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History of the United States II

Description of the Examination

The History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present examination covers material that is usually taught in the second semester of what is often a two-semester course in United States history. The examination covers the period of United States history from the end of the Civil War to the present, with the majority of the questions being on the twentieth century.

The examination contains approximately 120 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the History of the United States II examination require candidates to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities.

  • Identification and description of historical phenomena
  • Analysis and interpretation of historical phenomena
  • Comparison and contrast of historical phenomena

The subject matter of the History of the United States II examination is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

Topical Specifications

35% Political institutions, behavior, and public policy
25% Social developments
10% Economic developments
15% Cultural and intellectual developments
15% Diplomacy and international relations

Chronological Specifications

30% 1865–1914
70% 1915–present

The following are among the specific topics tested:

  • The impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction upon the South
  • The motivations and character of American expansionism
  • The content of constitutional amendments and their interpretations by the Supreme Court
  • The changing nature of agricultural life
  • The development of American political parties
  • The emergence of regulatory and welfare-state legislation
  • The intellectual and political expressions of liberalism, conservatism, and other such movements
  • Long-term demographic trends
  • The process of economic growth and development
  • The changing occupational structure, nature of work, and labor organization
  • Immigration and the history of racial and ethnic minorities
  • Urbanization and industrialization
  • The causes and impacts of major wars in American history
  • Major movements and individual figures in the history of American arts and letters
  • Trends in the history of women and the family

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