AP US History Practice Test: Period 8 (1945–1980)

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Question 1
Questions 1-3 refer to the following excerpt from NSC 68, published in 1950:

“The Kremlin regards the United States as the only major threat to the conflict between idea of slavery under the grim oligarchy of the Kremlin, which has come to a crisis with the polarization of power described in Section I, and the exclusive possession of atomic weapons by the two protagonists. The idea of freedom, moreover, is peculiarly and intolerably subversive of the idea of slavery. But the converse is not true. The implacable purpose of the slave state to eliminate the challenge of freedom has placed the two great powers at opposite poles. It is this fact which gives the present polarization of power the quality of crisis.”

What stance did the US take towards the USSR during the Cold War?

A
The US decided to launch a direct invasion of the USSR to destroy communism once and for all.
B
The US used political, diplomatic, and economic tools to try and contain the USSR.
C
The US did nothing because we were shocked by the carnage of World War II and reverted to isolationism.
D
The US sent money and technology directly to Soviet citizens to convince them communism was inferior.
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). NSC 68 laid out the policy of containment, which was the primary American strategy of the Cold War. The US sent economic and military aid to its allies in an attempt to curb Soviet influence. We also encouraged our allies to join NATO which used the policy of collective security to discourage Soviet aggression.
Question 2
Questions 1-3 refer to the following excerpt from NSC 68, published in 1950:

“The Kremlin regards the United States as the only major threat to the conflict between idea of slavery under the grim oligarchy of the Kremlin, which has come to a crisis with the polarization of power described in Section I, and the exclusive possession of atomic weapons by the two protagonists. The idea of freedom, moreover, is peculiarly and intolerably subversive of the idea of slavery. But the converse is not true. The implacable purpose of the slave state to eliminate the challenge of freedom has placed the two great powers at opposite poles. It is this fact which gives the present polarization of power the quality of crisis.”

Which of the following statements best describes relationship between the US and USSR during the Cold War?

A
The US and USSR were always engaged in a fierce military and political rivalry.
B
The US and USSR were completely sealed off from each other and had no contact at all during the Cold War.
C
The US and USSR maintained a façade that upheld the friendship of their alliance during World War II.
D
The US and USSR fluctuated between periods of indirect conflict and mutual coexistence.
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Indirect conflict frequently erupted between the two countries, such as Korea in the 1950s and Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s. However, there were also periods of détente such as during the 1970s when the US and USSR cooperated on space exploration and nuclear arms limitations.
Question 3
Questions 1-3 refer to the following excerpt from NSC 68, published in 1950:

“The Kremlin regards the United States as the only major threat to the conflict between idea of slavery under the grim oligarchy of the Kremlin, which has come to a crisis with the polarization of power described in Section I, and the exclusive possession of atomic weapons by the two protagonists. The idea of freedom, moreover, is peculiarly and intolerably subversive of the idea of slavery. But the converse is not true. The implacable purpose of the slave state to eliminate the challenge of freedom has placed the two great powers at opposite poles. It is this fact which gives the present polarization of power the quality of crisis.”

What role, if any, did decolonization play in the Cold War?

A
Decolonization exclusively benefitted the US because countries had to ban communism in exchange for independence.
B
Decolonization exclusively benefitted the USSR because they occupied many former colonies in an effort to prevent American influence.
C
Decolonization led to a struggle in former colonies between the US and USSR.
D
It played no role during the Cold War because all former colonies joined the non-aligned conference.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). World War II devastated many former imperial powers and they withdrew from their colonies. Both the US and USSR attempted to gain influence in newly independent countries in order to gain access to resources and military allies. Some, but not all, former colonies opted to join the non-aligned movement.
Question 4
Questions 4-5 refer to the following excerpt from the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, 1964:

“Section 2. The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.”

Which of the following statements best describes public attitudes towards the Vietnam War?

A
Initially supportive, Americans began to turn against the Vietnam War in growing numbers during the late 1960s.
B
Americans overwhelming supported the Vietnam War until troops were withdrawn in 1973.
C
Americans overwhelming opposed the Vietnam War when advisors were first deployed in the 1950s.
D
Americans were largely apathetic about the Vietnam War.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Many Americans supported, or at least did not oppose, the initial effort to curb communist influence in Vietnam. However, the anti-war movement began to gain moment as the conflict began to cost more money and lives.
Question 5
Questions 4-5 refer to the following excerpt from the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, 1964:

“Section 2. The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.”

What consequences, if any, did the Watergate investigation have on the powers of the executive branch?

A
None — Watergate did not influence executive authority.
B
Watergate led to a permanent expansion of presidential authority.
C
Watergate helped curtail presidential authority.
D
Watergate restored faith in the White House.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). President Richard Nixon had created an “imperial presidency” by withholding funds authorized by Congress, launching military attacks without Congressional approval, withholding information, and preventing Congress from questioning members of his cabinet. The Watergate scandal led Congress to pass many reforms that curbed this expanded power by disclosing campaign finance records, re-asserted Congressional budgetary powers, improved access to public records, and curtailed the president’s military authority.
Question 6
Question 6 refers to the following excerpt from a 1973 New York Times article:

“HARTFORD, Dec 27-- “Some of the customers get all hot and heavy,” [Exxon service station attendant Grant] McMillan said. “They scream up and down.... It’s ridiculous. The scene is a familiar one in Connecticut as service station managers find themselves having to decide whether to ration their gasoline or sell it as fast as they can and cut the number of arguments.”

What long-term consequences, if any, did the 1973-4 Oil Crisis have in the US?

A
None — the effects of the oil crisis were minor and short-lived.
B
It led to the invasion of several Middle-Eastern countries that refused to reduce the price of oil.
C
It forced the United States to completely abandon its support for Israel.
D
It led to a new US energy policy designed to prevent another crisis.
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The US government began to develop a national energy policy that was designed to increase supply and decrease demand. For example, the national highway speed limit was set to 55 mph in 1974. Cars manufacturers began to make more fuel-efficient automobiles and the government began to promote sources of alternative energy, such as nuclear power.
Question 7
Questions 7-8 refer to the following excerpt from 1954 the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education:

“We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.”

What significance, if any, did the Brown decision have for the civil rights movement?

A
It set the civil rights movement back by upholding Plessy v. Ferguson.
B
It encouraged the civil rights movement by overturning Plessy v. Ferguson.
C
It set the civil rights movement back by upholding Roe v. Wade.
D
It encouraged the civil rights movement by overturning Roe v. Wade.
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The Brown decision overturned the “separate but equal” precedent set by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, which ruled that segregation was acceptable. In Brown, the Supreme Court held that this division was inherently unequal because it stigmatized African American children as inferior. This decision encouraged civil rights activists to press for reform in other areas.
Question 8
Questions 7-8 refer to the following excerpt from 1954 the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education:

“We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.”

To what degree was the civil rights phenomenon a united movement?

A
Civil rights activists completely agreed on all matters.
B
Civil rights activists disagreed over the role of non-violent protests.
C
Civil rights activists agreed on little besides the essential importance of non-violence.
D
Civil rights activists agreed on little besides the need to exact revenge upon Caucasians.
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Martin Luther King advocated for the use of non-violent protests, but radicals such as Malcom X disagreed and asserted that blacks had the right to self-defense.
Question 9
Question 9 refers to the following excerpt from Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex¸ published in 1949:

“Thee whole of feminine history has been man-made. Just as in America there is no Negro problem, but rather a white problem; just as anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, it is our problem; so the woman problem has always been a man problem.”

Which of the following was NOT a key feminist concern during the 1960s:

A
Reducing sexual violence
B
Greater economic equality
C
Greater access to reproductive rights
D
Advocacy of misandry
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Misandry is hatred of men; feminists wanted equality, not to punish men. They did argue for the need to address sexual violence, gendered inequality in the workplace, and greater access to abortion.
Question 10
Question 10 refers to the following excerpt from the Declaration of Indian Purpose in 1961:

“We, the Indian People, must be governed by principles in a democratic manner with a right to choose our way of life. Since our Indian culture is threatened by presumption of being absorbed by the American society, we believe we have the responsibility of preserving our precious heritage…We believe that the history and development of America show that the Indian has been subjected to duress, undue influence, unwarranted pressures, and policies which have produced uncertainty, frustration, and despair....What we ask of America is not charity, not paternalism, even when benevolent. We ask only that the nature of our situation be recognized and made the basis of policy and action.”

Which of the following tactics did Native Americans use to draw attention to their demands during the 1960s and 1970s?

A
Occupation of federal lands and public spaces.
B
A literary renaissance.
C
Armed conflict with security forces.
D
All of the above.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Like many other groups, including African Americans and women, Native Americans also began to demand legal, economic, and social equality. Writers of the “Indian Renaissance” gained acclaim for their works. The American Indian Movement was inspired by the Black Panthers and used similar tactics including conflict with police and military personnel, as well as occupying Alcatraz and a reproduction of the Mayflower ship.
Question 11
Question 11 refers to the following quote from a speech by Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez in 1969:

“I, and many other residents of my part of Texas and other Southwestern States--happen to be what is commonly referred to as a Mexican American.... What is he to be? Mexican? American? Both? How can he choose? Should he have pride and joy in his heritage, or bear it as a shame and sorrow? Should he live in one world or another, or attempt to bridge them both?”

Which of the following was a key demand of the Chicano movement during the 1960s and 1970s?

A
Restoration of all the lands ceded to the US during the Mexican-American War of 1848.
B
An end to social, political, and economic discrimination.
C
Increased recognition of Chicano cultural contributions.
D
All of the above.
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Like many other groups, including women, African Americans, and Native Americans, Chicanos began to demand legal, economic, and social equality. Chicano artists, writers and musicians created works that emphasized cultural pride and political activism. Militant “Brown Berets” demanded that all lands ceded during the Mexican-American war be returned to Mexico. Other groups protested discrimination against Chicanos, including WWII veterans who died in battle but were buried in separate cemeteries.
Question 12
Question 12 refers to the following excerpt from a 1969 newspaper report on the Stonewall Riot:

“A police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a tavern frequented by homosexuals at 33 Christopher St., just east of Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village, triggered a near-riot early today…hundreds of passersby shouting “Gay Power” and “We Want Freedom” laid siege to the tavern with an improvised battering ram, garbage cans, bottles, and beer cans in a protest demonstration. Police reinforcements were rushed to the tavern to deal with the disturbances, which continued for more than two hours.”

What concerns in the gay and lesbian community sparked the Stonewall Riot?

A
Demands to reduce police harassment and legal repression.
B
Demands for equal marriage rights.
C
Protests against the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in the armed forces.
D
A desire to bring attention to the AIDS epidemic.
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Clubs such as the Stonewall Inn were frequently raided by the police. Many other gays and lesbians were fired from their jobs or humiliated and harassed in public. Inspired by other social movements during the 1960s, the protests at the Stonewall Inn led to the birth of the gay and lesbian rights movement.
Question 13
Questions 13-14 refer to the following excerpt from a speech President Lyndon Johnson made to Congress in 1965:

“The air we breathe, our water, our soil and wildlife, are being blighted by the poisons and chemicals which are the by-products of technology and industry....The same society which receives the rewards of technology, must, as a cooperating whole, take responsibility for control. To deal with these new problems will require a new conservation. We must not only protect the countryside and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities.”

What results, if any, did environmental activists of the 1960s achieve?

A
Nothing — pollution continued unabated.
B
Greater federal, state, and local regulation of natural resources and pollution.
C
A carbon tax on polluters.
D
A total ban on nuclear power and weapons.
Question 13 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Several incidents, such as the burning of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland in 1969, helped bring attention to the need for environmental regulation. This led to a number of laws that protected the environment and regulated pollution, such as the Clean Air Act and the Water Quality Act.
Question 14
Questions 13-14 refer to the following excerpt from a speech President Lyndon Johnson made to Congress in 1965:

“The air we breathe, our water, our soil and wildlife, are being blighted by the poisons and chemicals which are the by-products of technology and industry....The same society which receives the rewards of technology, must, as a cooperating whole, take responsibility for control. To deal with these new problems will require a new conservation. We must not only protect the countryside and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities.”

Which of the following statements best characterizes Johnson’s Great Society?

A
A conservative program designed to defeat the Soviet Union by using propaganda to promote the superiority of American capitalism.
B
A conservative program designed to reduce the size of government by cutting government spending.
C
A liberal program designed to achieve domestic reform through the expansion of federal powers and increased spending.
D
A liberal program designed to increase military spending and bankrupt the USSR.
Question 14 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Johnson’s Great Society covered a number of areas, including the environment, civil rights, and poverty. Like FDR’s New Deal, the Great Society used the power of the federal government to achieve significant social change.
Question 15
Question 15 refers to the following excerpt from President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address in 1961:

“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.”

Why did President Eisenhower criticize the growth of the military-industrial complex?

A
The military-industrial complex had failed to adequately defend the country in World War II.
B
The military-industrial complex could gain too much political influence.
C
The military-industrial complex forced manufacturers to build military equipment instead of consumer goods.
D
The military-industrial complex was laying off workers.
Question 15 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Eisenhower was concerned that the military-industrial complex could gain undue influence in state and federal governments by lobbying politicians. Eisenhower warned citizens to remain vigilant to ensure that the United States retained both its liberty and security.
Question 16
Questions 16-17 refer to the following unemployment data from 1947-1957:

a20

Why was unemployment generally low after the end of World War II?

A
High consumer demand led to increased production and employment.
B
People worked harder to find a job than they do nowadays.
C
The economy remained on a war-footing in order to keep employment artificially high.
D
The New Deal gave jobs to all the veterans who came home from the war.
Question 16 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Consumer demand had been pent-up for years because few people had discretionary income during the Great Depression. Although wages were high during World War II, most essential goods were rationed. When the war ended, millions of families had money to spend on new goods such as televisions, cars, and refrigerators, which increased demand for labor.
Question 17
Questions 16-17 refer to the following unemployment data from 1947-1957:

a20

What consequences, if any, did the post-war boom have for the Sunbelt region?

A
None — the Sunbelt region gained little aside from a slight boost in tourism revenue.
B
The Sunbelt region made only political gains because many retirees moved to the region, increasing representation in Congress.
C
The Sunbelt region made only economic gains because the increase in tourism led to the creation of many new jobs.
D
The Sunbelt gained both political and economic power.
Question 17 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). A variety of factors, such as lower labor costs and cheap land prices, led to a shift away from the “Rustbelt” north to the “Sunbelt” south which resulted in more manufacturing and hospitality jobs. In addition, the increase in population led to more clout in the federal government — Congressional representation increased and most president since 1964 have hailed from the Sunbelt region.
Question 18
Questions 18-19 refer to the following lyrics from the 1962 song “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds:

“Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same.”

Which of the following statements best describes Reynolds’ attitudes attitude towards suburbanization?

A
She approves of it because people in the suburbs go to college.
B
She disapproves of suburbanization because the houses are too small.
C
She approves of suburbanization because it promotes colorful heterogeneity.
D
She disapproves of suburbanization because it promotes homogeneity.
Question 18 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). “Little Houses” became a hit for Reynolds’ friend Pete Seeger in 1963. The song was one of many produced during the 1960s that protested against middle-class conformity. Suburbanization was a key example of this because manufacturers applied mass-production techniques to create homes that were very similar.
Question 19
Questions 18-19 refer to the following lyrics from the 1962 song “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds:

“Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same.”

What impact, if any, did suburbanization have on racial tensions in the United States?

A
None — both whites and blacks moved to the suburbs in equal numbers.
B
Suburbanization helped reduce racial tension because whites moved into black neighborhoods.
C
Suburbanization increased racial tension because it led to increased segregation.
D
Suburbanization increased racial tension because housing was scarce in the suburbs and whites and blacks violently competed for homes.
Question 19 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Until 1960, federal law permitted segregated housing. Suburbanization resulted in “white flight” where Caucasian families moved to the suburbs and African-American families remained in the cities. As whites moved out, cities’ tax revenues declined but the suburbs were wealthier which sharpened racial divisions and political tensions.
Question 20
Question 20 refers to the following excerpt from “Listen America,” a 1980 speech by Jerry Falwell:

“We must reverse the trend America finds herself in today. Young people between the ages of twenty-five and forty have been born and reared in a different world than Americans of years past. The television set has been their primary baby-sitter. From the television set they have learned situation ethics and immorality — they have learned a loss of respect for human life. They have learned to disrespect the family as God has established it. They have been educated in a public-school system that is permeated with secular humanism. They have been taught that the Bible is just another book of literature.”

What, if any, impact did the evangelical Christians have during the 1980s?

A
None — the Silent Majority had scant appeal and raised little money.
B
The Moral Majority successfully lobbied to censor television and require Bible readings in public schools.
C
The Moral Majority mobilized conservative Christians to help elect Ronald Reagan.
D
The Silent Majority mobilized conservative Christians to bring an end to the sexual revolution.
Question 20 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979 to help elect Ronald Reagan. They were disappointed by President Jimmy Carter and wanted to restore morality to American society. Millions joined the movement and gave money — thus exerting significant political influence, particularly in supporting Reagan.
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