Potential Essay Questions for the First Exam
- Compare and contrast the origins, development, social structure, and labor system of the colonies of Massachusetts and Virginia. Examine in detail how each colony formed, its origins, and evolution. What was the primary motivator behind each colony’s foundation? What changed over time in the colonies? In your opinion, which colony was the most successful? Why?
- Trace the origins of the American Revolution beginning from about 1660. What were the major events that caused the break between the American colonies and the mother country? Do you see any events as being critical, in that without them a break might not have occurred? Finally, in your opinion, who was at fault for the separation, the American colonies, Britain, or both? Why?
- Discuss the American Revolution, specifically the goals of the American colonists. Why did the Revolution occur? How did it start? How did rebellion become Revolution? Finally, as detailed as possible, how did the 13 Colonies succeed in breaking away from Great Britain? What were the key battles and factors that led to the war being successful?
- Examine American politics System from 1787 through approximately 1815. What were the main issues? What problems were discussed with Constitution? How did political parties form? Who their leaders and what were their ideologies. What were the dominant issues that caused fractionalization into parties? How did the War of 1812 end the so-called “First Party System”?