History of the United States II
Ready to give it a shot? Dive into the 10 question quiz below to get a feel for how prepared you are! Once you’ve written down your answers, hover over (or tap on a phone) the question to see the answers and explanations.
All test questions are in a multiple-choice format, with one correct answer and three incorrect options. The following are samples of the types of questions that may appear on the exam.
WarningPlease do keep in mind that we can’t guarantee the accuracy of this quiz, so we do recommend you also run through a full-length practice exam. The CollegeBoard offers a good one that we’ll share in the resources section below.
Question 1: What does the “X-Article” refer to?
a) A journal article describing the ideology behind the Viet Cong and how to defeat them.
b) A journal article describing the religious beliefs of the Japanese during WWII.
c) A journal article that described how Soviet insecurity impacted on international diplomacy.
d) A journal article explaining how Nazi ideology could be useful in American politics.
The ‘X-Article’ was given its name as it was written under the pseudonym ‘Mr. X’ for the journal Foreign Affairs. It was written by George F. Kennon and described the reasons why Soviet Russia behaved the way it did. He argued that the Soviet felt a deep sense of insecurity as a result of their violent rise to power, but also due to the manner in which many western countries attempted to topple them and restore a capitalist government.
Question 2: What did the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) grant?
a) It granted citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the United States.
b) The protected the right to keep and bear arms.
c) It granted women the right to vote.
d) It granted the right to a jury is civil cases.
The 14th Amendment was one of the amendments to the US Constitution that was passed during the Reconstructionist Era after the Civil War. It granted citizenship to everyone born in the US which meant that it made former slaves US citizens. It has also been very important as a basis in other constitutional cases in the 20th century.
Question 3: What art style is most commonly associated with Jackson Pollock?
b) Abstract expressionism
d) Art Deco
Jackson Pollock is famous for his drip paintings which were a form of abstract expressionist art. This style of art attempted to deal with the uncertainty and difficulty of life after the devastation and brutality of the First and Second World Wars. It is often said that Pollock’s paintings were an attempt for him to deal with his own struggle with alcoholism and anger issues.
Question 4: Why was the ocean liner The Lusitania sunk by a German submarine in 1915?
a) The Germans believed it was carrying French soldiers.
b) The Germans believed that it was was carrying munitions.
c) The Germans believed that it was carrying Russian refugees.
d) The Germans believed that it was an American ship disguised as a British ship
The Germans believed that the Lusitania was carrying ammunition to be used for the British war effort and so it was considered a legitimate target. The British government denied this and argued that it was an illegal act. It wasn’t until 1982 that the British government admitted the ship did actually have munitions and so would be dangerous for salvage teams to investigate.
Question 5: What ethnic minority was affected by the Exclusion Act of 1882?
a) The Chinese
b) The Irish
c) The Italians
d) The Japanese
The Chinese were prohibited from entering the US due to the Exclusion Act of 1882. In the second half of the 19th century, Chinese immigrants began to settle on the east coast of the US as a result of wars and famine in mainland China. Their language and culture singled them out for discrimination on a federal level.
Question 6: What did the National Industrial Recovery Act (1933) allow the US president to do?
a) To regulate agricultural output to lower food prices.
b) To regulate production in the transport industry.
c) To regulate industry for fair wages and prices that would help economic recovery.
d) To regulate immigration for industries that needed more workers.
The NIRA allowed the President to regulate wages and prices in the hopes that it would help the American economy to recover during the Great Depression. It also helped to introduce public works programs to give work to the large number of unemployed Americans.
Question 7: What was the purpose of the Marshall Plan?
a) To isolate Communist China from other Asian countries.
b) To help Europe recover economically.
c) To increase American munitions production.
d) To allow for large scale immigration of Europeans into the US.
The Marshall Plan was named after US Secretary of State George Marshall. After the Second World War it was believed that the only way to stop Europe from starting another devastating war was to make it economically prosperous again. A second goal of the plan was to make Communism and the USSR less attractive to Europeans.
Question 8: Which of these views was not central to Ronald Reagan’s political outlook?
a) The promotion of traditional family values in America.
b) The reduction of the federal government
c) The lowering of taxes.
d) The appeasement of foreign powers to avoid war.
Ronald Reagan took a much more hardline approach to international relations than his predecessors. Reagan referred to the USSR as the ‘evil empire’ and increased military and weapons spending after a period of disarmament and warming up of relations on both sides.
Question 9: The Watergate Scandal is associated with which US president?
a) Ronald Reagan
b) Jimmy Carter
c) Gerald Ford
d) Richard Nixon
The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. It revealed that the Nixon administration attempted to steal information from the Democratic National Convention at the Watergate Hotel in 1972 and also attempted to cover up the incident.
Question 10: Why did the Tet Offensive (1968) cause the American people to drop support of the Vietnam War?
a) They found the US Military tactics to be morally offensive
b) It showed that the Viet Cong were well organised and would not be easily beaten
c) They believed the offensive had been staged to drum up support.
d) They believe that it could cause another global war.
The Tet Offensive was the turning point in popular support for the war in Vietnam. It was named for the Vietnamese New Year which was when the first attacks took place. Up until the Tet Offensive, the American public had been led to believe by the US government that the Viet Cong were losing and America would soon win. The Tet Offensive showed that they were much more organized that they had been led to believe and that it was very unlikely that the war would end anytime soon.
More CLEP Study Resources
Looking for a study guide to fill a couple gaps, or just want a full length practice exam? You can find a few of my favorite resources below. Note that some of the links are affiliate – meaning I’ll make a few dollars if you purchase, but I’m only sharing those resources that were genuinely helpful during my own CLEP journey.
Official CLEP Study Guide: It’s quite short on the study side of things, but this is the go-to practice test bank. I don’t think I’ve done a single CLEP test without taking the practice test in this book first.
REA CLEP History of the United States II: I’m not huge on reading, but this book series is fantastic if you’re into that kind of thing. It also includes some nifty online practice tests, though I always found the official practice tests (above) more reassuring.
InstantCert Academy: The website looks like it was made before the internet, but it’s legitimately the single most useful study guide I’ve found. Basically it’s a series of flashcards that help you learn about US History II in a fast paced and fun way.
Plenty of other resources exist – just do a quick internet search – but these are the three that I’ve personally found the most helpful back when I did CLEP.