CLEP US History I Exam Answer Key

1. The correct answer is (a). Women settlers outnumbering male settlers was not something that contributed to the differences between life in the New England colonies and life in the Chesapeake colonies. In Virginia and Maryland, men greatly outnumbered women due to these colonies’ large tobacco farms, which required men as workers. New England colonists did have life expectancies that were between 15 and 20 years longer than did Chesapeake colonists (b). Because Puritans lived longer, came to America with their families (most Chesapeake colonists came as individual indentured servants), and were a more homogeneous population, society in colonial New England was better organized and more stable than in the Chesapeake colonies (c). Puritans were also great believers in literacy because they felt it was so important to be able to read the Bible, so they had educational advantages over the colonies to the south (d). Because of the disproportionate sex ratio and the shorter life spans of Chesapeake settlers, their family and social lives were not as continuous or as stable as in New England. The fact that large tobacco farms such as those in Virginia and Maryland were not feasible in New England actually led to a better economy (e). A combination of smaller farms, cottage industries, trading, fishing and ship building industries, and the resulting emergence of Boston as a chief international seaport all contributed to local prosperity in New England.

2. The correct answer is (d). While it is true that British mercantilism, used partly as a weapon against Holland, did contribute to three wars between Britain and Holland in the late 17th century, it is not true that mercantilism never contributed to colonial prosperity. It did contribute to the wealth of the New England colonies by supporting their active ship building industry. Conversely, mercantilism was harmful to the Chesapeake colonies because it lowered prices on tobacco crops, their main source of income. Mercantilism did make England richer and the American colonies poorer by raising prices for British goods for Americans and lowering prices on American goods (e). According to English mercantilism, economic enterprises should always be government controlled (a). As subjects of the British Empire, American colonies definitely contributed to the mercantilist system by farming many crops that the England could take advantage of (b) instead of having to import them from foreign countries. To enforce colonial supply of crops to England, Parliament passed the Navigation Acts from 1651 to 1673 (c).

3. The correct answer is (e). It is not true that Penn initially established his colony without representative assembly. He began the settlement by guaranteeing colonists not only complete religious freedom, but also a representative assembly. It is true that Pennsylvania and Delaware, which was originally part of Pennsylvania, were established to give Quakers religious freedom (a), which they did not enjoy anywhere else in Britain or America. In addition to being pacifists, it is true that the Quakers were aggressively outspoken against the establishment and the class system (b). The Quakers were religious, but their religious beliefs were that each individual could communicate directly with God, so they did not find either the Bible or most human institutions important (c). The Quakers did originate in England around the time of the English Civil War as one of several radical religious groups (d).

4. The correct answer is (b). King William’s War, which was fought between 1689 and1697, included quite a few violent border attacks by Indians in America, but no major army battles. The Treaty of Ryswick ending this war did not make any changes in territories. Queen Anne’s War (a), which lasted from 1702 to 1713, was fought against France and Spain. It was ended by the Treaty of Utrecht, which ceded much territory to England. King George’s War (c), which lasted from 1739 to 1748, involved major army battles on American soil. American soldiers went on a number of expeditions with British troops. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended this war. In it, England returned Louisbourg to France, trading it for territories on the Indian continent. The French and Indian War (d), which lasted from 1754 to 1763, featured many army battles on American soil. The 1763 Treaty of Paris ending this war ceded all of France’s territories in Canada and North America to England. Since (b) is the correct answer, (e) is incorrect.

5. The correct answer is (c). The charter to found Georgia was not granted in 1765. It was granted to General James Oglethorpe in 1732. In fact, by 1752, Oglethorpe’s group felt that they had failed with this colony. The original purpose of the Georgia colony was indeed to create a buffer zone between South Carolina and Florida (a), which was a Spanish territory then. There were numerous wars being fought in the area between British and American troops and other imperialist countries. Oglethorpe was a British philanthropist, and he and his followers did found the Georgia colony (b). Oglethorpe and his group, as trustees who ran the colony for its first 21 years, laid down a great many rules in an effort to guide the colony’s administration and development. This practice, however, meant that few people wanted to settle there. The few who did constantly complained about all of the rules (d). These settlers were made up of former British subjects who had lived in poverty in Britain (e) and migrated in the hopes of achieving greater success in the New World.

6. The correct answer is (e). Among American political philosophers and writers who embraced the Enlightenment, Benjamin Franklin was the most famous. It is not true that this movement began in America and spread to Europe (a). On the contrary, it developed simultaneously in many European countries, and then spread to America. It is not true that the importance of God in the world was one of its central premises (b). The Enlightenment was a rationalist movement. According to its philosophy, the application of human critical thinking had more importance in solving problems than any divine intervention. It is not true that John Locke, a major British Enlightenment figure, believed governments should not be deposed for violating social or political rights (c). He believed the opposite: that if a government did not allow its citizens such rights, it was a valid reason to overthrow that government. This kind of thinking is also seen in the Enlightenment belief of challenging a society’s traditional moral values, practices, and existing institutions rather than always upholding them (d).

7. The correct answer is (d). Benjamin Franklin was not particularly associated with the Great Awakening, but was closely associated with the Enlightenment. William Tennent (a) and Gilbert Tennent (b) were Presbyterian ministers associated with the Great Awakening. Theodore Frelinghuysen (c) was a Dutch Reformed minister associated with this movement. Jonathan Edwards (e) was a Congregationalist minister whose sermon entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” became very famous in American literature as well as in American religion and philosophy. (Note: A Great Awakening preacher who also had great influence in America was George Whitefield. Although he made many speeches to large crowds in America, he was actually British.)

8. The correct answer is (b). After fighting began in American in 1754, the war spread to Europe in 1756, where it was called the Seven Years’ War. In America, it was called the French and Indian War. George Washington, who was then a major in the Virginia militia, was sent to Pennsylvania to expunge the French, but he was not successful (a). He initially won a skirmish, but his troops were outnumbered, so they retreated and then surrendered. Meanwhile, delegates came from seven of the colonies to meet in Albany, N.Y. to confer on defense plans. The delegate who proposed the idea of an intercolonial government (c) was Benjamin Franklin, not Thomas Jefferson. Though other colonial delegates did not agree, Franklin’s idea is considered significant because it set a precedent for presenting a united front against a common enemy, something America did in later wars such as World Wars I and II. Major General Braddock of England was ambushed en route to Fort Duquesne (d), but he did not defeat the French and Indian fighters who ambushed his troops. Instead, Braddock and two thirds of the British troops were killed in this battle. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. As a result of this treaty, all of France’s territories in Canada and the rest of North America were ceded to England (e).

9. The correct answer is (a). The attitudes of American colonists after the 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War was not a direct contributor to the American Revolution. American colonists had a supportive attitude toward Great Britain then, and were proud of the part they played in winning the war. Their good will was not returned by British leaders (b), who looked down on American colonials and sought to increase their imperial power over them. Even in 1761, a sign of Americans’ objections to having their liberty curtailed by the British was seen when Boston attorney James Otis argued in court against the Writs of Assistance (c), search warrants to enforce England’s mercantilist trade restrictions, as violating the kinds of natural laws espoused during the Enlightenment. Lord George Grenville’s aggressive program to defend the North American frontier in the wake of Chief Pontiac’s attacks included stricter enforcement of the Navigation Acts, the Proclamation of 1763, the Sugar Act (or Revenue Act), the Currency Act, and most of all the Stamp Act (d). Colonists objected to these as taxation without representation. Other events followed in this taxation dispute, which further eroded Americans’ relationship with British government, including the Townshend Acts, the Massachusetts Circular Letter, the Boston Massacre, the Tea Act, and the resulting Boston Tea Party. Finally, with Britain’s passage of the Intolerable Acts and the Americans’ First Continental Congress, which was followed by Britain’s military aggression against American resistance, actual warfare began in 1775. While not all of the colonies wanted war or independence by then, things changed by 1776, and Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence was formalized. James Otis, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, the Sons of Liberty, and the Stamp Act Congress (e) also contributed to the beginning of the American Revolution.

10. The correct answer is (c). Colonists did find that tea shipped directly by the British East India Company cost less than smuggled Dutch tea, even with tax. The colonists, however, did not buy it. They refused, despite its lower cost, on the principle that the British were taxing colonists without representation (d). It is true that the British East India Company lost money as a result of colonists buying tea smuggled from Holland (a). They sought to remedy this problem by getting concessions from Parliament to ship tea directly to the colonies instead of going through England (b) as the Navigation Acts normally required. Boston Governor Thomas Hutchinson, who sided with Britain, stopped tea ships from leaving the harbor, which after 20 days would cause the tea to be sold at auction. At that time, British taxes on the tea would be paid. On the 19th night after Hutchinson’s action, American protestors held the Boston Tea Party, dressing as Indians and dumping all the tea into the harbor to destroy it so it could not be taxed and sold. Many American colonists disagreed with the Boston Tea Party because it involved destroying private property. When Lord North and the British Parliament responded by passing the Coercive Acts and the Quebec Act, known collectively in America as the Intolerable Acts, Americans changed their minds (e), siding with the Bostonians against the British.

by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: October 31, 2018