PART I: SECOND HALF ESSAY QUESTION
On the final, you will be given one of the following questions. Your response
should draw upon course readings as well as lectures. Your response should include the
argument of your essay clearly stated in a thesis statement in your introductory
paragraph. You may want to plan out your essay before you write. 5 minutes spent
outlining your answer before you begin writing will ultimately improve the quality of
your answer. This essay question will be worth 10 points.
1. Consider the selections from John L. O’Sullivan’s editorial on the annexation of
Texas, published in 1845. What does it say about the attitudes held by many in
the United States about western expansion? What does it say about AngloAmerican attitudes towards non-Anglo-American “others” in North America?
[See the primary source on Canvas—titled source 1]
2. Some historians have described the expansion of popular politics in the
Jacksonian era as the rise of a white man’s democracy. Who were the losers
and who were the winners under that system? To what extent did American
society as a whole democratize after the Revolution?
3. Examine the picture posted on the course Canvas comparing life on a slave
plantation to life in industrialized Britain (Source 2). Do you think this
picture accurately conveyed life on a slave plantation? How did the
sentiments portrayed in this picture relate to Southern defenses of the slave
system? How did it relate to southern states’ desire to secede?
4. In 1857, Hinton Rowan Helper wrote The Impending Crisis in The South.
Helper’s book argued that at the time of the signing of the Declaration of
Independence the North and the South were roughly equal in economic and
cultural terms. However, his book goes on to outline the many reasons the
North and South experienced regional differences. By drawing on Helper’s
work(Source 3) as well as information from the second half of the course explain
why the North and South differed politically, economically, and culturally.
5. Consider Angelina Grimké’s discussion of women’s rights and anti-slavery
History 17A Final Exam Study Guide S22 2
(Source 4). How does Grimké see the relationship between the antislavery
movement and the movement for women’s rights? How do Grimké’s opinions
relate to other reform movements? (You should pick one reform movement to
PART II: CUMULATIVE ESSAY QUESTION
On the final, you will be given one of the following questions. The directions
are the same as in Part I, except that you must be sure to include material from the
entire class period. This question is worth 50 points.
1. Compare women’s social roles before and after the American Revolution. In
what ways did their economic and occupational status change? How did social
expectations evolve in the decades after political independence?
2. On July 4, 1776, residents of the thirteen United States changed from
colonial subjects of Great Britain to prospective colonizers of the North
American continent. Do you think this shift being British subjects to being
citizens of the United States changed their approach towards colonizing
the interior of the continent? Why?
3. The historian Edmund Morgan once argued that the paradox of American
democracy was that Americans had bought their freedom with slave labor. If
that was so, how central was African slavery in the growth and development of
the United States from the colonial period through the Civil War?
4. Upon leaving office, George Washington advised America not to split into
political factions. Do you believe that Americans followed his advice? How
did political factionalism evolve during from the early republic through the
5. “In many respects, the Mexican American war played the same role in the lead
up to the Civil War that the Seven Years War did in the lead up to the
American Revolution. Each set the stage for a larger conflict to follow.” Do
you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? Which war do you think had a
greater impact on American society?