AP® U.S. History Crash Course, 4th Ed., Book + Online

AP® U.S. History Crash Course, 4th Ed., Book + Online

by Larry Krieger

Paperback(Fourth Edition, Revised)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738612263
Publisher: Research & Education Association
Publication date: 02/28/2017
Series: Advanced Placement (AP) Crash Course
Edition description: Fourth Edition, Revised
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 36,284
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Larry Krieger earned his B.A. and M.A.T. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his M.A. from Wake Forest University. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Mr. Krieger taught a variety of AP® subjects including U.S. History, World History, European History, American Government, and Art History. His popular courses were renowned for their energetic presentations, commitment to scholarship, and dedication to helping students achieve high scores.

The College Board twice recognized Mr. Krieger as one of the nation’s foremost AP® teachers. Mr. Krieger’s success has extended far beyond the classroom. He is the author or coauthor of several widely used American history and World history textbooks, as well as the creator of REA’s Crash Course® quick-review study guides for AP® U.S. Government and Politics, AP® European History, and AP® Psychology. In addition, he has been a sought-after speaker at Social Studies conferences and conducts SAT® and AP® workshops for students throughout the United States.

The 4th edition of REA’s Crash Course for AP® U.S. History is based upon Mr. Krieger’s intensive study of the current APUSH Framework and released tests. He field-tested the materials in this book with students taking his APUSH prep courses. During the past five years, 90 percent of these students scored a 5, with the rest scoring a 4.

Read an Excerpt



AP American History textbooks are very thick and contain thousands of names, dates, places, and events. If all of these facts had an equal chance of appearing on your Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) exam, studying would be a nightmare. Where would you begin? What would you emphasize? Is there any information you can safely omit? Or must you study everything?

Fortunately, preparing for the APUSH exam does not have to be a nightmare. By studying efficiently and strategically, you can score a 4 or a 5 on the exam. This book will help you understand and use the following seven keys for success:

1. Understanding the APUSH Scale

Many students believe they must make close to a perfect score to receive a 5. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each APUSH exam contains a total of 130 points — 52 from the multiple-choice and 78 from the free-response questions. Here is the score range for the 2017 APUSH exam:

Score Range AP Grade Minimum Percent Right

93–130 5 72 percent
This chart is not a misprint. As is clearly shown, you can achieve a 5 by correctly answering just 72 percent of the questions, a 4 by correctly answering just 59 percent of the questions, and a 3 by correctly answering just 47 percent of the questions!

2. Understanding the Division of AP U.S. History into Nine Chronological Periods

APUSH test writers follow a detailed Framework outline that divides American history into the following nine distinct periods of time:


Period 1: 1491–1607 5 percent Period 2: 1607–1754 10 percent Period 3: 1754–1800 12 percent Period 4: 1800–1848 10 percent Period 5: 1844–1877 13 percent Period 6: 1865–1898 13 percent Period 7: 1890–1945 17 percent Period 8: 1945–1980 15 percent Period 9: 1980–Present 5 percent

Each of these nine chronological time periods will receive varying coverage on your exam. The 29 chapters in our Chronological Review are designed to provide you with the key events, trends, ideas, and historical comparisons and connections from these nine periods.

3. Understanding the APUSH Topical Themes

Many students believe that members of the APUSH exam development committee have the freedom to write any question they wish. This widespread belief is not true. APUSH test writers follow a framework devoted to the following seven themes:

• American and National Identity

• Politics and Power

• Work, Exchange, and Technology

• Culture and Society

• Migration and Settlement

• Geography and the Environment

• America in the World

These seven themes explain why there are so many questions on immigration trends, economic policies, cultural movements, and geographic conditions. They also explain why it is a waste of time to study specific battles, generals, and dates.

4. Understanding the APUSH Exam Format

Your APUSH exam will include four very different question formats. Here are the key facts about each of these formats:


1. You will be asked to answer 55 multiple-choice questions. However, six of these will be experimental questions that will be used on future exams. You will NOT know which are experimental and which count.

2. The 55 questions will be grouped into sets containing between 2 and 4 questions. Each set of questions will be based upon a stimulus prompt. The prompts will be a brief source that could be a reading passage, a chart or graph, an illustration, or a map.

3. Each of the 49 questions will be worth 1.06 points for a total of 52 points. The multiple-choice questions will count for 40 percent of your total score.

4. You will be given 55 minutes to complete the multiple-choice questions.

5. See Chapter 32 for detailed strategies for answering the multiple-choice questions.


1. You will be asked to answer 3 short-answer questions.

2. The short-answer questions ask you to respond to a primary source passage or a secondary source such as a debate between two historians, a map, an illustration, or a chart.

3. Each short-answer question will include three very specific sub-points. Your answers to these sub-points do NOT require a thesis. Concentrate on writing concise statements that include specific historic examples. Use complete sentences — an outline or list of bulleted points is not acceptable.

4. Each sub-point is worth 2.888 points. As a result, a full short-answer question is worth 8.664 points. Taken together, the three short-answer questions are worth a total of 26 points, or 20 percent of your total exam score.

5. You will be given 40 minutes to complete the three short-answer questions.

6. See Chapter 33 for detailed strategies for answering the short-answer questions.


1. The DBQ is an essay question that requires you to interpret and analyze 7 brief primary source documents. The documents typically include excerpts from diaries, speeches, letters, reports, and official decrees. In addition, DBQs often include at least one graph, chart, map, or political cartoon.

2. The DBQ begins with a mandatory 15-minute reading and planning period. You will then have 45 minutes to write your essay.

3. Your DBQ will be scored on a scale that includes 7 specific points. Each point is worth 4.642 points. Taken together, the DBQ is worth a maximum of 32.5 points, or 25 percent of your total score.

4. See Chapter 34 for detailed strategies for answering the document-based question.


1. You will be given three long-essay questions. Although the three questions will be taken from different time periods, they will be related by a common theme and historical thinking skill. You will be asked to select and write about just one of the three long-essay questions.

2. You will be given 40 minutes to write your essay.

3. Your essay will be scored on a scale that includes six specific points. Each point is worth 3.25 points. Taken together the long-essay question is worth 19.50 points, or 15 percent of your total exam score.

4. See Chapter 35 for detailed strategies for answering the long-essay question.

5. Understanding the Meaning and Uses of Nine Historical Thinking Skills

The APUSH course stresses the understanding and use of nine key historical thinking skills. It is very important that you understand the meaning of each skill and the role it plays on the exam.


1. This skill involves the ability to identify and evaluate the long and short-term causes and consequences of a historical event, development or process.

2. This skill plays a significant role in the multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and long-essay questions.


1. This skill involves the ability to recognize, analyze, and evaluate the dynamics of historical continuity and change over periods of time of varying length. It also involves the ability to connect these patterns to larger historical processes or themes.

2. This skill plays a significant role in the DBQ and long-essay questions.


1. This skill involves the ability to identify, compare, and evaluate multiple perspectives on a given historical event, development, or process.

2. This skill plays a significant role in the DBQ and long-essay questions.


1. This skill involves the ability to connect historical events and processes to specific circumstances of time and place as well as to broader regional, national, and global processes occurring at the same time.

2. This skill plays a significant role in the multiple-choice questions. It also generates a specific point in both the DBQ and long-essay rubrics.


1. This skill involves the ability to create an argument and support it using relevant historical ideas.

2. This skill plays a significant role in both the DBQ and the long-essay questions. The rubrics in both of these questions award points for developing and supporting a defensible thesis.


1. This skill involves the ability to analyze features of historical evidence such as audience, purpose, point of view, and historical context. It also involves the ability to demonstrate a complex understanding of a historical development by using evidence to corroborate or qualify an argument.

2. This skill plays a particularly significant role in both the DBQ and the long-essay questions. The DBQ rubric awards up to 5 points for using and analyzing evidence while the long-essay rubric awards up to 4 points for these skills.


1. This skill involves the ability to describe, analyze, and evaluate the different ways historians interpret the past.

2. This skill plays a significant role in the short-answer questions and DBQ.

6. Understanding How to Use Your Crash Course to Build a Winning Coalition of Points

This Crash Course book is based on a careful analysis of the AP U.S. History Curriculum Framework and the released exam questions. Chapter 2 contains key terms that you have to know. Chapters 3–31 provide you with a detailed chronological review of American history. And Chapters 32–35 provide you with examples of each of the four major question types that appear on the APUSH exam.

If you have the time, review the entire book. This is desirable, but not mandatory. The chapters can be studied in any order. Each chapter provides you with a digest of key information that is repeatedly tested. Battles, inventions, rulers, and political events that have never been asked about on the APUSH exam have been omitted. Unlike most review books, the digests are not meant to be exhaustive. Instead, they are meant to focus your attention on the vital material you must study.

Many of the chapters in this book have a special feature called "Making Comparisons." This feature is designed to provide you with in-depth discussions of key topics. The Making Comparison feature will help you develop the historical thinking skills of making comparisons and interpreting events.

In addition, many of the chapters contain sections devoted to "Turning Points in American History." This material is designed to help you prepare for DBQ and long-essay questions devoted to causation. All of the chapters contain at least one "Making Connections" section. The topics in these sections are designed to provide you with an inventory of examples you can use to demonstrate complexity in your DBQ and long-essay answers.

7. Using College Board and REA Materials to Supplement Your Crash Course

This Crash Course contains everything you need to know to score a 4 or a 5 on your exam. You should, however, supplement it with other materials designed specifically for studying AP U.S. History. Visit the College Board's AP Central website for the full text of the AP U.S. History Curriculum Framework and sample questions.

In addition, REA's AP U.S. History All Access Book + Web + Mobile study system further enhances your exam preparation by offering a comprehensive review book plus a suite of online assessments (end-of-chapter quizzes, mini-tests, a full-length practice test, and e-flashcards), all designed to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and help focus your study for the exam.



PERIOD 1: 1491–1607

1. COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE — The Columbian Exchange refers to the exchange of plants, animals, and germs between the New World and Europe following the discovery of America in 1492.

New World crops such as maize (corn), tomatoes, and potatoes had a dramatic effect on the European diet, life span, and population growth. At the same time, Old World domesticated animals such as horses, cows, and pigs had a dramatic impact on the environment in the New World.

European diseases, such as smallpox, decimated the Native America population. The demographic collapse enabled the Spanish to more easily gain control over Native American lands.

2. THE ENCOMIENDA SYSTEM — An encomienda was a license granted by the Spanish crown to royal officials to extract labor and tribute from native peoples in specified areas. The encomienda system began in the Caribbean and spread to Mexico.

PERIOD 2: 1607–1754

3. AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM — The belief that America has a special mission to be a beacon of democracy and liberty. First expressed in John Winthrop's "City Upon A Hill" sermon and now an important part of America's national identity.

4. MERCANTILISM — Economic philosophy guiding Great Britain and other European powers during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Intended to enable Britain to achieve a favorable balance of trade by exporting more than it imported. Britain expected to achieve this goal by purchasing raw materials for its North American colonies and then selling them more expensive manufactured goods. A series of Navigation Acts attempted to enforce this policy.

5. FIRST GREAT AWAKENING — A wave of religious revivals that began in New England in the mid-1730s and then spread across all the colonies during the 1740s.

6. ENLIGHTENMENT — An eighteenth century philosophy stressing that reason could be used to improve the human condition by eradicating superstition, bigotry, and intolerance. Inspired by John Locke, Enlightenment thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson stressed the idea of natural rights. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence provides a timeless expression of Enlightened thought:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

PERIOD 3: 1754–1800

7. VIRTUAL REPRESENTATION — British belief that each member of Parliament represented the interests of all Englishmen, including the colonists. Rejected by colonists who argued that as Englishmen they could only be taxed by their own elected representatives.

8. REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT/REPUBLICANISM — Refers to the belief that government should be based on the consent of the people. Defended by Thomas Paine in Common Sense. Republicanism inspired the eighteenth century American revolutionaries.

9. SEPARATION OF POWERS — The division of power among the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government. Alexander Hamilton defended the principle of separation of powers when he wrote: "There is no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers."


Excerpted from "AP U.S. History Crash Course"
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Copyright © 2017 Research & Education Association, Inc..
Excerpted by permission of Research & Education Association.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

About This Book
Letter from the Author
About Our Author

Chapter 1: Seven Keys for Success on the AP U.S. History Exam
Chapter 2: Key Terms

PERIOD 1: 1491–1607
Chapter 3: A New World

PERIOD 2: 1607–1754
Chapter 4: English North America
Chapter 5: Key Trends in Colonial Life and Thought

PERIOD 3: 1754–1800
Chapter 6: Severing Ties with Great Britain
Chapter 7: Creating a New National Government
Chapter 8: The Federalist Era

PERIOD 4: 1800–1848
Chapter 9: The Early Republic
Chapter 10: The Age of Jackson
Chapter 11: The Old South
Chapter 12: A Burst of Change
Chapter 13: Religion, Reform, and Romanticism

PERIOD 5: 1844–1877
Chapter 14: Territorial Expansion
Chapter 15: The Road to Disunion
Chapter 16: The Civil War
Chapter 17: Reconstruction and the New South

PERIOD 6: 1865–1898
Chapter 18: The New West
Chapter 19: Industry and Labor
Chapter 20: Urban America

PERIOD 7: 1890–1945
Chapter 21: Populists and Progressives
Chapter 22: Becoming a World Power
Chapter 23: The New Era
Chapter 24: The Great Depression and the New Deal
Chapter 25: The United States and the World

PERIOD 8: 1945–1980
Chapter 26: Truman, the Cold War, and the Second Red Scare
Chapter 27: The Eisenhower Era
Chapter 28: The 1960s
Chapter 29: The 1970s

Chapter 30: The Reagan–Bush Era
Chapter 31: Key Events and Trends in Post–Cold War America
Chapter 32: Strategies for the Multiple-Choice Questions
Chapter 33: Strategies for the Short-Answer Questions
Chapter 34: Strategies for the Document-Based Essay Question
Chapter 35: Strategies for the Long-Essay Question

Online Practice Test

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