Fall Semester Oral Finals Questions


Seemueller’s American Studies Fall Oral Final Questions


Compare and contrast the two main colonial regions in the 1600s and 1700s in terms of cultural, economic and political development. Make sure to analyze City upon a Hill and Looking out for Number One and be able to discuss how well they represent the early years of colonial American life. 2.

Why did the American colonists rebel? Were they justified in doing so? Use plenty of specific examples to make your case. 3.

Detail the problems that the new United States experienced under the Articles of Confederation. How did the Constitution of the United States resolve some of those problems? Be able to explain, in detail, the concepts of Federalism and Checks and Balances as embodied in the U.S. Constitution. 4.

Discuss what life was like for Native Americans before the colonists arrived. How were they impacted by Spanish, French, and British newcomers? Then, identify and discuss two of the Eras of Federal Indian Policy and the influence that both of them had on Native Americans in the United States. How do these past policies continue to affect Native Americans today? Be able to explain with specific examples. 5.

Attempt to capture the complexity of the “peculiar institution.” How did the institution of slavery evolve over time in America, including the type of labor being performed? Who critiqued the institution and what arguments did they give? Who supported it and what arguments did they give? Use specific examples from readings, films, and lectures.


Detail/explain the content as well as the rationale of the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act and explain how each revealed attempts to deal with the questions of slavery’s expansion into new territories. What other events during the 1850s raised tensions between the North and the South?