History Survey

United States History Survey

Winter Quarter, 2022

Like the first exam, this is a 200 point test; I will divide your score by two to convert your grade to the 100 point scale.

However, the rest of the format is different from the first exam.  There are five mandatory essays, each worth 40 points.   Simply complete each essay.  While there is no minimum or maximum length for an essay, each one will probably take you between one and two pages.

 The books and classes to consult for these questions are

Shorto, Russell.  The Island at the Center of the WorldThis work takes advantage of recently re-discovered archives of the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam to describe the multi-cultural foundations of the future city of New York.

Philbrick Nathaniel.  Mayflower: Voyage, Community and WarNew York, New York: Penguin Press, 2020 Revised Edition.  Philbrick’s theme is the gradual souring of the relationship between Indigenous Americans and the Plymouth Colony.  He is particularly challenging to the myth that a lasting harmony between the two groups may be symbolized by the first Thanksgiving.

McLoughlin, William G.  Rhode Island: A History.  New York, New York: WW Norton, 1986.  The major themes of American history as measured through the experience of one small state.

Heffner, Richard D. and Alexander, editors.  A Documentary History of the United StatesPenguin USA, 2013 edition.    This is a collection of important speeches, laws and pamphlets from American life since the establishment of the Republic in 1776.

Exam Questions


1. There are three major colonies to consider in this part of the course: Dutch New Netherland, Plymouth and Rhode Island.  Compare the policies of the three regarding religious toleration and freedom of speech.

2.Explain how the alliance between the Plymouth settlers and the Pokanokets was formed.  How was it in the self-interest of each partner in the alliance?  How did the alliance eventually collapse?  Discuss the rival visions of Josiah Winslow and Benjamin Church for replacing the failed alliance.   Why is Philbrick so disappointed in Winslow’s vision?

3.McLoughlin believes that Anne Hutchinson and the settlement she helped to found in Rhode Island had a theological outlook that produced good business entrepreneurship and initiative.  How so?  Does this mean that Rhode Island rivalled New York State as a founding place for American business?

4.Describe the visions of Adrian van Der Donck and Peter Stuyvesant for New Netherland.  Why does Shorto believe that each figure was essential for the colony’s success, despite their sharp differences? How did the combination of the two show the complexity of early modern Dutch culture in its religious, political and intellectual aspects?

5.Considering the foreign policy documents of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt in Heffner we see that each believed his policies in the colonial past of America.  How well did each of these two really know that history?  And then consider the debate between Andrew Carnegie and Walt Whitman about the arts: would that have been possible without the New Netherland legacy?