TAKS logo

Online TAKS Practice

America: Pathways to the Present, Grade 11

Unit 2: Building a Powerful Nation

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 4–9.

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.

Your First Name Only:
Your Class Period:

1. Why are the dates 1861–1865 a traditional point of reference in U.S. history?
A The Civil War was fought.
B Reconstruction took place.
C The nation expanded to the Pacific coast.
D The Industrial Revolution took place.

2. Use the chart and your knowledge of social studies to answer questions 2 and 3.

19th Century Amendments
180412th AmendmentChanges method by which electors cast ballots for President and Vice President
186513th AmendmentAbolishes slavery
186814th amendmentDefines citizenship to include African Americans Guarantees citizens equal protection of the law
187015th AmendmentForbids states to deny the right to vote based on race

The Fifteenth Amendment extended voting rights to
A all citizens.
B all African Americans.
C women.
D African American men.

3. During the civil rights movement of the 20th century, African Americans fought for the equality guaranteed by the
A Twelfth Amendment.
B Thirteenth Amendment.
C Fourteenth Amendment.
D Fifteenth Amendment.

4. The impeachment of President Andrew Johnson demonstrates which principle reflected in the U.S. Constitution?
A federalism
B popular sovereignty
C individual rights
D checks and balances

5. Which of these technological innovations happened first?
A Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.
B The first Morse code telegraph message was sent.
C Thomas Edison developed the electric light bulb.
D The transcontinental railroad was completed.

6. Which technological innovation started a communications revolution and made Western Union a successful business?
A telegraph
B electricity
C telephone
D mass production

7. Use the flow chart and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

There are three text boxes connected by arrows. The first text box is empty. The second text box says: Mass production of steel. The third text box says: Construction of buildings and suspension bridges.

What technological innovation belongs in the first box?
A development of electricity
B invention of the telegraph
C development of the Bessemer process
D completion of the transcontinental railroad

8. One positive economic effect of the rise of big business was
A high wages for workers.
B low prices for goods.
C a wide variety of consumer goods.
D opportunities for small investors.

9. Which of the following helped change working conditions in factories and shops?
A temperance movement
B civil service reform
C antitrust laws
D labor unions

10. Use the map and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

Statehood in the West: North Dakota 1889, South Dakota 1889, Nebraska 1867, Kansas 1861, Oklahoma 1907, Texas 1845, Montana 1889, Wyoming 1870, Colorado 1876, New Mexico 1912, Idaho 1890, Utah 1896, Arizona 1912, Washington 1889, Oregon 1859, Nevada 1864, California 1850

From the dates of statehood in the West, it can be inferred that
A settlement of the West took place rapidly.
B settlers had little interest in moving west.
C the government discouraged westward expansion.
D most of the westward movement took place after 1900.

11. Use the chart and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

Land Use on the Great Plains
Native AmericansHomesteaders
  • nomads
  • followed buffalo herds
  • farmers
  • claimed land on which to build homes and grow crops

Why did the homesteaders' expansion onto the Great Plains cause conflict with Native Americans?
A The groups wanted to raise different crops.
B Homesteaders took over Native Americans' farms.
C Settlement of the Great Plains destroyed Native Americans' way of life.
D Both groups depended on buffalo for food.

12. Which statement best describes the defining characteristics of the Gilded Age?
A Most Americans enjoyed economic prosperity.
B Beneath a layer of prosperity were poverty and corruption.
C Honest politicians dominated American government.
D Government policies enforced safe working conditions.

13. Use the information in the box and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

  • Economic opportunities
  • Need for personal freedom
  • Escape from religious persecution
  • Poverty
  • Pogroms

Which is the best title for this list?
A Causes of Immigration
B Effects of Immigration
C Reactions to Immigration
D Sources of Immigration

14. Use the graph and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

Pie chart titled: Immigration to the United States by Region, 1871–1920. The chart is separated into six sections. The largest section says: North and Central Europe, 56%. The next section says: Southern and Eastern Europe, 32%. The next section says: The Americas, 9%. The next section says: Asia, 2%. The next section says: Oceania, .2%. The final section says: Africa, .1%

What conclusion can be drawn from the graph?
A Immigrants from the Americas were prohibited from entering the United States.
B More immigrants came from Africa than from Asia.
C Few immigrants came to the United States between 1871 and 1920.
D Most immigrants came from North and Central Europe.

15. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, some urban neighborhoods became ghettos because immigrants wanted
A to settle in communities of their own ethnic background.
B to break cultural ties to their homelands.
C Americans to accept their language and traditions.
D to give up their language and customs as quickly as possible.

16. Use the graph and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

A bar graph titled: Urban and Rural Population, 1850–1900. There are six bars, each representing a decade and showing the urban and rural population in that decade. The first bar is labeled 1850, and it shows the urban population to be approximately 5 million, and the rural population to be 20 million. The second bar is labeled 1860, and shows the urban population to be 5 million and the rural population to be 27 million. The third bar is labeled 1870, and shows the urban population to be 10 million, and the rural population to be 30 million. The fourth bar is labeled 1880, and shows the urban population to be 15 million, and the rural population to be 38 million. The fifth bar is labeled 1890, and shows the urban population to be 20 million, and the rural population to be 40 million. The sixth bar is labeled 1900, and shows the urban population to be 32 million and the rural population to be 45 million.

According to the graph, what was the result of migration within the United States?
A Rural population decreased between 1850 and 1900.
B After 1880, urban population increased faster than rural population.
C After 1890, urban population began to decline.
D By 1900, more people lived in urban areas than in rural areas.

17. Use the quote and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

"Today three-fourths of [New York's] people live in the tenements. . . . We know now that there is no way out; that the 'system' that was the evil offspring of public neglect and private greed has come to stay, a storm-centre forever of our civilization. Nothing is left but to make the best of a bad bargain."
—Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives, 1890

Riis believed that
A immigrants were responsible for their own problems.
B the problem of tenement life could be solved easily.
C the American public should not be concerned about urban problems.
D lack of public concern had helped create a situation that would be difficult to correct.

18. Which of the following statements most clearly expresses a major element of the social thought of W.E.B. DuBois?
A African Americans should learn vocational skills to get jobs.
B African Americans should focus on building economic security.
C African Americans should get a well-rounded education and become leaders in society.
D African Americans should focus on leading productive lives in order to achieve equality.

19. The original goal of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was to
A provide social services for immigrant families.
B gain civil rights for African Americans.
C restrict immigration.
D eliminate alcohol consumption.

20. In the late 1800s, new technology helped women
A become a consumer power.
B gain voting rights.
C focus on roles of mother and homemaker.
D achieve success in professional jobs.