American Revolutions Changes DBQ Essay


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American Studies DBQ based off of an old AP exam.


A-/B+ Bad conclusion, should not mention present

Question (in a nut shell)

How did the American Revolution fundamentally change American history. Mention the social, political, and economic factors which took place from 1775 to 1800.

Docs omitted due to copyright concerns


DBQ Outline

  • Political- enlightenment thinking
    • Democracy and rights
    • Rights for women- J
    • Talking about slavery- H
    • Religious freedom (but all of this was mostly talk, resolved over the next 100 years) - D
  • Social
    • Change Rights of Women- J, A
    • Religious freedom- D
    • Ignorance of Indians- C, E
    • Revolution could happen- G
  • Economics
    • Farming is important- F
    • Still merchants however
    • Supported companies and strong paper $ (still today)
    • Alex Hamilton and the bank

DBQ Documents

  • A- Change the Way We Think About Women
  • B- Get rid of Tories
    • Ironic- wanted a republic- but only with their type of people
  • C- We made peace with Indians for a time
    • Continuing point of conflict
  • D- Religious Freedom
  • E- We didn’t make peace with Indians
  • F- Very much an agriculture society
    • Valued hard work (Quakers- PA)
  • G- Farmers revolting- no debt and paper currency
  • H- No slaves in western territories
    • were thinking about it
  • I- Government needed to control people
    • Enlightenment thinking
  • J- Female rights

American Revolution Changes Essay

The American Revolution fundamentally changed American society in a variety of ways. Great political ideas about democracy and the rights of citizens were created and tested during this time. The rights of women and slaves were debated also. Although no much changed for them during this time period, later generations implemented these changes. The revolution tested our economy and our democracy when poor farmers almost revolted over high taxes and little representation. Our government was not perfect, but the framework we created set the stage for hundreds of years of democracy.

Politics were forever changed by the Enlightenment ideals and the American Revolution which put them into action. The ideas of liberty for all came at a time when monarchs ruled most of the world with an iron fist, not listening to, in particular, the farmers and lower class. A government was necessary in some sense, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t collect input from all (free, white, landowning) people. Getting there was a bit rough; during the revolution we didn’t like those who opposed us (the Tories). Today our government is built on the saying “Majority rule, minority rights.” We pretty much started the practice of always listening and letting people vote, even if they did not agree with the majority or executive.

Two important socio-economic issues the founding fathers discussed were the rights of women and slavery. Women’s roles increased greatly during the revolution. While me were away fighting or running the country, women were at home running and defending the farm. This can be seen in the woodcut and in Abigail Adam’s letters to Thomas Jefferson. Women had, for a time, the right to vote in New Jersey. The revolution also increased the education of women and encouraged them to be more involved in public life. Women were not ultimately granted the right to vote until many years later, but that foundation started during the American Revolution.

The practice of slavery was common during the time period of the American Revolution in the colonies and in Europe. At the time, it was the primary economic engine in the south and Caribbean. American revolutionaries thought about the morals of slavery, but were unable to change much at this time. However, slavery was able to be banned in the Northwest Territories, where it wasn’t too important to that region’s economy. Although the revolution was not directly able to ban slavery, it cased the issue and allowed future generations to solve it.

The revolution also enabled religious freedom to be written into the fabric of our nation. Many European nations had state religions of this time. Some of the first settlers to the colonies came in search of religious freedom. However, some of them instituted theocratic governments once here. But the revolution showed that America was a melting pot of ideas and people. They believed that our government should not sponsor one particular religion. Virginia enacted such a law in 1786.

Agriculture was an important industry during the times of the American Revolution. For example, see the medal given out by the Philadelphia society for Promotion of Agriculture. It had perhaps a bit of religious affiliation by showing hard work, but represented the necessity of growing agricultural products. Today that message is still clear.

But at that time, the agricultural industry was not as strong. Many farmers were poor, owed debt, and inflation was high. Their creditors wished to be paid, and took many to court. In response, many of them tried to create a revolt (Shays) and shut down the court system. This revolution of the lower class tested the new government. George Washington soon sent down a large army to quash the “rebellion.”

This situation also underlined the fact that our economy was suffering from inflation and our extended debtors. Alexander Hamilton set up a strong mandatory system and currency which has lasted us pretty well through the years. Today one of the key factors of the US industry is its strong governmental support.

One thing which our revolution did not change was the miss-treatment of natives. We made peace agreements with them only to break them when we felt like it.

And such the American Revolting greatly shaped how our nation is today by influencing and shaping it with political, social, and economic factors.

(Ran out of Suggested Writing Time of 45 minutes - so short conclusion)


  • Don't refer to present - qu doesn't ask about it
    • I thought present day examples would prove fundamental changes were made
  • Weak conclusion
    • Ran out of time

Doc's Methods for Taking DBQ on AP Exams

  1. Read the question and understand it
  2. Jot down notes on what you know on the subject question
  3. Read the document
  4. Identify your thesis
  5. Plan your answer to use all documents, but not necessarily in the order given
  6. Write for 45 minutes