CLEP US History II Exam Answer Key

1. Mismanagement by cattlemen (d) was not a factor causing lower profits that contributed to the end of the open-range cattle industry on the Western Great Plains. Lower profits were caused by Joseph Glidden’s invention of barbed wire (a), which restricted open-range grazing, and the invasion of the plains by farmers and shepherds (b), which took grazing land away from cattle. In addition to the decrease in profits caused by these factors, the blizzards that occurred between 1885 and 1887 (c), and the droughts that took place in between these two major blizzards (e), further undermined the cattle industry until it was effectively ended.

2. All the laws (e) named were instrumental in spurring westward migration to the Great Plains. The Homestead Act (a), passed in 1862, gave settlers 160 acres of land at no monetary cost in exchange for a commitment to cultivating the land for five years. The Timber Culture Act (b), passed in 1873, gave the settlers 160 acres more of land in exchange for planting trees on one quarter of the acreage. The Desert Land Act (c), passed in 1877, allowed buyers who would irrigate the land to buy 640 acres for only 25 cents an acre. Thus, (e), all of these laws were instrumental to spurring westward migration to the Great Plains during that period, is correct.

3. The first transcontinental railroad was finished in 1869 (c) on May 10. Construction on the railroad was begun in 1862 (a) but not completed until seven years later. After completion, economic depression prevented more railroad building until the 1880s (e) and 1890s (b). In 1865 (d), there were 35 000 miles of railroad track in the country; by 1890 (b), there were 200 000 miles.. The first transcontinental railroad connected the Central Pacific Railroad, which began in Sacramento, California, to the Union Pacific Railroad, which began in Omaha, Nebraska, in Utah.

4. The Great Northern Railroad (b) was the only railroad that was not chiefly financed through government subsidies. The Santa Fe (a), Northern Pacific (c), and Southern Pacific (d) were constructed with government funding. Therefore (e), they all were government funded, is incorrect. All of the railroads listed were built in the 1880s and 1890s.

5. The industry that did not experience major growth from the late 1800s to the early 1900s was (a) beef. The cattle industry was devastated by a combination of competition from farmers and shepherds for land, the advent of barbed wire, and destructive weather conditions in the late 1880s (see Question #11). The steel industry (b) grew more than tenfold from 1880 to 1914, sparked by the rise of the railroads, which also stimulated the growth of the petroleum or oil (c) industry from virtual nonexistence to becoming one of the country’s biggest enterprises. The construction of several hundred textile mills in the cotton states meant that by 1920, the South surpassed the New England states in the production of cloth (d). During this period of industrialization, other industries that profited greatly included those of lumber or wood (e), iron, coal, and of course, the railroads.

6. The statement that does not accurately portray conditions in industrializing America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is (c).: By 1890, there were not 25% of children aged 10-15 years in the workforce, but rather 18% of children aged 10-15 years were working. There were almost five million people working in industry by 1880 (a), and 2.5 million women worked either in factories or in offices by that year (b). Conditions for industrial workers during this time were very dangerous, so work-related injuries and illnesses were quite common (d). Moreover, at this time there were no programs such as disability insurance, workmen’s compensation, or retirement pensions (e). This time period also saw the first formations of labor unions, but it would be some time before the activities of these unions would lead to new legislation instituting such protection for workers.

7. The only true statement is (d): Economists who opposed business consolidation believed that society would only progress if the government took greater control over processes that naturally developed out of economic activities. Among those who believed the opposite were Social Darwinists, who were in favor of consolidation (c) deregulation, as they felt the government should not interfere with competition and free enterprise. Types of consolidation include horizontal integration, which was used by John D. Rockefeller-not vertical integration (a)-to allow his Standard Oil Company to corner 90% of the petroleum industry; and vertical integration, which Gustavus Swift used in the meat packing industry-not horizontal integration (b). Horizontal integration involves eliminating one’s competitors by either buying them out or driving them out of business, as practiced by Rockefeller. Vertical integration involves taking over all the parts of a particular industry, such as raw materials, manufacturing, and transportation, as practiced by Swift. In response to the critics of business consolidation, Congress eventually passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1890, but it was not particularly effective against business monopoly (e). Due to imprecise wording in this law, whenever the government tried to dismantle a monopoly, the courts were usually able to rule against these attempts and defeat them.

8. The statistic that is not accurate with respect to American urbanization between 1870 and 1920 is (b).: By 1920, more than half of the population, or 51%, lived in cities with more than 2 500 inhabitants, rather than almost half. Americans living in cities did grow more than fivefold during this period (a): their numbers went from 10 million in 1870, to 54 million in 1920 (5.4 times as many). Cities with populations greater than 100000 increased more than 3.6 times (c) during this period, from 15 cities to 68. And during these years, cities with populations over 500 000 grew to six times as many as before (d), changing from two cities to twelve cities this large.

9. Housing (a) Farmers moved from rural America to the cities to escape debts and low crop prices; at the same time, many immigrants from southern and Eastern Europe arrived in American cities. The influx of immigrants coupled with overcrowded housing resulted in city slums. Reformers, such as Jacob Riis, author of How the Other Half Lives (published in1890), exposed these living conditions and expressed the need for improved housing. However, housing (a) was the one area of those listed that saw the least improvement. More progress was made to improve American urban infrastructure, such as sewer systems (b), fire fighting (c), street lighting (d), water supply (e), and pavement of streets and sidewalks.

10. Answer (e), all of these were American urban cultural developments during this time, is correct. : . The Cincinnati Red Stockings (now the Cincinnati Reds) made a tour of the country in 1869. Baseball became quite popular and was America’s chief sport by the 1880s (a). Vaudeville made its way from cities to various small towns throughout the country with the help of the railroad. (b). DW Griffith made the landmark film Birth of a Nation in 1913, advancing the progress of the motion picture industry (c). Joseph Pulitzer used the rotary press to publish the New York World.. The press enabled less expensive, mass-production of newspapers.. Pulitzer is also known as a pioneer of the sensational publishing movement known as “yellow journalism.” William Randolph Hearst followed Pulitzer’s example and created an empire of newspapers and magazines (d).