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Online TAKS Practice

The American Nation, Grade 8

Unit 5: Division and Reunion

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 16–18.

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

Attempts to Maintain a Balance Between Free and Slave States
  • Missouri Compromise
  • Compromise of 1850

Which of the following belongs in the box?
A Dred Scott Decision
B Fugitive Slave Act
C Kansas-Nebraska Act
D Lincoln-Douglas Debates


2. Who became known as "the Great Compromiser" for his attempts to help the North and South avoid civil war?
A John C. Calhoun
B Henry Clay
C Daniel Webster
D Stephen Douglas


3. Which of the following groups was pleased by the Court's ruling on Dred Scott v. Sandford, which stated that Congress could not outlaw slavery anywhere in the United States?
A enslaved African Americans
B free African Americans
C members of the Free-Soil party
D slave owners


4. How did the book Uncle Tom's Cabin strengthen the abolitionist movement?
A It gained support for the expansion of slavery.
B It led northerners to ignore slavery.
C It persuaded people that slavery should be ended.
D It strengthened enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act.


5. Most free African Americans lived in
A the North.
B Arkansas.
C the South.
D Colorado.


6. Which title best describes the time period 1861–1865?
A Second Great Awakening
B Civil War
C Reconstruction
D Industrial Revolution


7. Which event marked the beginning of the Civil War?
A South Carolina seceded from the Union.
B Confederates fired on Fort Sumter.
C Abraham Lincoln was elected President.
D The Confederate States of America was created.


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

A map showing the Union states, Confederate states, and Territories in 1861

What can be inferred about the border states?
A They were free states that joined the Confederacy.
B They did not take part in the Civil War.
C They were the first states to secede.
D They were slave states that stayed in the Union.


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

"If Virginia stands by the old Union, so will I. But if she secedes. . . , then I will still follow my native State with my sword and, if need be, with my life."
— Robert E. Lee

Based on this statement, you can conclude that Lee refused Lincoln's offer to command the Union army because he
A refused to take part in the war.
B did not agree with the goals of the Union.
C had no military experience.
D remained loyal to Virginia, which joined the Confederacy.


10. One weakness of President Jefferson Davis was that he
A paid little attention to the advice of others.
B lacked honesty and courage.
C relied heavily on his advisers.
D lacked experience in military affairs.


11. In which battle did the North achieve its plan of seizing control of the Mississippi River?
A Bull Run
B Gettysburg
C Vicksburg
D Shiloh


12. What geographic advantage helped southerners carry out the plan of fighting a defensive war until northerners grew tired of fighting?
A They had abundant resources.
B They were fighting on familiar land.
C They could produce more food than the northerners.
D They had a better transportation system than the northerners.


13. What effect did the Emancipation Proclamation have on the Civil War?
A It broadened Union goals to include ending slavery.
B It prevented African Americans from fighting in the war.
C It won European support for the South.
D It ended slavery and restored the Union.


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

"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
—Abraham Lincoln, 1863

Lincoln presented these ideas about union and government in
A his first Inaugural Address.
B his second Inaugural Address.
C the Gettysburg Address.
D the Emancipation Proclamation.


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

1. Assassination of Lincoln
2. Lee's surrender at Appomatox Court House
3. Announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation
4. Battle of Gettysburg

In which order did these events take place?
A 1, 2, 3, 4
B 4, 3, 2, 1
C 2, 4, 3, 1
D 3, 4, 2, 1


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

A chart showing women's contributions during the Civil War. The chart has six rows with two columns each. The first row says: Loreta Janeta Velazquez, fought for South at Bull Run and Shiloh. The second row says Rose Greenhow: spied for the South in Washington, D.C. The third row says Dorothea Dix: served as chief of nurses for the Union. The fourth row says Clara Barton: served as nurse and founded Red Cross. The fifth row says Sojourner Truth: worked in Union hospitals and camps for freed slaves. The sixth row says Sally Tomkins: opened a hospital in Richmond, Virginia

What conclusion can be drawn about the contributions of women to the Civil War?
A Women played key roles in both the North and the South.
B Women served only in traditional roles as cooks and nurses.
C Women lacked the courage and skills required in war.
D Women opposed involvement in the war.


17. What makes Appomatox Court House, Virginia, an important place in U.S. history?
A It served as the capital of the Confederacy.
B It is the place where the Civil War began.
C It is the place where the Civil War ended.
D It is the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War.


18. Reconstruction was the era in U.S. history when
A conflicts over states' rights divided the nation.
B discrimination against African Americans ended.
C the South developed a strong industrial economy.
D the North and South were reunited as one nation.


19. Which of the following abolished slavery in the United States?
A Emancipation Proclamation
B Thirteenth Amendment
C Fourteenth Amendment
D Reconstruction Act


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

A diagram showing how Southern Whites kept African Americans from voting. It describes the poll tax, literacy tests, violence, and the Grandfather clause, which allowed whites to vote without taking tests because their grandfathers had voted

These actions were violations of
A the Thirteenth Amendment.
B the Fourteenth Amendment.
C the Fifteenth Amendment.
D Jim Crow Laws.