AP US History Practice Test: Period 9 (1980–Present)

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Question 1
Questions 1-2 refer to the following excerpt from a commercial from President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign:

“It’s morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly two thousand families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It’s morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better.”

Which of the following statements best describes President Reagan’s economic policies?

A
The Fair Deal — a second “New Deal” wherein the government increased spending in order to boost the economy.
B
Stagflation — the use of inflation to reduce unemployment.
C
Shrinkflation — the use of inflation to reduce the national deficit.
D
Supply side economics — using deregulation and cutting taxes to boost the economy.
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Also known as “Reaganomics,” supply-side economics cut taxes on the wealthy in order to stimulate investment in the economy and boost employment. Reagan also confronted unionized air-traffic controllers and deregulated the banking and natural gas industries.
Question 2
Questions 1-2 refer to the following excerpt from a commercial from President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign:

“It’s morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly two thousand families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It’s morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better.”

What consequences did President Reagan’s foreign policy have?

A
His policy of détente led to greater communication and cooperation with the USSR.
B
His policy of “roll back” led to more American intervention in world affairs and conflict with the USSR.
C
Reagan was an isolationist who kept the US out of world affairs.
D
Reagan continued the US policy of containment because he cut military spending.
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The “Reagan Doctrine” was a major shift away from the previous policy of containment. Instead of preventing the spread of Soviet influence, Reagan sought to “roll back” their gains. He armed insurgents in Afghanistan, expanded the US nuclear arsenal, invaded Grenada, and assisted anti-Communist forces in Nicaragua.
Question 3
Question 3 refers to the following excerpt from a first-hand account of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989:

“At the Berlin Wall itself, which is 3 meters high, people had climbed up and were sitting astride. The final slab was moved away. A stream of East Germans began to pour through. People applauded and slapped their backs. A woman handed me a giant bottle of wine, which I opened and she and I began to pour cups of wine and hand them to the East Germans. Journalists and TV reporters struggled to hold their cameras.”

What caused the collapse of the USSR?

A
Increased political and military pressure from the United States.
B
Political reforms within the Soviet Union.
C
Economic problems within the Soviet Union.
D
All of the above.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). President Reagan’s confrontational attitude towards the USSR put financial pressure on the regime to increase defense spending. The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev also initiated political and economic reforms within the USSR that encouraged more openness and freedom of speech. Finally, the Soviet economic system was very inefficient, which increased opposition and resentment within the USSR. All of these tensions combined to destroy the USSR.
Question 4
Questions 4-5 refer to the following excerpt from a 1995 federal resolution:

“‘Internet’ refers to the global information system that — (i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons; (ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and (iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.”

What consequences did the introduction of new digital communications technologies have in the late 20th and early 21st centuries?

A
A significant decrease in economic activity because so many people were distracted at work.
B
Improved access to information.
C
Birth of new social behaviors and networks.
D
Both B and C.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The introduction of the internet, smartphones, email and other communications technologies have had a profound effect on daily life. Digital communications have changed the way people interact with each and made it very easy to access a wide variety of information. Improved communications technologies actually expanded economic opportunities by facilitating transactions.
Question 5
Questions 4-5 refer to the following excerpt from a 1995 federal resolution:

“‘Internet’ refers to the global information system that — (i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons; (ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and (iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.”

What changes were the hallmark of the post-industrial economy of the late 20th and early 21st centuries?

A
A growing service sector and declining manufacturing industry.
B
A growth of union membership and booming manufacturing industry.
C
A decline in the service sector and growth in the manufacturing industry.
D
Growth in real wages for the lower/middle class and less economic inequality.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The birth of the “Rust Belt” highlights some of the characteristics of the new post-industrial economy. Many manufacturing jobs went to the “Sun Belt” or overseas and the economy shifted towards the service sector. Economic inequality increased and union membership declined.
Question 6
Question 6 refers to the following description of illegally crossing the US/Mexican border:

“The journey was horrible…You walked for hours. You’d lose your toenails. Your feet just start breaking apart. You start getting hungry. You start hallucinating…We swam across. The river was really cold…The conditions didn’t matter, there’s nothing worse than Honduras.”

What consequences, if any, has migration from Latin America and Asia had on the US in the late 20th and early 21st century?

A
None — immigration from these regions increased only slightly and for a brief period of time.
B
Immigration sparked economic, political, and cultural tension.
C
Immigration led to the establishment of English as the official language of the US.
D
Both B and C.
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Increased immigration led to controversy over immigration control policies and proposed reforms. In addition, opponents of immigration have voiced concern about economic competition from migrants and threats to American national identity.
Question 7
Question 7 refers to the following excerpt from a speech by President Bill Clinton in 1995:

“With the Cold War over, some people now question the need for our continued active leadership in the world. They believe that, much like after World War I, America can now step back from the responsibilities of leadership…I strongly disagree…We're all vulnerable to the organized forces of intolerance and destruction, terrorism, ethnic, religious and regional rivalries, the spread of organized crime and weapons of mass destruction and drug trafficking.”

What role, if any, did the United States take in world affairs following the end of the Cold War?

A
None — the US withdrew into isolationism despite President Clinton’s opposition.
B
None — debate over the appropriate role for the US in world affairs paralyzed the nation’s leaders.
C
US leaders unanimously abstained from any military interventions but did allow the US to become a global economic leader.
D
Although debate raged, the US led many diplomatic and peacekeeping initiatives.
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). President Clinton’s speech encapsulates the debate over the appropriate role for the US in world affairs after the end of the Cold War. Despite domestic opposition, the US participated in many peacekeeping missions in Haiti, Bosnia, and Somalia.
Question 8
Questions 8-10 refer to the following excerpt from a speech by President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001.

“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts…Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror… These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.”

What factors led terrorists to launch the 9/11 attacks?

A
An economic recession caused jealously, and led terrorists to target the US financial center.
B
American political and military intervention in the Middle East.
C
Intense, widespread religious conflict between Christians and Muslims.
D
All of the above.
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). American political and military influence in the Middle East were the most prominent causes that fueled Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network. The US supported Israel and maintained a military presence in Saudi Arabia.
Question 9
Questions 8-10 refer to the following excerpt from a speech by President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001.

“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts…Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror… These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.”

What, if any, consequences did the War on Terror have on the United States’ domestic politics?

A
None — citizens unanimously set aside their differences and rallied to the flag.
B
The War on Terror led to opposition to the resumption of military conscription.
C
The passage of the USA Patriot Act led to intense debate over the balance of security and personal liberties.
D
The War on Terror resulted in the revocation of the Fourth Amendment in order to permit the construction of Guantanamo Bay and the use of waterboarding.
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The USA Patriot Act gave the federal government increased security and surveillance authority. However, many critics charged that the law had sacrificed cherished American liberties.
Question 10
Questions 8-10 refer to the following excerpt from a speech by President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001.

“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts…Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror… These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.”

Which of the following statements best describes the course of the War on Terror?

A
The US quickly accomplished its goals in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
B
The US quickly accomplished its goals in Afghanistan but not Iraq.
C
The US quickly accomplished its goals in Iraq but not Afghanistan.
D
The US took a long time to accomplish its goals in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Although the US quickly defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan, the process of “nation building” dragged on for more than a decade as security forces battled a growing insurgency. The invasion of Iraq also led to a quick defeat of Saddam Hussein’s forces but US forces remained until 2011. Both conflicts became increasingly controversial both in the US and abroad.
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