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Can you help grade my APUSH DBQ and 2 FRQ's?

lsu1993lsu1993 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
edited January 2012 in AP Tests Preparation
I just took the free response section of the 1996 APUSH Exam after scoring a 65/80 on the MC. Would you mind giving me feedback on the Essays and assigning EACH essay a grade on 1-9? I don't feel as strong on my essay writing as it was not covered at all in my APUSH class. I would like to see if I am on track for a five or not. These were all written under the appropriate time limits. I understand its alot to read. THANKS!

DBQ Documents:AP Central - AP U.S. History -- Previously Released Materials

Question: In what ways and to what extent did constitutional and social developments between 1860-1877 amount to a revolution?


A revolution is simply a term that means a complete change. During the Civil War Era, which was mainly defined by a fight over States' Rights, numerous events such as a constitutional amendment, black land rights and a rise in hate crimes all contributed to the major changes being wrought throughout the country during this time period.

Many African Americans fought for the Union against their oppressors in hopes of being granted more freedoms. It took a loud outcry from African Americans in order to petition the Government for voting rights. African Americans were expected to take a bullet for the Union but still could not vote (Doc. C). Not only could Blacks still not vote but they were also denied the right to purchase land especially in the South (Doc. E). Since many Blacks had no land of their own, they were forced back to work on their former plantations. They were not slaves but instead poor sharecroppers, which is as close to slavery as it gets. Even though Blacks were given the right to vote, the country hadn't revolutionized enough as to offer land ownership to Blacks. As part of the Lincoln's Plan to re-admit States back to the Union, they had to have at least 10% of the population take a pledge of allegiance to the U.S. and ratify a constitutional amendment which gave all Black males the right to vote. Even though widespread voting for African Americans was still not permitted, many Blacks were none the less able to cast a ballot for the first time (Doc. G). This change alone definitely shows that a Constitutional Revolution had taken place since Blacks were finally enfranchised according to the Constitution (Doc. F). Many Congressmen believed that slavery should be abolished, but the Government had no right to touch the issue of Civil Rights (Doc. D). This sentiment can clearly be seen by things such as Johnson's Reconstruction plan and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Civil rights were left untouched but the "peculiar institution" and the constitution were definitely revolutionized.

Even though Blacks were starting to enjoy many new freedoms, many others were still not approving of it. Hate crimes sky rocketed in the years after the Civil War. President Lincoln was assassinated by James Earl Booth in response to many of his policies and to prove that the Confederacy was still not dead. Hate Crimes in the South became increasingly violent in the South when the KKK rose to power and promised to do things that were "worse than slavery" (Doc. I). Lynchings became prevalent in the South and was an effective way of scaring African Americans from voting. Many policies such as Jim Crow Laws, the Grandfather Clause, poll taxes and literacy tests were implemented in the South as a way of barring Blacks from voting. This was the South's strategy to fighting many of the revolutionary social changes that were sweeping the country. Sadly, by the time reconstruction ended with the Inauguration of President Hayes, many of the progress made under the Lincoln administration was being reversed due to the segregation laws being embraced in the South.

During the 1860's and 1870's the United States had far reaching social and constitutional changes that were being felt across the country that could amount to a revolution. Constitutional and Social developments at first greatly revolutionized America and the South, but as time passed many of these changes could no longer be felt due to the push back from the desperate south.

FRQ #1

Question: Analyze the extent to which TWO of the following influenced the development of Democracy between 1820 and 1840.

Jacksonian Economic Policy
Changes in Electoral Policy
Second Great Awakening
Westward Movement


As a young nation, the 1820's and the 1840's had a strong influence on the development of Democracy. The power of the Presidency grew to an unprecedented level while the issue of slavery brought the issue of popular sovereignty to the table.

President Jackson was considered to be the Champion of the Common Man. He implemented the Tariff of Abominations in order to protect American Businesses. Much of the South was hurt by this and tried to fight against it. This led to the nullification crisis, which was proposed by States' Rights activist Henry Clay, which allowed States to not follow certain laws. South Carolina even went as far as threatening to secede. Jackson responded to these threats by mobilizing the army to these areas. Having their bluff being called, South Carolina backed down and Jackson regained control of the country. Other instances of Jackson's steel fist can be see when he forced the relocation of Native Americans west along the Trail of Tears. The Indians won their suit in the Supreme Court but Jackson made his famous statement " John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." Jackson still followed through with moving the Natives. This is where he received the name "King Andrew". Jackson' economic policies and western land policies influenced Democracy by increasing the power of the Presidency and exploiting flaws in the checks and balances system.

As Americans began to colonize western land, the ugly head of slavery reared its head once again and impacted Democracy. During this time period there was a balance of free states vs. slave states in the Senate. In order to maintain this balance, the Missouri compromise was adopted which stated that for every free state admitted a slave state had to also be admitted. This policy later became questioned by the Kansas-Nebraska Act which gave the people the power to decide whether to be admitted as a slave or free state. This policy led to much bloodshed in the two states which questioned the stability of popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty did survive because Federal Troops were sent into the region in order to maintain order. Once again the Government implemented force to uphold the Principles of Democracy. Democracy also grew by allowing the people to have a greater say in issues that affected them. The Government proved in the issues of westward movement that it would play a key role in the development of Democracy.

The principle of Democracy has been challenged many times in U.S. History but many things have influenced its' survival and have made it stronger. The power of the people and the Government have both upheld and challenged Democracy. Both exist in order to keep the other in check. With this relationship during 1820-1840, Democracy would not have developed and would have ceased to exist.

FRQ #2

Question: Analyze the influence of TWO of the following on American-Soviet relations in the decade following the Second World War.

Yalta Conference
Communist Revolution in China
Korean War


During World War II, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies. However, by the end of the Second World War they became increasingly suspicious of one another. The Yalta Conference and McCarthyism greatly impacted American-Soviet relations in a negative way in the decade following the War.

After the defeat of Germany, the Allies had the task of determining what to do with Germany. It was decided at the Yalta Conference that Germany and the city of Berlin would be divided into four zones - one for France, Britain, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It was also decided that the Soviets would allow for free elections in countries like Poland and offer help to the U.S. with the war with Japan. Although they somewhat helped with Japan, they did not allow for free elections in Easter Europe. Instead, the warsaw pact set up communist satellite countries to act as a military buffer zone for the Soviet Union. Tensions rose after the Soviets blatantly disregarded agreements made at the Yalta Conference. Tensions were even further increased when the Soviets cut off the railroads to Berlin - which would have allowed communism to take over Germany and the rest of Europe- Truman called for the Berlin Airlift. In short, the Yalta Conference and a few other developments in the decade following the war escalated tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States.

As a response to the increased tension, McCarthyism spread like wild fire across the U.S. McCarthyism, similar to the Red Scare in the 1920's, led to a witch hunt looking for commies. McCarthyism could even be seen in Hollywood. A Blacklist was compiled of suspected actors of being communists. Once put on one of these Blacklists, people were shunned and could not find a job. The HUAC was another committee formed to hunt down suspect Communists. The McCarren Internal Securities Act was implemented by the Federal Government to find and arrest suspected Communists within the Federal Government. The height of McCarthyism can be depicted when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were accused of helping the Soviet Union by offering them American secrets about constructing the Atomic Bomb. At the time, there wasn't any evidence worthy of convicting the couple. Yet, because of McCarthyism the couple was hanged.

Overall the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviets deteriorated fast after World War II starting with the Yalta Conference. These views were adopted by the people of the U.S. which led to the ideology known as McCarthyism. These two things put together led to the opening of poor relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union known as the Cold War.
Post edited by lsu1993 on

Replies to: Can you help grade my APUSH DBQ and 2 FRQ's?

  • lsu1993lsu1993 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    I hate doing this but bump
  • artbn96artbn96 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    i only read your DBQ because that is what i had time for and i am going to say it is confusing, your thesis is unclear and the structure of your essay needs some fixing. hope you did/do good on your real ap exam
This discussion has been closed.