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America: Pathways to the Present, Grade 11

Unit 1: Beginnings to 1861

Benchmark Test

Click on the button next to the response that best answers the question. For best results, review America: Pathways to the Present, Modern American History, chapters 1–3.

You may take the test as many times as you like. When you are happy with your results, you may e-mail your results to your teacher. Please obtain your teacher's permission before e-mailing.


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1. Which statement best describes the pattern of settlement of the first people in the Americas?
A Settlers arrived from Europe and lived in colonies composed mainly of men.
B Settlers arrived from Asia and lived in kinship groups.
C Settlers arrived from Africa and became slaves.
D Settlers arrived from Europe and lived in feudal societies.


2. What is a direct effect of Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas?
A Europeans increased their knowledge of weapons technologies.
B Europeans began to live under feudalism.
C Europeans controlled the lives of Native Americans and established European empires in the Americas.
D European monarchs increased their wealth from gold and diamonds discovered in the Americas.


3. How did Southern colonists benefit from the presence of enslaved Africans?
A More people followed their religion.
B They employed tradespeople who had job skills they lacked.
C Their voting populations were increased.
D Their economic opportunities expanded by using Africans to work their plantations.


4. Why did the French establish colonies in Canada along the St. Lawrence and Ohio rivers?
A They were seeking religious freedom and the Plymouth colony was nearby.
B They were missionaries and had established successful missions nearby.
C They were plantation farmers and the woodlands are ideal for growing crops.
D They were interested in establishing the fur trade.


5. Use the chart to answer the question below.

This chart is separated into three columns. It describes the colonies, the reasons for settlement, and the economic activities of each colony.

What economic activity did all three colonies have in common?
A fishing
B growing tobacco, rice, and indigo
C trade
D shipbuilding


6. Which statement best compares the ways in which the colonists satisfied their basic needs?
A In New England and the South, colonists relied on fishing. In the Middle Colonies, they relied on triangular trade.
B In the Middle Colonies and the South, colonists relied on manufacturing, while New Englanders relied on agriculture and labor.
C In the South, colonists relied on agriculture and labor, while in New England and the Middle Colonies they relied on triangular trade.
D In New England and the Middle Colonies, colonists relied on fishing, while in the South they relied on agriculture and labor.


7. Many people see 1776 as the birth year of our nation. What happened that year?
A The First Continental Congress met to plan the resistance.
B The Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolutionary War, took place.
C Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.
D The Treaty of Paris was signed, granting Americans independence from Britain.


8. What did the colonial victory at Saratoga do to help turn the tide of the war?
A It brought France into the war on the colonists' side.
B It wiped out British forces in America.
C It led to the death of Britain's king.
D It was the first use of cannons in the war.


9. What document was established in 1787 and what was it a reaction to?
A The Articles of Confederation were a reaction to a lack of national government.
B The United States Constitution was a reaction to a weak national government.
C The Bill of Rights was a reaction to a powerful national government.
D The Declaration of Independence was a reaction to harsh British rule.


10. How does the United States Constitution reflect the principle of checks and balances?
A Each branch of government has some control over, and is controlled somewhat by, the other two branches.
B Each branch of government has the ability to write checks from the balance of the other two branches.
C There are two delegates to the Senate for each state.
D The number of delegates to the House is determined by each state's population.


11. What significant event happened in the United States in 1803 and what was its effect?
A The Missouri Compromise allowed the states to remain equally divided between slave and free states.
B A severe depression left many citizens unemployed.
C The Louisiana Purchase increased the land available to settlers.
D A war with Britain and Native Americans lessened Native American resistance to U.S. forces.


12. Use the map to answer the question below.

This map shows the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.

What landform formed the western boundary of the United States after the Louisiana Purchase?
A the Mississippi Delta
B the Sierra Nevada Range
C the Appalachian Mountains
D the Rocky Mountains


13. What happened in Texas and Florida that helped them become parts of the United States?
A They were part of the Louisiana Purchase.
B The Native Americans in these areas wanted to become U.S. citizens.
C U.S. settlers moved into these areas.
D Gold was discovered in both places.


14. Use the chart to answer the question below.

This graphic shows how inventions and new technologies changed the way Americans traveled and transported goods.

Which of the innovations in the chart helped to move American goods worldwide?
A steam power
B canals
C roads
D railroads


15. How did businesses in the Northeast create a Market Revolution, while the South did not experience this?
A The Northeast focused on agriculture, while the South relied on trade.
B The Northeast focused on manufacturing, while the South remained agricultural.
C The Northeast focused on small cottage industries, while the South had large, cumbersome manufacturing plants.
D The Northeast focused on shipbuilding, while the South diversified.


16. What was the conflict that erupted over states' rights during Andrew Jackson's term?
A South Carolina nullified a tariff.
B Virginia tried to secede from the Union.
C Georgia defied an order to free slaves.
D Alabama denied voting rights to African Americans.


17. One of the first movements toward civil rights for African Americans was
A transcendentalism.
B the temperance movement.
C the suffrage movement.
D the abolitionist movement.


18. Women who organized and attended the Seneca Falls Convention were working towards
A the elimination of alcohol consumption.
B equal pay for equal work.
C women's right to vote.
D the freedom not to marry.


19. What was the conflict over states' rights that caused the Civil War?
A Southern states did not want to pay tariffs.
B Southern states did not want to free their slaves.
C Southern states did not want Northern products to compete with theirs.
D Southern states did not want to go to war with Mexico.


20. Use the timeline to answer the question below.

This timeline shows how the issue of slavery dominated national politics throughout the 1850s.

What happened that added to the tensions and violence in Kansas once the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed?
A Lincoln was elected President.
B The Supreme Court determined that slaves were property.
C John Brown raided Harpers Ferry.
D Groups of people for and against slavery moved to Kansas.