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Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

Unit 1 SAQ (The New World) Answers

3 min readnovember 29, 2021


AP US History 🇺🇸

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APUSH Short Answer Question Answers for The New World

👋 Welcome to the APUSH Unit 1 SAQ (The New World) Answers. Have your responses handy as you go through the rubrics to see how you did!
⏱ Remember, the AP US History exam has a mixture of free-response questions and allotted times. For these types of questions, there will be 3 SAQs, and you will be given 40 minutes to complete the SAQ section. (This means you should give yourself ~13 minutes to go through each practice SAQ.)

Questions with Answers & Rubric


(a) Briefly describe ONE specific historical difference between the Spanish and English exploration of the New World.

🏆 Successful answers would explain how:
  • The Spanish conquistadors landed in the Caribbean or Central America and most English explorers arrived along the eastern coast of North America
  • Spanish conquistadors were successful at finding gold and silver in Mexico and Peru, whereas the English had little success in finding mineral wealth
  • The Spanish had created many more successful missions like St. Augustine during the time period as the English do not develop a successful colony until 1607 with Jamestown
📄 Additional Resources:

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(b) Briefly describe ONE specific historical similarity between the Spanish and English exploration of the New World.

🏆 Successful answers would explain how:
  • Both the Spanish and English explored the new world to colonize other countries in the pursuit of gold and resources
  • Both the Spanish and the English based their explorations off of the concept of mercantilism and improving the wealth of the mother country
  • Both the Spanish and English attempted to convert Native Americans to Christianity
  • Both the Spanish and English used new technologies like the caravel and compass to guide their exploration
📄 Additional Resources:

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(c) Briefly explain ONE specific historical change in the New World as a result of Spanish or English exploration.

🏆Successful answers would explain how:
  • The development of slave labor societies began to develop as indicated by the encomienda system and use of slave labor from Africa
  • The Columbian Exchange would take place allowing for the sharing of foods (such as the potato) and animals (such as horses and pigs)
  • The spread of disease by Europeans would kill millions of Native Americans by 1607, resulting in huge population losses in the New World
  • Class and caste systems would change dramatically as English and Spanish developments begin to grow
📄 Additional Resources:

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Next Steps

  • 🧠 Want to continue reinforcing your knowledge of Unit 1? Check out Unit 1 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 2 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!

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🌽Unit 1: Early Contact with the New World (1491-1607)
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🔫Unit 3: Conflict and American Independence (1754-1800)
🐎Unit 4: Beginnings of Modern American Democracy (1800-1848)
💣Unit 5: Toward the Civil War and Reconstruction (1844-1877)
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🌎Unit 7: The Early 20th Century (1890-1945)
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📲Unit 9: Entering into the 21st Century (1980-Present)
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