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.
How did the United States government adapt to changing demographics in the early 19th century?
In what ways did the market revolution impact American society?
How did the US participate in foreign affairs in the early 19th century?
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.
Suffrage was expanded, which led to the growth of political parties.
The Supreme Court defined judiciary powers as interpreting the Constitution.
New political parties including Democrats and Whigs continued to debate the role of the federal government in terms of banking, tariffs, and infrastructure.
Slavery and economic policy continued to divide Americans through regional politics.
Distinctive cultures developed across America as national culture strengthened during the Era of Good Feelings.
Second Great Awakening
sparked moral and social reforms.
New national culture developed to combine American & European influences.
Romantic styles inspired literature, art, and architecture.
Black communities both enslaved and free developed distinctive cultures and resistance strategies to protect their families and traditions.
Activists worked outside of government to advance ideals.
Volunteer organizations sought to improve society through temperance.
Abolition movements gradually achieved emancipation in the North.
Movement for women’s rights hosted Seneca Falls Convention.
New transportation expanded production.
The market revolution resulted in more organization of production.
Innovations (machinery, steam engine, telegraph) increased efficiency of production.
Legislation developed infrastructure and transportation networks.
The market revolution had a significant impact on US society.
More Americans worked in factories and no longer relied on subsistence agriculture.
The middle class emerged as industrialization made expanded the gap between wealthy elite and poor laborers.
Gender and family roles changed as more women worked in factories.
Immigration to northern cities increased and many Americans moved west.
Southern cotton production increased and Northern manufacturing developed.
Southern identity was built on agriculture.
Attempts to unify the US economy (the American System) sparked debates.
The US continued to claim territory throughout North America in the Age of Jackson.
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.
The federal government relocated Native American communities to clear the frontier.
New lands in the west increased tensions over slavery.
Overcultivation in the south forced plantations to relocate west of the Appalachians.
Anti-slavery activists continued efforts throughout the country.
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!