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APUSH (AP US History) Review Question 1

A detailed review of a practice AP US History (APUSH) question by Omninox

As your AP exams get closer to being a reality, it will be important to get as much practice as you can. AP US History is one of the most taken AP exams in the nation on a yearly basis, and this year is when they first implement the new exam following the newly redesigned course. Since practice makes perfect, let’s look at an example question from one of our exams that is shown below:

President Lincoln hesitated to free the slaves during the Civil War because

The choices for that question were:

  • he needed the support of the Border States.
  • he believed in the institution of slavery.
  • his party was discouraging emancipation.
  • he did not wish to drive the South to secede.

The correct answer for this questions was that “he needed the support of the border states”. The main reason Lincoln hesitated was due to the need for those states for both political and military reasons. Some of the main border states of concern at the time were Maryland, Missouri and Kentucky. According to Gienapp (1992), those state’s combined populations equalled nearly half of what all the confederate states had at the time. Though Maryland had a smaller population, it served as a key political interest. Since it border the District of Columbia, loss of the state to the Confederacy meant that the federal government would have to leave the state. This would have lead to a fatal blow to morale to the Union and loss of power in many people’s eyes of the presidency and the federal government. Kentucky served not only as a mineral and food provider, but also as a buffer against Confederate states, as it protected union states such as Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Missouri not only acted as a main agricultural state to help in food production, but strategically, it protected the Union’s western border.

Public opinion of the war and which side to ally with was already split within these states. By freeing the slaves without the support of these states, Lincoln would have run the risk of losing these crucial states that provided so much strategic value to the Union.

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Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AbrahamLincolnheadonshouldersphotoportrait.png

Resouce used : Gineapp, W.E. Abraham Lincoln and the Border States
http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.2629860.0013.104

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