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The American Nation, Grade 8

Unit 4: An Era of Expansion

Benchmark Test

Click on the button next to the response that best answers the question. For best results, review The American Nation: Beginnings Through 1877, chapters 12–15.

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. Today's Democratic party traces its beginning to the election of
A John Quincy Adams.
B Andrew Jackson.
C Martin Van Buren.
D William Henry Harrison.


2. How did the Whigs' and Democrats' use of nominating conventions change the way political parties choose candidates?
A Conventions allowed only rich people to participate.
B Conventions allowed only farmers and workers to participate.
C Conventions were private meetings in which powerful members of each party chose candidates.
D Conventions gave citizens a chance to play a more direct role in choosing candidates.


3. The Jacksonian Era (1824–1840) was a time when
A Native Americans gained rights.
B politics became more democratic.
C government jobs were given to qualified people.
D the economy grew strong.


4. Which of the following statements summarizes Andrew Jackson's arguments regarding the banking system?
A The Bank of the United States is too powerful.
B The Bank provides too much money to the states.
C The Bank helps farmers and merchants at the expense of rich people.
D The Bank should have more control over loans made by state banks.


5. The nullification crisis developed over South Carolina's claim that it had the right to cancel a(n)
A federal tariff.
B state law.
C agreement with Native Americans.
D treaty with Britain.


6. Which of the following leaders supported states' rights in the nullification crisis?
A John C. Calhoun
B Daniel Webster
C Henry Clay
D Andrew Jackson


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

A chart showing important information about the Trail of Tears. There are five rows, with two columns each. The first row says: who: Creek, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Seminole nations. The second row says: What: The United States government forced Native Americans to resettle in the West, and thousands died on forced marches. The third row says: When: 1830s. The fourth row says: Where: Moved from Southeast to Indian territory in what is now Oklahoma. The fifth row says: Why: White settlers wanted Native American land

Which statement summarizes the Indian removal policy during the Jacksonian era?
A The government offered Native Americans an opportunity to own land in the West.
B The government respected the rights of Native Americans to remain on their traditional lands.
C The government forced Native Americans to move west so that white settlers could have their lands.
D The government provided safe transportation for Native Americans to their new lands in the West.


8. Use the map and your knowledge of social studies to answer questions 8 and 9.

A map of the territorial expansion of the United States and other acquisitions. The map shows the United States in 1783. Then it shows the Louisiana Purchase of 1803; the coastal areas of Mississippi and Alabama annexed by the U.S. in 1810-1812; border areas of Dakota; and Minnesota ceded by Britain in 1818; Florida and the coast of Louisiana ceded by Spain in 1819; the Texas annexation of 1845; the Oregon Territory as established in 1846; the Mexican cession of 1848; and the Gadsden purchase of 1853

Which territory did the United States acquire last?
A Texas
B Gadsden Purchase
C Florida
D Oregon Territory


9. How does the map above relate to the idea of Manifest Destiny?
A It shows that the United States accomplished the goal of expanding to the Pacific Ocean.
B It shows the routes that settlers followed to the West.
C It shows that the United States acquired lands from Great Britain and Spain.
D It shows the lands that Native Americans were forced to give up.


10. What contribution did the Mormons make to the westward movement?
A They discovered a passage through the mountains.
B They founded missions along the Pacific Coast.
C They started a prosperous settlement near the Great Salt Lake.
D They were among the first American settlers in Texas.


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

This is an area in the Far West, between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It has fertile soil and plenty of water for growing crops. It also has forests full of animals for hunting and trapping.

Which part of the United States attracted settlers with the physical characteristics described in the passage above?
A Texas
B New Mexico Territory
C California
D Oregon Country


12. What geographic factor influenced the growth of population that helped California become a state?
A rivers
B gold
C oil
D forests


13. Which of the following technological innovations affected the way U.S. goods were exported to markets around the world?
A mechanical reaper
B telegraph
C steam-powered locomotive
D clipper ship


14. Use the chart and your knowledge of social studies to answer questions 14 and 15.

A chart of the causes and effects of immigration. The Causes are: Famines develop in Ireland, Revolutions erupt in Germany, and Number of factory jobs in the United States grows. The effects are: American industry continues to grow, Immigrant traditions become part of American culture, and Some Americans want to limit immigration

How did immigration affect industrialization in America?
A It had no effect on the U.S. economy.
B It decreased the number of factory jobs.
C It slowed the rate of urbanization.
D It led to a growth of industry.


15. What contributions did Irish and German immigrants make to our national identity?
A They formed a political party called the Know-Nothing party.
B They improved working conditions by refusing to work for low wages.
C They added their traditions to American culture.
D They formed trade unions and led strikes.


16. How did the invention of the cotton gin affect the economy of the South?
A It increased the need for slave labor.
B It decreased cotton production.
C It led to an increase of manufacturing.
D It led to a decrease in the size of plantations.


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

A diagram of southern society in 1860. This diagram shows a pyramid. It reads from top to bottom. The top reads: 8% Owners of 5 or more slaves; then 8% Owners of 1-4 slaves; then 50% Whites who owned no slaves; then 2% Free African Americans; and at the bottom 32% Enslaved African Americans

Which statement accurately describes the geographic distribution of slavery in 1860?
A Half of the whites in the South were slave owners.
B About one-third of the population of the South was enslaved.
C Most African Americans in the South were free.
D Most slave owners had many slaves.


18. Some northern business owners defended slavery because
A many of their factory workers were enslaved people.
B their northern businesses depended upon southern cotton.
C they thought that enslaved people were better off than northern workers.
D they feared that slave owners would take over their businesses.


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

A chart that shows the differences between the North and South. The chart has 5 rows with 3 columns. The first row says: Population: Northern states 21.5 million, Southern states 9 million. The second row says: Number of Factories: Northern states 110,000, Southern states 20,600. The third row says: Miles of Railroad: Northern states 21,700, Southern states 9,000. The fourth row says: Bank Deposits: Northern states $207 million, Southern states $47 million. The fifth row says: Cotton Production: Northern states 4 thousand bales, Southern states 5 million bales

What conclusion can be drawn about the economic differences between the North and South?
A The South had better transportation systems than the North.
B The South could afford to pay higher wages than the North.
C The North had a smaller work force than the South.
D The North was more industrialized than the South.


20. What role did Dorothea Dix play in the social reform movements of the early 1800s?
A She expanded educational opportunities for women.
B She published an antislavery newspaper.
C She worked to improve conditions in mental hospitals and prisons.
D She organized the Seneca Falls Convention for women's rights.