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Document Based Questions (DBQ)

Unit 3 DBQ (Economic Issues) Answers

5 min readnovember 17, 2021


AP US History 🇺🇸

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AP US History Document-Based Question Answers for Economic Issues

👋 Welcome to the AP US History Unit 3 DBQ (Economic Issues). These are longer questions, so grab some paper and a pencil, or open up a blank page on your computer.
⏱ Remember, the AP US History exam has a mixture of free-response questions and allotted times. For these types of questions, there will be 1 DBQ, and you will be given 60 minutes to complete it. It is suggested that you spend 15 minutes to read the documents and spend 45 minutes to draft your response.

Guidelines

In your response you should do the following:
  • Respond to the prompt with a historically defensible thesis or claim that establishes a line of reasoning.
  • Describe a broader historical context relevant to the prompt.
  • Support an argument in response to the prompt using at least six documents.
  • Use at least one additional piece of specific historical evidence (beyond that found in the documents) relevant to an argument about the prompt.
  • For at least three documents, explain how or why the document’s point of view, purpose, historical situation, and/or audience is relevant to an argument.
  • Use evidence to corroborate, qualify, or modify an argument that addresses the prompt.
Adapted from College Board DBQ Instructions

Question with Answers & Rubric

Evaluate the extent to which economic issues fostered governmental change in the United States from 1781 to 1800.

1pt: Thesis must create a historically defensible argument and it must be located in the first or last paragraph.

Evaluate the extent to which economic issues fostered governmental change in the United States from 1781 to 1800.
Examples might include:
  • Economic issues such as Shays’ rebellion created a stronger national government as evident by the creation of a national bank and growth of the national government.
  • The national government grew in size as issues arose in the newly created country. Political parties began to form and the power of the federal government expanded to encourage trade.

1pt: To earn the point, the response must accurately describe broader historical events or processes relevant to governmental change from 1781 to 1800.

Examples might include the following with elaboration:
  • The impact of the American Revolution and its costs on the people of the United States.
  • The fear of a strong central government due to events leading up to the American Revolution against England.
  • The inability of the U.S. to safely trade with foreign countries due to the lack of an army and currency.

1pt: The response must use the content of at least 3 documents to address the topic of the prompt.

Alexander Hamilton encouraged the growth of industry by supporting tariffs. (Document usage: Doc 1)

1pt: The response uses the content of at least 6 documents to SUPPORT an argument in response to the prompt.

Alexander Hamilton encouraged the growth of industry by supporting tariffs. Thus, the central government needed to expand its power to regulate trade which it had not effectively done in years prior. (Usage and supporting an argument on the expansion of governmental power.)

1pt: The response uses at least one additional piece of specific historical evidence (beyond that found in the documents) relevant to an argument about the prompt.

Alexander Hamilton encouraged the growth of industry by supporting tariffs. Thus, the central government needed to expand its power to regulate trade which it had not effectively done in years prior. As a result, Hamilton will pass a 5% tariff as Secretary of the Treasury and utilize the “necessary and proper” clause of the constitution.
Examples might include:
  • Federalists
  • Democratic Republicans
  • Annapolis Convention
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Newburgh Conspiracy
  • Jay’s Treaty
  • New Orleans
  • XYZ Affair
  • Quasi War
  • Barbary Pirates
  • John Adams
  • Northwest Ordinance
  • Constitutional Convention

1pt: For at least three documents, the author explains how or why the document’s point of view, purpose, historical situation, and/or audience is relevant to an argument.

  • Alexander Hamilton, the leader of the Federalist party and staunch advocate of foreign trade, encouraged the growth of industry by supporting tariffs. Thus, the central government needed to expand its power to regulate trade which it had not effectively done in years prior. As a result, Hamilton will pass a 5% tariff as Secretary of the Treasury and utilize the “necessary and proper” clause of the constitution. (POV)
  • Alexander Hamilton, encouraged the growth of industry by supporting tariffs. Hamilton’s purpose was to provide the beginning manufacturing companies in the United States support from the government against the flooding of English goods. Thus, the central government needed to expand its power to regulate trade which it had not effectively done in years prior. As a result, Hamilton will pass a 5% tariff as Secretary of the Treasury and utilize the “necessary and proper” clause of the constitution. (PURPOSE)
  • Alexander Hamilton, writing to congressional legislators in an attempt to encourage them to support his financial plan for the U.S.

1pt: Response demonstrates a complex understanding of the historical development that is the focus of the prompt, using evidence to corroborate, qualify, or modify an argument that addresses the question. Response must explain and cannot make a fleeting reference.

Examples might include:
  • How the role of government encouraged social changes as well as people began to protest the power of the government. (with sufficient explanation)
  • Responses might compare the challenges of governmental power in the late 1700s to the call for governmental power in the late 1800s during Progressivism.
  • Modifying the argument to demonstrate the need for government protection from foreign pirates; however wanting to limit the role of government in the local economies.
  • Responses might explain how certain changes are more important than others by providing sufficient explanation and rationale.

Next Steps

  • 🧠 Want to continue reinforcing your knowledge of Unit 3? Check out Unit 3 Trivia, either as a document or as a game.
  • ⏭ Ready to move on to the next topic? Take a look at the collection of Unit 4 Resources.
  • 📚 Want to review multiple units? Check out all of the APUSH SAQs, LEQs, and DBQs.
  • 🤝 Got more questions? Want to help others studying the same topic? Jump into a room in Hours!

Resources:

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