APUSH Period 4 Review (1800-1848)

5 min readdecember 21, 2021

AP US History 🇺🇸

454 resources
See Units

Period 4: Democracy & Expansion (1800-1848)

In AP® US History, period 4 spans from 1800 to 1848 CE. The following guide will be updated periodically with hyperlinks to excellent resources. As you are reviewing for this era, focus on the key concepts and use the essential questions to guide you.


STUDY TIP: You will never be asked specifically to identify a date. However, knowing the order of events will help immensely with cause and effect. For this reason, we have identified the most important dates to know.
1800 - Jefferson’s Election
1803 - Louisiana Purchase
1812 - 1815 - War of 1812
1814 - Battle of New Orleans
1816 - 1824 - Era of Good Feelings
1820 - Missouri Compromise
1823 - Monroe Doctrine
1820s - Sectionalism
1828 - Jackson’s Election
1830 - Indian Removal Act
1832 - Nat Turner’s Rebellion
1830 -1850 - Manifest Destiny
1836 - Battle of the Alamo


STUDY TIP: Use the following essential questions to guide your review of this entire unit. Keep in mind, these are not meant to be practice essay questions. Each question was written to help you summarize the key concept.
  1. How did the United States government adapt to changing demographics in the early 19th century?
  2. In what ways did the market revolution impact American society?
  3. How did the US participate in foreign affairs in the early 19th century?

Past Essay Questions from Period 4

STUDY TIP: Content from this era has appeared on the essays fifteen times since 2000. Take a look at these questions before you review the key concepts & vocabulary below to get a sense of how you will be assessed. Then, come back to these later and practice writing as many as you can!
*The APUSH exam was significantly revised in 2015, so any questions from before then are not representative of the current exam format. You can still use prior questions to practice, however DBQs will have more than 7 documents, the LEQ prompts are worded differently, and the rubrics are completely different. Use questions from 2002-2014 with caution. Essays from 1973-1999 available here.


*The following outline was adapted from the AP® United States History Course Description as published by College Board in 2017 found here. This outline reflects the most recent revisions to the course.

4.1. Developing a Modern Democracy

  1. Suffrage was expanded, which led to the growth of political parties.
    1. The Supreme Court defined judiciary powers as interpreting the Constitution.
    2. New political parties including Democrats and Whigs continued to debate the role of the federal government in terms of banking, tariffs, and infrastructure.
    3. Slavery and economic policy continued to divide Americans through regional politics.
  2. Distinctive cultures developed across America as national culture strengthened during the Era of Good Feelings.
    1. Second Great Awakening sparked moral and social reforms.
    2. New national culture developed to combine American & European influences.
    3. Romantic styles inspired literature, art, and architecture.
    4. Black communities both enslaved and free developed distinctive cultures and resistance strategies to protect their families and traditions.
  3. Activists worked outside of government to advance ideals.
    1. Volunteer organizations sought to improve society through temperance.
    2. Abolition movements gradually achieved emancipation in the North.
    3. Movement for women’s rights hosted Seneca Falls Convention.

4.2. Innovations accelerated the American economy

  1. New transportation expanded production.
    1. The market revolution resulted in more organization of production.
    2. Innovations (machinery, steam engine, telegraph) increased efficiency of production.
    3. Legislation developed infrastructure and transportation networks.
  2. The market revolution had a significant impact on US society.
    1. More Americans worked in factories and no longer relied on subsistence agriculture.
    2. The middle class emerged as industrialization made expanded the gap between wealthy elite and poor laborers.
    3. Gender and family roles changed as more women worked in factories.
    1. Immigration to northern cities increased and many Americans moved west.
    2. Southern cotton production increased and Northern manufacturing developed.
    3. Southern identity was built on agriculture.
    4. Attempts to unify the US economy (the American System) sparked debates.

4.3. Foreign Policy

🌍 Study Guide: America on the World Stage
  1. The US continued to claim territory throughout North America in the Age of Jackson.
    1. After the Louisiana Purchase, the US continued to seek more control over North America through exploration, military actions, American Indian removal, and diplomacy through the Monroe Doctrine.
    2. The federal government relocated Native American communities to clear the frontier.
  2. New lands in the west increased tensions over slavery.
    1. Overcultivation in the south forced plantations to relocate west of the Appalachians.
    2. Anti-slavery activists continued efforts throughout the country.
    3. The Missouri Compromise attempted appeasement, but only curbed tensions over slavery temporarily.


STUDY TIP: These are the concepts and vocabulary from period 4 that most commonly appear on the exam. Create a quizlet deck to make sure you are familiar with these terms!
  • "Star-Spangled Banner"
  • abolition
  • American System
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Barbary pirates
  • Battle of New Orleans
  • Charles Finney
  • Cult of domesticity
  • Dorothea Dix
  • Eli Whitney
  • Embargo Act
  • Era of Good Feelings
  • Erie Canal
  • factory system
  • Frederick Douglas
  • Free African Society
  • Gibbons v. Ogden
  • Grimke sisters
  • Hartford Convention
  • Henry Clay
  • Hudson River School
  • Indian Removal Act
  • industrialization
  • John C. Calhoun
  • John Marshall
  • judicial review
  • King Cotton
  • labor unions
  • Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Lowell system
  • Marbury v. Madison
  • market revolution
  • McCulloch v. Maryland
  • Mexican-American War
  • Missouri Compromise (1820)
  • Monroe Doctrine
  • Mormons
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • nativism
  • Nat Turner
  • Nullification Crisis
  • Samuel Slater
  • Second Bank of the US
  • Second Great Awakening
  • sectionalism
  • Seminole Wars
  • Seneca Falls Convention
  • specialization
  • Spoils System
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Tecumseh
  • Toussaint l'Ouverture
  • Trail of Tears
  • transcendentalism
  • Treaty of Ghent
  • war hawks
  • War of 1812
  • Whigs
  • William Henry Harrison
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
📚Study Tools
🤔Exam Skills
👉🏼Subject Guides
📚AMSCO Notes

Stay Connected

© 2024 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2024 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.