A blog about education technology, teaching, learning, and startups

AP US History Period 3 Review Questions and Discussion

The French and Indian War in the Carolinas Source

APUSH: Period 3 (1754–1800) Introduction

Welcome to Period 3 of AP United States History! In this series, we will cover a multitude of topics and themes crucial to the development of the United States. This period covers the events leading up to the American Revolution, and discuss the early development of the newly formed independent nation. We’ll dive into history through practice questions that you’ll have a chance to answer and learn more about.

This period begins at the onset of the French and Indian War, a subset of the global Seven Years War. English colonists were ultimately successful over the combined forces of French troops and indigenous warriors. However, the costs of the war both monetarily and geopolitically strained the relationship between Britain and her colonies. The Proclamation of 1763 that forbade settlement past the Appalachian Mountains was the first of many Parliamentary Acts to anger colonists. Many tax policies were enacted by the Crown, including the Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, and perhaps most famously the Intolerable Acts.

Colonial dissatisfaction led to such events as the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, and the founding of the Continental Congress to discuss relations with Great Britain and potentially separation from the motherland, an endeavor never before imagined by a colony. Increased occupation of the Thirteen Colonies by British forces, along with a strengthening of colonial militia, bubbled into open conflict at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, where the “shot heard round the world” was fired. On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, officially giving birth to the United States of America.

Portrait of Thomas Paine Source

Get the official Omninox eBook from Amazon by clicking on the book cover above to view more stimulus-based multiple choice questions.

Stimulus 1

“...Were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest...Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others...."

" [a] colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body.... And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this, (not on the unmeaning name of king,) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed."

-Common Sense pamphlet, Thomas Paine, 1776

Question 1A

The excerpt could serve as evidence to support the argument that:

  • A. European tensions with Britain and France fueled partisan debates in the 1790s.
  • B. American colonists were united by the economic constraints placed on them by Great Britain.
  • C. many new state constitutions maintained property qualifications for voting and citizenship.
  • D. a republican form of government was superior to a monarchy.

Answer: D


Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 advocating independence from Great Britain to people in the Thirteen Colonies. Written in clear and persuasive prose, Paine marshaled moral and political arguments to encourage common people in the Colonies to fight for egalitarian government. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution, and became an immediate sensation. The excerpt discusses how a monarchy is much worse for the people than a republican form of government.

Why it's the right answer:

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense was a crucial piece of literature in the American Revolution. It espoused ideas of separation from the British Crown and supported a republican form of government. The text here features a discussion about government as a force of security and a reflective actor upon the concerns of the governed, which is better attained from a representative system. This clearly aligns with answer D, since it asserts the superiority of republican government over that of a monarchy.

Partisan debates about the positioning of the United States with rival global powers of Great Britain and France in the 1790’s would be primarily concerned with economic, geopolitical, and historical factors, not the political theory discussed in Common Sense. Furthermore, Paine’s work interacted most closely with the Revolution and the development of domestic government, not the international relations of the US in years to come. Answer B can also be dismissed in the same way, because while colonists did have many grievances with the tariffs and taxes levied by Great Britain, Common Sense and this excerpt in particular focus on greater political theory.

The fact that many states included property qualifications for voting and citizenship in their constitutions goes against the ideas of community delineated in Paine’s work. As such, this excerpt from Common Sense could not be used to support these events.

Question 1B

The excerpt shows the intellectual influence of the Enlightenment in that it:

  • A. seeks to justify political systems with religious theories.
  • B. emphasizes the natural rights and equality of all men.
  • C. characterizes government as being based on a social contract.
  • D. emphasizes the importance of the executive branch of government.

Answer: C


The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and came to advance ideals like liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.

Why it's the right answer:

Common Sense is best known for implementing the concept of the social contract into the argument for the American Revolution. The social contract, a term first coined by enlightenment intellectual Jean-Jacques Rousseau, argues that people give up some freedoms and power to a ruling entity, which in turn provides security and the preservation of all other inherent rights. We can safely select C as the correct answer.

D is incorrect because this document does not provide any specific commentary on the power of the executive. In fact, the idea of 3 branches of government with varied powers and purviews was established with the US Constitution established in 1789, over a decade from when Common Sense was published.

Although Thomas Paine did comment on organized religion, Common Sense is absent of any particular connection between political and governmental systems with religious theories and thought. While ideas of egalitarianism (at least for white men) were one of the key themes of the Enlightenment, this specific excerpt talks more about the social contract than natural rights and equality for all men. It is important to note that natural rights are a part of the social contract philosophy, because much argument occurred in Enlightenment discussion over the differences between legal/governmental rights and natural/inalienable rights. In the Declaration of Independence, one can see that the Founding Fathers believed in the governmental protection of natural rights: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Question 1C

Which of the following documents could also serve as evidence to support the main argument of the excerpt?

  • A. the Declaration of Independence
  • B. Report on the Subject of Manufactures
  • C. Kentucky Resolution
  • D. Northwest Ordinance

Answer: A


The Declaration of Independence announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer under British rule.

Why it's the right answer:

As we have discussed in question 2, the Declaration of Independence contains similar language and ideas to Common Sense. The role of Paine’s work in the development of the Declaration of Independence has been debated, and most likely minimal since it was primarily a popularization of ideas long held by the Founding Fathers. However, the combination of Common Sense as an ubiquitous explanation of the philosophy behind the Revolution aimed towards the average colonist could be seen as a vital part of an independence movement that needed support from both the elite and the common man.

Photo of the Appalachian Mountains Source

Get the official Omninox eBook from Amazon by clicking on the book cover above to view more stimulus-based multiple choice questions.

Stimulus 2

“And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest, and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians with whom we are connected, and who live under our protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories as, not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting grounds. We do therefore... declare... that no governor or commander in chief in any of our colonies...[may] grant warrants of survey, or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective governments."

"...We do further strictly enjoin and require all persons whatever who have either willfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any lands within the countries above described, or upon any other lands which, not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are still reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from such settlements.”

-King George III, Royal Proclamation, 1763

Question 2A

A major effect of the document excerpted above was that:

  • A. colonial dissatisfaction with it and other restrictions fueled revolutionary fervor.
  • B. conflicts between colonists and Native Americans became virtually nonexistent.
  • C. its provisions were strictly enforced even after American independence.
  • D. the British Crown financially compensated colonists who had been displaced by it.

Answer: A


The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War, which forbade all settlement past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains.

Why it's the right answer:

The Proclamation of 1763 was widely seen as an insult to colonists who had fought in the French and Indian War, ostensibly to gain increased territorial rights west of the Appalachians. Furthermore, the Crown did not provide monetary compensation to settlers affected by the Proclamation line, although it eventually was shifted to prevent unwanted conflict with colonists already granted land past the original frontier. The Proclamation of 1763 formed one point on a long list of grievances towards colonists by the British government. Indeed, it became one more straw on the camel’s back that would finally lead to the American Revolution. We can see that answer A is correct.

The provisions of the Proclamation of 1763 were definitely not enforced after independence -- the United States had rapid Westward expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries that displaced millions of Native Americans. And there certainly continued to be conflicts between colonists and Native Americans during the purview of the law and after the US became an independent country.

Question 2B

The excerpt above serves as a response to:

  • A. the need to raise revenue to defray the costs of the French and Indian War.
  • B. French dominance of North American fur-trading networks.
  • C. English population growth and expansion in the colonies.
  • D. colonial protests of taxation without representation.

Answer: C


English population growth and expansion in the colonies brought about the encroachment onto American Indian land. As a result problems ensues, resulting in the Proclamation of 1763.

Why it's the right answer:

While the need to pay for the cost incurred by the French and Indian War would eventually result in a series of taxation actions passed by the Crown onto colonists, none of this was a part of the Proclamation of 1763. Colonial protests against taxation without representation happened later in the 1760’s and 1770’s. Because of this discrepancy, we can toss out answers A and D.

The French historically leveraged favorable relations with Native Americans and “soft power” territorial control on waterways to became the preeminent fur traders in the continent. However, if the British government primarily focused on limiting French dominance in the region, they would have been likely to promote settlement in the Mississippi and Ohio areas. In the end, they decided to take a more passive approach and attempt to prevent further conflicts by limiting westward settlement due to the population boom in the colonies prompting continual pushes into Native American territory. This means that answer C is correct.

Another French and Indian War Painting Source

Stimulus 3

"Englishman, although you have conquered the French, you have not yet conquered us! We are not your slaves. . . ."

"Englishman... the King of France employed our young men to make war upon your nation. In this warfare many of them have been killed, and it is our custom to retaliate until such time as the spirits of the slain are satisfied. But the spirits of the slain are to be satisfied in either of two ways; the first is by the spilling of the blood of the nation by which they fell; the other by covering the bodies of the dead, and thus allaying the resentment of their relations. This is done by making presents."

"Englishman, your king has never sent us any presents, . . . wherefore he and we are still at war; and until he does these things we must consider that we have no other father, nor friend among the white men than the King of France. . . ."

-Mivana, Chippewa chief, 1761

Question 3A

The excerpt was written within the context of:

  • A. King Philip’s War.
  • B. the Glorious Revolution.
  • C. the French and Indian War.
  • D. Pontiac’s Rebellion.

Answer: C


The French and Indian War (1754-1763) comprised the North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years' War of 1756-1763. The war pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, with both sides supported by military units from their parent countries of Great Britain and France, as well as by Native American allies.

Why it's the right answer:

This question is easy to answer as long as you know the general history of military conflicts in the North American theater. As you might remember from past reading, King Philip’s War took place in the 1670’s and consisted of skirmishes between New England colonists and local Native Americans, which clearly is not the right time period of this excerpt. The Glorious Revolution is also anachronous, as it refers to the victory of William III of Orange over King James II of England to take the throne. Not only is this from the wrong century, but also from the wrong continent!

In the French and Indian War that this excerpt refers to, France in particular leveraged their Native American allies as a vital part of their offensive military network. Tribes like the Chippewa developed positive relationships with the French, but did not adhere by the same terms of peacemaking as the British were used to. Answer C is indeed the right choice.

Pontiac’s Rebellion began in 1763, a few years after this excerpt from Chief Mivana was written, so the text cannot possibly be contextualized by this conflict. The war was a direct consequence of the outcome of the French and Indian War, which solidified British control of the Great Lakes region. Many Native American tribes were heavily dissatisfied with British military policies in the newly conquered territory, and began to engage in brutal conflict with European militias and civilians alike.

Question 3B

Which of the following continuities over time does the excerpt illustrate?

  • A. France’s more amicable relations with Native Americans
  • B. efforts to assimilate Native Americans into white society
  • C. Native Americans’ rejection of European trade goods
  • D. efforts to honor British treaties signed with Native Americans

Answer: A


France had more amicable relations with the Native Americans as the French were a major trading partner for furs and other goods with the American Indians.

Why it's the right answer:

Answer A is correct; it is clear from this passage that Chief Mivana considers the French (and their King) to be friends and allies, whereas the English continue to be an enemy. France was able to have better relationships with Native American tribes because their colonial endeavors were focused on hunting and trading in conjunction with indigenous people, whereas England had historically sought to settle its people in the New World. Option C is not correct because this excerpt corroborates the fact that many Native American tribes benefited from trade with the Europeans, enough so that many agreed to fight alongside the French in the Seven Years War.

Although the assimilation of Native Americans into colonial society has been an enormous issue for centuries, this passage discusses the wartime positioning of a particular tribe. Additionally, this excerpt does not at all illustrate an attempt to honor treaties with the British. By analyzing this passage, one can see that Mivana does not accept the idea of a peace agreement because he is used to an exchange of presents to repair relations, as was standard in his culture.

Question 3C

In effort to address some of the issues mentioned in the above excerpt:

  • A. the new American government attempted to raise the social status of Indians living within towns along the Atlantic seaboard.
  • B. the British government attempted to reduce European encroachment on tribal lands with the Proclamation of 1763.
  • C. the new American government attempted to better govern white settlers along the frontier with the Northwest Ordinance.
  • D. the British government attempted to placate the Indians with cash settlements to compensate them for their loss of land.

Answer: B


The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War, which forbade all settlement past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains.

Why it's the right answer:

We can toss out options A and C because a “new American government” did not take effect until decades after the French and Indian War. The first government of the United States was ratified by all 13 states in 1781 with the Articles of Confederation, which were replaced by the US Constitution in 1789.

The British approach to placate Native Americans angry at European actions in the region was to ban settlement past the Appalachians with the Proclamation of 1763. This restriction ultimately would come under heavy criticism and opposition from colonists who believed that they were entitled to land they had fought for against the French and indigenous people. For more information on the Proclamation of 1763, refer to question 2.

Question 3D

For which of the following arguments would the excerpt above best serve as evidence?

  • A. Conflicts between whites and Indians continued throughout the 18th century, even after the British victory in the struggle for North America.
  • B. Europeans’ willingness to supply Indians with deadly weapons led to French victories in late 18th-century wars.
  • C. Native American tribes forged alliances with each other to create powerful confederacies in the late 18th century.
  • D. European expansion in the late 18th century disrupted existing Indian fur-trade networks with disastrous economic effects.

Answer: A


The passage discusses the conflict between colonists and American Indians, which continued throughout the 18th century, from the perspective of a Chippewa chief, hence why the response would serve as evidence to the passage. It is because of the context of the passage.

Why it's the right answer:

Mivana’s passage serves to illustrate the spirit of Native American tribes for their independence and resilience from European encroachment. Unfortunately, the persistence of settlers in the colonies and in the newly formed United States would form the basis of deadly conflict in the centuries to come, as is noted in answer A. This excerpt doesn’t provide any evidence about European armament, nor does it reference any economic or commercial trends. We can therefore eliminate answers B and D. Option C is also incorrect because this passage does not discuss Native American intertribal alliances, only the allegiance of the Chippewa to the French and the irrepressible nature of the indigenous people.

Constitutional Convention Source

Get the official Omninox eBook from Amazon by clicking on the book cover above to view more stimulus-based multiple choice questions.


American colonists were certainly the underdogs in the hard fought Revolutionary War, which pitted an insurgent militia against what was widely considered the most powerful military force in the world. With the help of brilliant military leaders like George Washington and Nathanael Greene, and assistance from the French army and navy, British forces under the command of Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown in 1781, effectively ending the war.

The next decade saw numerous internal conflicts in the newly established United States of America, including debates over settling Revolutionary War debts, regulation of trade and currency between states, Shay’s Rebellion, and the Whiskey Rebellion. The Founding Fathers realized that a more centralized government would be necessary to successfully govern the new nation. In 1787, the Constitutional Convention spent months debating a document outlining a system of government stronger than that of the failed Articles of Confederation. It produced the US Constitution, ratified by the required amount of states in 1789. The next decade saw George Washington served two terms as the first President of the United States, and subsequently peacefully turn over power to President John Adams.

Over the next half century, partisan debates would intensify, and questions about slavery, trade, international alignment, and Western expansion come to the forefront of American political discussion. These events and more will form the basis of AP US History Period 4. We hope to see you then!