohibiting a certain activity, or ordering an activity to stop, as in a strike

  • Collective Bargaining: the process by which workers negotiate the terms of their employment with management/ownership

Vocabulary II

  • Trust: A group of separate companies from the same industry that are brought together under the control of the same managing board

  • Monopoly: One firm having complete control of a product or service

  • Cartel: a loose association of businesses within a given industry that agree to regulate price and supply to ensure everyone profits

  • Economies of Scale: the phenomenon that as production increases, the cost of each item produced is lowered

The Progressive Era of Reform

What is the job of the Federal Reserve System (the FED)?

  • To stabilize and regulate the nation’s banking system to prevent depressions and panics

  • Regulate interest rates and the amount of money in circulation (money supply)

What piece of legislation did President Woodrow Wilson help pass to limit the power of corporate combinations that restrained trade?

  • Clayton Anti Trust Act, 1916

  • Specifically listed illegal practices of big businesses

  • Created the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the law

  • Legalized labor unions and their main practices

    • Strikes

    • Boycotts

    • Peaceful picketing

What group of Americans did Progressive reformers neglect?

  • African Americans

What was the nickname of the Progressive Party in the election of 1912?

  • Bull Moose Party

What is one of the most important functions of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)?

  • To investigate business practices and order companies to “cease and desist” any activities forbidden by the Clayton Act or face disciplinary measures

What new structure of municipal government was developed in an attempt to reduce corruption in government and put more power back into the hands of citizens?

  • Council-Manager system

What is the process by which voters at the state and local levels can dismiss an elected official before their term has expired?

  • Recall

What was a major contributing factor to Woodrow Wilson winning the Presidential election of 1912?

  • Split of the Republican party

  • Candidacy of Theodore Roosevelt on the Progressive ticket

Why were Republicans in Congress furious with William Howard Taft for signing the Payne-Aldrich Tariff into law?

  • He ran on a platform of lowering tariffs and the initial bill did this, however the final version also included an increase in tariff rates

What group of Americans did many reforms of the Progressive Era focus on?

  • The industrial working class/urban residents

How did muckrakers contribute to the rise of progressivism in the early 1900’s?

  • Uncovered the evils of America’s industrial society and exposed them to the public through publication of articles, books, photographs, etc.

What Constitutional Amendment was added with the goal of reducing corruption in the Federal government and giving power back to the citizens?

  • 17th Amendment

What did that amendment provide for?

  • Direct election of U.S. Senators by the citizens of their state

What did President Theodore Roosevelt believe about conservation?

  • He believed the conservation of America’s natural resources was the job of everyone and crucial to the future prosperity of the nation

What impact did the Progressive Era have on the presence of all levels of government in the lives of American citizens?

  • The government has an increased presence in the everyday lives of its citizens

What direct impact did The Jungle have on progressive reforms?

  • Passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act

Since 1913 the U.S. banking system, interest rates, and the amount of money in circulation have been controlled by what body?

  • The FED (Federal Reserve System)

What was the main purpose of the trust busting policies of the Progressive Presidents?

  • To get rid of harmful business practices that were restricting commerce and competition

What long awaited goal of the women’s rights movement was finally achieved at the end of the Progressive Era?

  • Suffrage – the right to vote!

What is the name of the position in a council manager system of city government for the person who handles the day to day operations of the city’s services?

  • City Manager

What is the process by which citizens can directly propose legislation?

  • Initiative

What is a social welfare program? Exanmples?

  • A program designed to ensure citizens basic needs are met and to ensure a minimum standard of living for all citizens

  • Welfare

  • Unemployment benefits

  • Worker’s compensation

What is the process by which citizens can vote directly to approve or reject a law passed by the state legislature by collecting signatures on a petition to put the law on the ballot?

  • Referendum

Who exposed the practices of the Standard Oil Company through her 18 part article?

  • Ida Tarbell

How did President Taft expand the powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission?

  • Gave the ICC the power to regulate telephone and telegraph rates

Why were ALL progressives angry with President Taft for appointing Richard Ballinger as the head of the Department of the Interior?

  • He was adamantly anti-conservation, but appointed to a position where his job was to manage the country’s natural resources

What 1896 Supreme Court case upheld the legality of Jim Crow Laws and paralyzed African American’s attempts at civil rights until the 1960’s?

  • Plessey vs. Ferguson

What is the difference between the changes socialists and progressives wanted for America?

  • Socialists wanted to completely overhaul the capitalist system; progressives wanted to keep capitalism but reform the problems that had grown out of rapid industrialization

Many Americans became more supportive of suffrage as a result of what?

  • The role women played on the home front and abroad during World War I


  • Susan B. Anthony:

  • Congressional Union: More militant and aggressive women’s suffrage organization founded by Alice Paul

  • National American Woman Suffrage Association: Women’s suffrage org. led by Susan B. Anthony

  • Conservationist: one who favors the protection and preservation of natural resources and phenomenon

  • Direct Primaries: citizens of a political party directly vote for which candidate they would like to represent their party in an upcoming election

Progressive Amendments

  • 16th – federal government can collect an income tax

  • 17th – direct election of U.S. senators

  • 18th – prohibition: ban on the sale, making, consumption of alcoholic beverages

  • 19th – women’s suffrage: women of voting age can vote in all local, state, and federal elections


What was the goal of the United States’ Open Door Policy?

  • To open and maintain trade with China

What U.S. foreign policy was directly tied to industrialization in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s?

  • imperialism

What is “yellow journalism”?

  • Exaggeration of the truth in news stories to make them more interesting & sell more papers

Why did American business leaders favor the expansion of U.S. power over foreign territories and people?

  • To find new markets in order to solve the economic problem of overproduction

What needs of an industrial economy were addressed by acquiring a colonial empire?

  • New sources of raw materials and new markets

Why did American Secretary of State, John Hay, refer to the Spanish-American War as a, “splendid little war”?

  • We crushed the Spanish in three months and suffered very few casualties

Why was the Panama Canal an important piece of infrastructure for global trade?

  • It made the movement of goods between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans quicker, safer, cheaper, more efficient

What is Dollar Diplomacy? What President is this foreign policy associated with?

  • Foreign policy of William Howard Taft based on fostering positive relationships with foreign countries through American investment

What allowed the U.S. to continue to intervene in Cuban affairs even after Cuba had gained its independence from Spain?

  • The Platt Amendment

Why did the U.S. refuse to grant independence to the Philippines after Spanish rule of the islands ended?

  • President William McKinley did not believe Filipinos were capable of self government.

What was the strongest argument put forth by anti-imperialists?

  • Imperialism and controlling foreign territory and people reject the American ideal of liberty for all

Why did many in the U.S., including Theodore Roosevelt, push for an expansion of the navy?

  • To protect American economic investments, trade interests, and citizens all around the world.

World War I

The Central Powers were comprised of which countries?

  • Germany

  • Austria-Hungary

  • Ottoman Empire

  • Bulgaria

The Allied powers were comprised of which countries?

  • Great Britain

  • France

  • Russia

  • United States (after 1917)

What event was the catalyst for World War I?

  • The assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sofia, by a 19 year old Serbian nationalist named GavriloPrincip on June 28, 1914

What was the Schlieffen Plan?

  • Germany’s initial battle plan as it mobilized its forces at the beginning of WWI. It called for a swift advance westward through Belgium to capture France before turning German attention eastward towards Russia

Who assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdidnand?

  • A 19 year old Serbian nationalist, GavriloPrincip

What are the FOUR main causes of WWI?

  • M – Militarism

  • A – Alliances

  • I – Imperialism

  • N - Nationalism

At the beginning of WWI, what official policy was adopted by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson?

  • Neutrality and preparedness

Which country actively encouraged anti-German feelings in the U.S and was our only source of information about the events in Europe after the war began?

  • Great Britain

What weapons were widely used for the first time during WWI?

  • Machine guns

  • Tanks

  • Planes

  • Heavy artillery

  • Chemical weapons

How were American women able to gain support for the suffrage movement during WWI?

  • By performing well in jobs vacated by men who went overseas to Europe to fight in WWI

  • Some of these jobs had never been open to women before

  • Women also volunteered to serve in the military as nurses, drivers, and clerks

What finally prompted President Woodrow Wilson to break from the policy of neutrality and ask Congress for a declaration of war against Germany?

  • Unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans

  • March 16-18, 1917 German u-boats sunk three American ships

    • City of Memphis

    • Illinois

    • Vigilancia

What was the Zimmerman Note?

  • An offer from the German foreign secretary to the U.S made to Mexico offering land in the American southwest in exchange for a Mexican declaration of war against the United States.

What impact did WWI have on the global perception of the U.S.?

  • After WWI the U.S. was looked at as a global power economically and militarily

  • Other nations begin to look to the U.S. to help with their problems and act as somewhat of a global police officer

Approximately how many casualties were there in WWI?

  • 10 million

What was the goal of the League of Nations?

  • To serve as an international organization that would maintain peace and stability for all of its member nations by mediating disputes and resolving conflicts before the erupted into violence

  • Translation: to prevent another catastrophic global conflict like WWI

What was Germany required to do, as per the terms of the Treaty of Versailles?

  • Assume all guilt for WWI

  • Pay reparations to the Allied Powers totaling $33 billion

How did the U.S attempt to isolate itself from future European conflicts following WWI?

  • By refusing to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, thus not becoming a member of the League of Nations

What did U.S. President Woodrow Wilson hope to achieve with his 14 Point Plan at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919?

  • To ensure peace and stability for the world

What characterized combat along the Western front in WWI?

  • Brutal trench warfare

What was the purpose of the convoy system?

  • To protect merchant and troop ships from being sunk by German u-boats so supplies and reinforcements could reach the Allied forces in Europe

What event turned the tide of war against the Germans on the Western front?

  • The entry of the United States into the war in 1917

Aside from the modern military technology, how did commanding officers on both sides of the conflict contribute to the high number of casualties?

  • By employing old tactics and strategies that were not compatible with the devastating new technology

  • EX: “Over the top” – having soldiers charge over the top of the trench out into “No Man’s Land” to attack the enemy trench…as they are mowed down by machine guns and snipers

How would you describe the U.S. Army when war was declared on Germany in March, 1917?

  • Undermanned, undertrained, generally unprepared for combat

When did the armistice that ended combat in WWI officially take place?

  • The cease fire agreement took effect on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am

    • 11/11/1811:00:00 am

Why did many senators argue against the U.S. joining the League of Nations?

  • It would draw the U.S. into costly future European conflicts.

What treaty officially ended WWI?

  • The Treaty of Versailles

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