History of the United States II
Study Guide Specifications
CLEP exams are administered at colleges and universities
The History of the United States II study unit covers subject matter that is found in the second semester of a two-semester American History college course. 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 to 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 events 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 covers the history of the United States from the end of the Civil War to the present time and prepares you for the 120 question, 90 minute CLEP test. As you use this study guide, you should apportion thirty-five percent of your effort to understanding U.S. political institutions, 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 in the U.S. 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 is devoted to a consideration of international relations and diplomacy.
Certain works of art are discussed in this text. You will see some questions about certain artists and their works on the CLEP exam. Because we cannot predict which works you will see on the exam, we suggest you review the works of the artists mentioned here, particularly Mary Cassatt, the Ashcan School, Andy Warhol, and Jacob Riis. Two good sources for viewing these works on the Internet are www.artchive.com and www.artcyclopedia.com.
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.
The material begins with the second election of Abraham Lincoln and the consideration of Reconstruction during Andrew Johnson's presidency. It concludes with the presidency of Bill Clinton. The subject matter is chronological to the extent possible and follows the time line of each presidential administration. Occasionally there is an essay about a certain critical topic that spans a number of administrations, such as the rise of big business, the roaring twenties, and the civil rights movement. By relating key events to the president in power at the time, the author establishes a reference point for the reader.
At the end of the study guide, there is an examination formatted like the CLEP test, made up of 110 multiple choice questions. 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.