History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877

The History of the United States I exam covers U.S. history from early European colonization to the end of Reconstruction.

Register for $89.00

Overview

The History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877 exam covers material that is usually taught in the first semester of a two-semester course in United States history. The exam covers the period of United States history from early European colonization to the end of Reconstruction, with the majority of the questions on the period of 1790–1877. In the part covering the 17th and 18th centuries, emphasis is placed on the English colonies. The exam includes a small number of questions on the Americas before 1500.

The exam contains approximately 120 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the History of the United States I exam require test takers to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities.

  • Identify and describe historical phenomena
  • Analyze and interpret historical phenomena
  • Compare and contrast historical phenomena

The subject matter of the History of the United States I exam 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

  • 30% Political institutions, political developments, and public policy
  • 30% Social developments
  • 10% Economic developments
  • 20% Cultural and intellectual developments
  • 10% Diplomacy and international relations

Chronological Specifications

  • 30% 1500–1789
  • 70% 1790–1877

The following themes are reflected in a comprehensive introductory survey course:

  • The nature of indigenous societies in North America. The theme includes a small number of questions on the Americas before 1500.
  • The impact of European discovery and colonization upon indigenous societies. The focus is placed on the British colonies, but this theme includes a small number of questions on Spanish, French, and Dutch colonization, and the Columbian Exchange.
  • The origins and nature of slavery and resistance to it
  • Immigration and the history of ethnic minorities
  • The history of women, changing gender roles, and family structures
  • The development and character of colonial societies
  • British relations with the Atlantic colonies of North America
  • The changing role of religion in American society
  • The causes, events, and consequences of the American Revolution
  • The content of the Constitution and its amendments, and their interpretation by the United States Supreme Court
  • The development and expansion of participatory democracy
  • The growth of and changes in political parties
  • The changing role of government in American life
  • The intellectual and political expressions of nationalism
  • Major movements and individual figures in the history of American literature, art, and popular culture
  • Abolitionism and reform movements
  • Long-term demographic trends (immigration and internal migration)
  • The motivations for and character of American expansionism
  • The process of economic growth and development
  • The causes and consequences of conflicts with Native Americans, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War and Reconstruction

Score Information

ACE Recommendation for History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877

Credit-granting Score 50
Semester Hours 3

Note: Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from the American Council on Education (ACE). Contact your college to find out the score required for credit and the number of credit hours granted.

Add Study Guides

CLEP History of the United States I Examination Guide

The History of the United States I exam covers U.S. history from early European colonization to the end of Reconstruction.

  • PDF
  • $10.00

2022 CLEP Official Study Guide

This study guide provides practice questions for all 34 CLEP exams. The ideal resource for taking more than one exam. Offered only by College Board.

  • Book
  • $24.99