First give a basic encyclopedic definition that answers who, what, where, and
(roughly) when. Then explain why the term is important in one to two
paragraphs, which should include:
• how it arose
• what it brought about
• its broader historical legacies
• how it reflects the major concept(s) of a weekly class unit. This is the
most critical component of your answer
Each term should take five to ten minutes.
3) Freedmen’s Bureau
4) John Brown
6) Wade-Davis Bill
7) William Tecumseh Sherman
8) Wilmot Proviso
For full credit, address every element of the prompt and explain and support
each point with examples and details drawn from your textbook, primary
sources, and/or lecture notes (there is no need to cite, however).
Demonstrate your understanding, and do not list bullet points without
explanation. In terms of length, write about four to five paragraphs’ worth of
content—although the essay’s structure is up to you. Each essay should take
twenty to twenty-five minutes.
1) The notion of so-called “Manifest Destiny” characterized much of
American political discourse during the 1840s.
A) Describe why many Americans moved west during that period.
B) Explain the major ideological components of “Manifest Destiny” and
the historical phenomena encouraging such sentiments.
C) List and discuss the major U.S. territorial acquisitions during the 1840s
and note how each could reflect belief in this “Manifest Destiny.”
2) The United States increasingly divided along sectional lines after the
territorial expansion of the 1840s.
A) Discuss the events leading into the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, the
Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of
B) Explain how each of those touchstones exacerbated tensions between
North and South.
3) Many historians call the Civil War one of the first “modern” wars in
World History, in part because of how the Union and Confederate
governments mobilized resources.
A) How did the Union government obtain the soldiers and supplies needed
to sustain the successful war effort?
B) Why did Confederate efforts at mobilization prove less effective?
C) What were the long-term effects of such mobilization and “total war”
combat on the North (and eventually U.S.)?
4) After the Civil War, the (re)United States plunged into the difficult
period of Reconstruction.
A) What did Radical Republicans hope to accomplish through their
distinctive vision of Reconstruction?
B) What events and developments conspired to defeat this Republican
program for the postwar ex-Confederacy?