AP U.S. History Notes

Sample Essays

Use these sample AP U.S. History essays to get ideas for your own AP essays. These essays are examples of good AP-level writing.


World War I had left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Americans; many believed that the U.S. had been tricked into joining the war for the wrong reasons, and they were determined to avoid making the same mistake twice. After the Great War, Americans were disappointed to realize that the war was ...

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The 1950s were characterized as a prosperous and conformist decade for many reasons. The first and most widespread of these reasons was the development of the suburbs. As masses of Southern blacks migrated northward to the big cities, more rich and middle-class families left to live in the suburbs t...

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Midwest farmers expressed further discontent with the U.S. government on the issue of taxes. During the Civil War, the U.S. government had increased taxes to raise revenue for the relentless war machine, but had neglected to lower them back down after the conflict had concluded. The high taxes and t...

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Cities attracted a diverse population composed of hundreds of ethnicities from around the globe. German and Scandinavian immigrants poured into America during the late 19 century, attracted by extravagant stories of the wonderful American lifestyle: three meals a day, freedom, and social equality. S...

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” was the ultimate reform movement, providing bold reform without bloodshed or revolution. Although many Americans criticized President Roosevelt for his “try anything” approach and wasteful spending, Roosevelt saved the Americ...

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President Abraham Lincoln was faced with a monumental challenge during his two terms as Commander-in-chief of the United States: reuniting the shattered halves of the Union. This was his sole purpose in fighting the Civil War—nothing more, nothing less. However, Lincoln was flexible enough to ...

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Throughout the 17 and 18 centuries Americans developed a unique system of government with revolutionary ideals – never seen anywhere else before. Americans adopted representative governments with democratic principles that allowed each person to have a voice in the decisions about their countr...

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Even before the Civil War had concluded, Northern politicians were busy making Reconstruction plans for the Confederate States. Reconstruction—the process by which seceded states were to re-enter back into the Union—was a difficult process for the United States for two reasons. Firstly, ...

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During the time period between 1606 and 1700 hundreds of settlers flocked to the Virginia colony seeking riches – only to find hardship, and no gold. However, after many years, and much effort, the Virginians managed to secure a solid social and economic system that would eventually make Virgi...

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The American Revolution was an important event for the North American continent because it affected so many differing parties. As in all conflicts, the American Revolution resulted in “winners” and “losers”. The Patriots were the obvious winners in the Revolution; they gained...

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Throughout his early political career, Thomas Jefferson had always been a strong supporter of states’ rights and a major critic of Federalist policies. However, after being elected as President in 1801, Jefferson altered his earlier philosophy of government. Documents A and B show Jefferson&r...

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American democracy has faced numerous challenges from the 1700s to modern day. However, the American dream has never faltered for a moment; even in the face of sure failure, and sure destruction, the United States has triumphed. The years 1805, 1905, and 2005 were no exception to this tradition; tho...

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The Marx Brothers’ film was first released in 1933. At first, many critics deemed the film to be a commercial failure because its popularity paled in comparison to other Marx Brothers’ productions like , , and . Furthermore, many sensitive American audiences were offended at the rampant...

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Since the first Puritan settlement of America by the Massachusetts Bay Colony (“City on a Hill”) to the United States’ current involvement in the affairs of foreign countries, it is clear that Americans find a need to spread their democratic ideals abroad. The idea of Manifest Dest...

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