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History of the United States I

Study Guide Kit

Study Guide Specifications

Type of
Cost of
CLEP 3 hours $80

CLEP exams are administered at colleges and universities

The History of the United States I study unit covers subject matter that is found in the first semester of a two-semester United States History college course. The period covered includes the time from the Spanish and French colonizations through the Civil War and the end of Reconstruction (1877). Emphasis is placed on the period of nationhood. For the part covering the 17th and 18th centuries, the focus is on the English and the major events shaping the development of the Nation. These events influence the role the United States plays on the world stage today.

U.S. history is not a mere catalog of facts and dates. While facts are important, it is essential to be able to identify and describe the historical phenomena of the period and be able to characterize and classify these phenomena in a meaningful way. Dates are used to establish points in time or to illustrate a sequence of events. Analysis and interpretation of historical phenomena enable us to understand why they occurred and what results came from the events themselves. By comparing and contrasting historical phenomena, we can gauge the relative importance of the events and better explain and evaluate their impact.

This study guide describes the birth of the United States of America and its growth through the Reconstruction Era. As you use this study guide, you should apportion thirty-five percent of your effort to understanding U.S. political institutions, behavior, key public policies, and the effect these have had on American behavior. Twenty-five percent of your study should be devoted to social developments and ten percent to economic developments. Another fifteen percent should go to understanding the flowering of American culture and the Nation's intellectual development. Throughout U.S. history, the Nation has faced significant diplomatic and international challenges; about fifteen percent of this guide and your effort should be devoted to a consideration of international relations and diplomacy.

Specific topics covered include the nature of the colonies; religious issues and relation with England; American expansionism; the birth of the constitution and key rulings of the Supreme Court; the forces that shaped political parties and the evolving role of the U.S. government; expressions of nationalism; political thinking and movements such as abolitionism, "manifest destiny," and women's suffrage; trends in immigration and demographics; mercantilism and the emergence of capitalism; the origins and growth of black slavery and its impact on the nation; the forces that acted to cause the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War; major movements in American arts and letters and the writers that represent these movements; the role of women and family life from colonial days to the Civil War.

At the end of each unit, there are questions that gauge your understanding of the material. Short answer questions deal with key concepts. Multiple choice questions deal with your ability to recall certain information or apply it to a particular situation. At the end of the study guide, there is an examination formatted like the CLEP test exam. Taking the examination will reinforce your learning, allow you to gauge areas of strength and weakness, and help you manage your time in taking the test.

Order this study guide online.