Best Quizlet Decks for Every APUSH Unit

8 min readdecember 14, 2021

Kanya Shah

Kanya Shah

AP US History 🇺🇸

454 resources
See Units

Studying for APUSH can be challenging because there is a lot of content to cover, so what’s the most effective method of retaining and understanding the material? Say hello to Quizlet!
Quizlet offers a variety of different methods to study for a test or a quiz, based on key terms of people, places, and events. Not only does it simplify studying, but it’s also available “on the go,” so for those of you who are busy, fear not, because Quizlet is also available online. Want the best Quizlet decks right away without having to Google a million searches? Here you go!

🌽 Period 1: 1491-1607 (4-6%)

Key Ideas:
Unit 1 revolved around the Columbian Exchange uniting the Americas with Asia, Africa, and the European nations in terms of trade, disease, and culture. The Native Americans dealt with westward expanding Europeans, foreshadowing treaties and conflict within North America. In South America, racial mixing through marriage and alliances with slaves and natives led to the formation of caste systems, ultimately resulting in social stratification.
Key Terms:
  • Columbian Exchange: An exchange of goods, ideas, diseases, and skills from the Old World (Europe, Asia, And Africa) to the New World (the Americas) in the early 1500s. This linked the continents through trade and promoted cultural interaction.
  • Atlantic Slave Trade: Trade between Africa and the Americas for African American slaves who would work primarily on cotton and sugar plantations to produce profit during the 16th-19th century.
  • Protestant Reformation: 16th-century European movement that aimed to reform the Roman Catholic Church and its practices. Powerful leaders having too much control over the Church.

⛵️ Period 2: 1607-1754 (6-8%)

Key Points:
Unit 2 discusses The Atlantic Slave Trade which introduced slavery as a form of cheap labor and intertwined the American colonial economies with the Europeans based on the mercantilism system. The formation of British colonies led to North/South colonial divisions based on differences in geography, culture, and economies. This left a resounding impact on how the southern colonies interacted with the northern regions, who had more access to commodities and sea trade.
Key Terms:
  • Indentured servitude: system where people gained passage to the New World in exchange for providing labor for a certain amount of years.
  • Jamestown, VA: the first English colony in America. Economic success based on the tobacco cash crop. Not a stable economy compared to the northern colonies.
  • Salutary Neglect: initially, the British believed in lax enforcement of their parliamentary laws which gave the American colonies a degree of autonomy.

Period 3: 1754-1800 (10-17%)

Key Points:
Unit 3 focuses on the shift in power from the British monarchy to the American colonists due to the emergence of individual and nationalistic beliefs from the Enlightenment Era. The American Revolution was a successful war that set the foundation for future American politics through the declaration of Independence and the ratification of the US Constitution debate.
Key Terms:
  • Natural Rights: Philosophy that John Locke advocated for that entailed the American's rights to life, liberty, and property. The Americans had the right to overthrow the government if they deemed it unjust.
  • Stamp Act: 1765 tax that Britain imposed on the American colonies to pay off the debt from the French and Indian War. It taxed the colonists without representation and challenged Parliament's power over the Americans.
  • Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison covertly wrote those documents to argue that states had the right to nullify (invalidate) the Federal Government's legislation if it was unconstitutional.

🐎 Period 4: 1800-1848 (10-17%)

Key Points:
Unit 4 highlights a change in politics because American parties emerge, democratic ideals expand, and there are peaceful transitions of power to each president. Sectionalism between the Northern and Southern states increases as the debate over whether slavery should be outlawed and how much power the federal government has over the states is contemplated. Despite political disputes, the War of 1812 and conflicts with Native Americans was important because it showed how warfare continued on the basis of nationalism, land, and wealth motives.
Key Terms:
  • The Embargo Act of 1807: Thomas Jefferson chose to forbid foreign trade with France and Britain during the Napoleonic Wars in efforts to preserve the American economy. The British broke the Neutrality Policy of America by attacking American merchants and cargo ships so this was a diplomatic retaliation.
  • American System: Henry Clay proposed protective tariffs for American industries, a strong federal bank to serve as a national depository, and stood for internal developments.
  • Battle of New Orleans: General Andrew Jackson became known as a war hero and gained public support because he won the battle after the War of 1812 had already ended two weeks ago but this hadn't been reiterated yet.

🧨 Period 5: 1844-1877 (10-17%)

Key Topics:
Unit 5 reflects armed American conflict during the Civil War between Northern and Southern states in the US over slavery's acceptance. The wars during this time promoted unity among the different sides and led to American politics growing as the US learned how to deal with conflicts (diplomacy vs war). Overall, this period focused on slavery and how influential leaders such as Harriet Tubman emerged to support abolition.
Key Terms:
  • Texas Annexation: In 1845, the US Gov. annexed (took) Texas with Congress support and it was later divided into other parts of new states. The US refrained from doing so in 1837 to avoid a war with Mexico when Texas wasn't a free republic.
  • Dred Scott Decision: Dred Scott was a black slave who resided in the Louisiana territory for four years and argued that he was a free man as a result of the Missouri Compromise. The Supreme Court decided that he couldn't sue the state because he was property.
  • Sojourner Truth: An American feminist and abolitionist who believed in women's and black rights. She was a former slave who was freed in 1827.

  • 🚂 💰 Period 6: 1865-1878 (10-17%)

    Key Topics:
    Period 6 places an emphasis on industrial development and modernity as rural and urban regions were transformed. This was a time of cultural change, intellectual discovery, and public debates which is also known as the Gilded Age. Political debates over economic and social issues were rooted in this time period.
    Key Terms:
    • Andrew Carnegie: led the expansion of the American steel industry and become one of the most richest Americans. He paved the way for the economic boom by the late 19th century.
    • Great Railroad Strike: 1877 cut the wages of the workers by 10% so this led to the first nationwide strike within the Union. This was caused because of the large railroad companies that were profiting and the laborers weren't doing well in terms of job layoffs and lack of pay.
    • Great Sioux War: the US government wanted the Black Hills territory for the gold so they fought and negotiated with the Native Americans (Sioux, Lakota, and Northern Cheyenne) in South Carolina.

    🌎💥 Period 7: 1890-1945 (10-17%)

    Best Key Topics:
    Unit 7 focuses on American growth but the economic instability made it difficult to boost industrial output. New communication and advanced transportation systems closed the gap between the Americas and European nations in terms of national expansion. However, America was held accountable in its role during the international affairs it took part in especially as the European powers imperialized.
    Key Terms:
    • New Deal: series of public improvement and relief plans to fix the economy after the Great Depression which took away jobs, monetary circulation, and hurt the banks. FDR's plan highlights the significance of federal spending during an economic crisis such as an economic recession and depression.
    • Red Scare: Hysteria over the communist ideas spreading to America and corrupting American people. This intensified during the 1950s because of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, where the Soviet Union was a communist nation and the US favored democracy.
    • Manhattan Project: Name of the project that formulated the atomic bomb used by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WW2 on Japan. The atomic bomb's development foreshadowed nuclear conflict as seen with the Cold War during Period 8.

    🥶 Period 8: 1945-1980 (10-17%)

    Key Points:
    In Unit 8, the US becomes a powerful nation that is involved in foreign affairs, an influential leading nation, and deals with the aftermath of the World Wars. Cultural and political expansion occurs as there are movements for liberal and civil rights throughout America. Though the US was capable of getting involved in international issues, the repercussions of alliances and conflict would impact the economy and people.
    • Mikhail Gorbachev: Introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (economic reconstruction) to the Soviet Union in efforts to liberalize the nation and fix damaged relations with the Western nations.
    Key Terms:
    • Clean Air Act: Result of Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring by the 1970s. It highlights America's move towards improving the health of people and raising the quality of air by regulating air emissions. The Americans focused on an environmentally safe society.
    • OPEC: Formed in 1960 to represent the major oil-producing nations who had the power to create a monopoly over the oil prices based on supply and demand.
    • The Vietnam War: This was a war between the North Vietnamese who were communist a nation and the South Vietnamese, who were supported by the USA to prevent the spread of communism through the western hemisphere.

    🎮 Period 9: 1980-Present (4-6%)

    Key Topics:
    Unit 9 refers to the most recent events in history where America was expanding in the technology, industrial, and agricultural sectors. America's foreign and domestic policies were influenced by the Cold War, Great Depress, and the World Wars from prior decades in efforts to avoid destructive disputes with other nations. Migrations to America continued but the immigration policies of America continued to adapt as the US worked on creating policies in the interest of Americans.
    Key Terms:
    • Mikhail Gorbachev: Introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (economic reconstruction) to the Soviet Union in efforts to liberalize the nation and fix damaged relations with the Western nations.
    • Department of Homeland Security: Formed after the 9/11 attacks to gather all intel and resources for national security. The goal was to prevent terrorist attacks and catch perceived threats.
    • North American Free Trade Agreement: 1993 economic agreement between the USA, Canada, and Mexico to protect free trade or trade without tariffs as a domestic policy that would maximize profits.

    Studying for APUSH can be a difficult task, but if you've got the best Quizlet decks available to you in a few clicks, why not take advantage of that? Remember, don't stress out! Just focus on your end goal, and put the time in — whether its that amazing grade or a feeling of accomplishment. You've got this!
    All key topics courtesy of College Board’s APUSH Course and Exam Guide.
    Browse Study Guides By Unit
    🌽Unit 1 – Interactions North America, 1491-1607
    🦃Unit 2 – Colonial Society, 1607-1754
    🔫Unit 3 – Conflict & American Independence, 1754-1800
    🐎Unit 4 – American Expansion, 1800-1848
    💣Unit 5 – Civil War & Reconstruction, 1848-1877
    🚂Unit 6 – Industrialization & the Gilded Age, 1865-1898
    🌎Unit 7 – Conflict in the Early 20th Century, 1890-1945
    🥶Unit 8 – The Postwar Period & Cold War, 1945-1980
    📲Unit 9 – Entering Into the 21st Century, 1980-Present
    🚀Thematic Guides
    🧐Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
    📋Short Answer Questions (SAQ)
    📝Long Essay Questions (LEQ)
    📑Document Based Questions (DBQ)
    📆Big Reviews: Finals & Exam Prep
    ✍️Exam Skills (MC, SAQ, LEQ, DBQ)

    Stay Connected

    © 2023 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.

    © 2023 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.