US Regent's Exam Study Topics - Thematic Essays from years past

  • Regents’ Review Terms, Court Cases and Govt/Historical Terms. Please define where you see a blank term. 

     Regents Exam is on Wednesday June 13, 7:30 in the morning. Bring only water, 2 pens and 2 pencils.

    Schenck v. US = "Clear and Present Danger" Can't shout "FIRE!!!!" in a crowded theater (limits free speech). Schenck was opposed to US involvement in WWI & protested & urged men drafted not to go to war. His actions & speech were a "clear & present danger” to America's effort to fight & win the war. 

    Dennis v. US - Eugene Dennis was the leader of the American Communist party. SC up holds the Smith Act-Limits free speech/Due process. Fear of Communism. Similar to "clear and present danger" mentioned above in Schenck. Dennis is a communist and is advocating the overthrow of the US. Threatening to "over throw the USA" is not protected speech. Limits free speech.
    New Deal SC Challenge--Schecter v. US – SC Declares the NIRA Unconstitutional

    FDR--Korematsu v US  = Japanese Internment is Constitutional as Executive Order 9066 states that in times of War, civil rights can be limited. Korematsu loses the case.

    1896--Plessy v Ferguson = Justifies Jim Crow laws, and "separate but equal."

    Brown v Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas 1954 Ends segregation in schools. Reverses Plessy v Ferguson.1st time a black lawyer went before the SC. Thurgood Marshall was a lawyer for the NAACP and went on to become the SC’s 1st black judge.

    Roe v. Wade = legalizes abortion, but not in all cases up till 21st week.  Women have the right to privacy via the 4th amendment & equality before the law's 14th amendment. 

    Warren Court--Miranda v. Arizona


    Warren Court case--Gideon v. Wainwright


    Warren Court Mapp v. Ohio 

    The above 3 cases have to do with protecting the rights of the accused. Chief Justin Earl Warren “The Warren Court” made many decisions (holdings) that protected civil liberties and the rights of the excused. Please explain each case briefly and the amendments used to protect constitutional rights. Name the Amendments that are covered by these cases above. Which amendment below applies to each case? Can the 14th Amendment be used in each one also? They are:  4th, 5th & 14th amendments

    Cases involving schools: Tinker v Bes Moines  2 HS students wear black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War. School suspends them. SC says students don't leave their rights at the school door. Students win the case.

    Cases involving Public schools:

     TLO. V NJ. A student is detained by the AP for cigarettes. He searched her purse and finds drug sales receipts and marijuana.  Family argues he should not have been allowed to continue the search. She is suspended and takes it to court and the courts some agree with her the others with the School. The school appeals to the federal Court and wins & TLO appeals to the Supreme Court. The SC decides schools have broad search and seizure rights. Where she wins on the 4th amendments unnecessary search and seizure clause gives school administrators broad search & seizure powers. They have an obligation to keep schools safe. The girl in T.L.O. loses the case. Schools have a legal and moral obligation to act in lieu of parents and to create a positive and safe environment aka in loco parentis = Latin meaning in lieu of parents.


    Bong hits for Jesus case. Called 2007 Morse v. Frederick: SC decides that School authorities do not violate the First Amendment when they stop students from expressing views that may be interpreted as promoting illegal drug use.



    Short Answers

    Cold War Topics: 

    Berlin Airlift


    Cuban Missile Crisis


    McCarthyism- House UN – American Activities Committee. Congressional hearings led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Investigate Fascist and Communist activities in the United States but came into prominence in 1947 during the second Red Scare in the Cold War era and the "Communist Witch Hunts". Eventually it ends but not before 1,000.s of actors, writers are blacklisted and cannot work. Because they are accused of being communists.

     Brinksmanship- a cold war event where either the USSR of USA takes the issue to the brink of war. Cuban Missile crisis is a good example.


    The Arms Race- cold war (between USSR & USA) which side can get better arms, rockets, Nukes, bombs then the other.



    U-2 Incident pg# 255- American spy plane shot down over Russia while filming soviet missile sites. . Pilot Gary Francis Powers is captured and eventually returned to USA.


    Star Wars Defense Initiative- President Reagan-- the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), also known as Star Wars, was a program first initiated on March 23, 1983 under President Ronald Reagan. The intent of this program was to develop a sophisticated anti-ballistic missile system in order to prevent missile attacks from other countries, specifically the Soviet Union.

    Salt 1 talks-the first series of (SALT) Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, extended from November 1969 to May 1972. During that period the United States and the Soviet Union negotiated the first agreements to place limits and restraints on some of their central and most important armaments. In a Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems, they moved to end an emerging competition in defensive systems that threatened to spur offensive competition to still greater heights. In an Interim Agreement on Certain Measures with Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, the two nations took the first steps to check the rivalry in their most powerful land- and submarine-based offensive nuclear weapons.

    Détente: a relaxing of cold war relations and reducing stress between the USSR & USA


    Mutually Assured Destruction MADD- Both USSR & USA knew if one attacked the other it would result in total destruction of each other.





    Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society Programs:


    1964 Civil Rights Act


    1965 Voting Rights Act


    Gulf of Tonkin Incident- President used this incident (maybe made up) to escalate the war and sent more troops. Led to the 1971 War Powers Act.


    Tet Offensive-Surprise attack of both American and South Vietnamese forces by Viet-Cong and NVA soldiers in the south. Created doubt among Americans that we were winning the war as told by Govt. officials. Public opinion began to undermine the ar effort due to protests all across America by groups likes ,  SNCC Veterans against the war, Peace niks and of course the media

    SNCC grew out of the southern Christian leadership conference (SCLC), led by martin Luther king Jr. On Easter 1960, SCLC executive director, Ella j. baker, organized a meeting at Shaw University, in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the goal of increasing student participation in the civil rights movement.

     Peacenik--an activist or demonstrator who opposes war and military intervention; pacifist.

    Civil Rights

    Martin Luther King, Jr.-Influenced by Henry David Thoreau. MLK fought unjust laws, marched and viewed passive resistance as the method for civil rights equality for blacks.

    1965-- Bloody Sunday was a turning point for the civil rights movement, building public support and clearly demonstrating King’s strategy of nonviolence. 600 protesters who marched east from Selma on US Highway 80, led by Jon Lewis of the student non violent coordinating committee and the Rev. Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leader Ship Conference. King was not present because he had church duties. But days before, King had met with government officials to try to ensure the marchers would not be impeded. Even so, mob and police violence caused the march to be aborted on that "bloody Sunday." When film footage of the police brutality, fire hoses and vicious police dogs used on.

    Both children and adult protestors. These attacks were broadcast around the country, it sparked widespread public outrage and helped to boost support for the civil rights movement.

    MLK Vietnam War1967- We were taking the young black men who had been crippled by our society and sending them 8,000 miles away to guarantee liberties, which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem, NYC ” he said. “We have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them in the same schools.”

    Speeches- Dr. King’s most famous act as a civil rights leader came during the March on Washington, DC for Jobs and Freedom, on Aug. 28, 1963. The largest political rally ever seen in the US, it drew between 200,000 and 300,000 police and participants, to whom King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

    1963, the Birmingham, Alabama campaign was a strategic effort started by Dr. King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference to end discriminatory economic policies in the Alabama city. Some of the protests included boycotting certain businesses that hired only white people or that had segregated restrooms.

    When businesses refused to change their policies, protesters held sit-ins and marches, with the aim of getting arrested. King encouraged these nonviolent tactics so that the city’s jails would overflow. Police used high-pressure water hoses and dogs to control protesters, some of whom were children. By the end of the campaign, many segregation signs at Birmingham businesses came down, and public places became more open to all races. Of the tactic used in the Birmingham campaign, King said, “The purpose of … direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”

    Montgomery Bus Boycott-- Dec. 1, 1955, after African-America Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. The next day, Dr. King proposed a citywide boycott of public Bus transportation at a church meeting. Dec. 20, 1956, the US Supreme Court ruled that segregated buses were unconstitutional. The boycott success was the 1st civil rights movement’s victory and made King one of its central figures.

    Black Panthers- Black Panther Party, original name Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, African American revolutionary party, founded in 1966 in Oakland, California, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. The party's original purpose was to patrol African American neighborhoods to protect residents from acts of police brutality. They founded the Black Panthers in the wake police in San Francisco shooting and killing an unarmed black teen named Matthew Johnson. And because of the assassination of Black Nationalist Malcolm X in NYC. Both Black Panther leader, Newton and Seale, drew on Marxist ideology for the party platform. They outlined the organization’s philosophical views and political objectives in a Ten-Point Program. Newton and Seale drew on Marxist ideology for the party platform. They outlined the organization’s philosophical views and political objectives in a Ten-Point Program. The Ten-Point Program called for an immediate end to police brutality; employment for African Americans; and land, housing and justice for all. The Black Panthers were part of the larger Black Power movement, which emphasized black pride, community control and unification for civil rights. The Ten-Point Program called for an immediate end to police brutality; employment for African Americans; and land, housing and justice for all. The Black Panthers were part of the larger Black Power movement, which emphasized black pride, community control and unification for civil rights.

    President John Kennedy- Cuban missile crisis in 1962, widely considered the most perilous moment since World War II. NASA, Race to the moon, Peace corps whose mission was to send young Americans to volunteer their time and knowledge around the world. Kennedy believed in the Domino Theory and increased military advisors to Vietnam to help the Catholic president of South Vietnam in a country that was mostly made up of Buddhists.


    Environmental Issues:

    1962 Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Pesticides were killing animals and the ecosystem. Imagine a spring with no birds. Pesticide like DDT was weakening the shells of nesting birds like Robins, eagles, peregrine falcons and other birds high on the fish eating hierarchy of animals. Also see page # 13-14 on this review packet for more info.

    Pete Seeger of Beacon builds a replica 1800’s sailing ship to be used on the Hudson River to bring attention to the river’s pollution. He created the Clearwater festival and was black listed by HUAC in the 1950’s. Seeger refused to answer questions about his beliefs and associations—up until the 1940s, he had been a member of the Communist Party—not on the basis of the Fifth Amendment, which protects men and women from self-incrimination, but on the basis of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech.

    Nixon-Clean air & Water Act 1971 & 1973


    1970’s Women’s Rights:

    Betty Friedan


     13-14 on this review sheet for more info.  Shirley Chisholm

     Gloria Steinem


     ERA 1972- Equal Rights Amendment failed 2x to become a constitutional amendment


     Title IX Sports


    Roe V Wade 1973: women have the right to have an abortion under the 4th amendment’s right to privacy and the 14th amendments equality before the laws.


                                                    Post WWII Presidents and their policies, Scandals and Decisions

     Nixon & Watergate:  The only president to resign from office because of Watergate. He was not impeached like Clinton or Johnson.  Why did Nixon resign? He lost the SC case Nixon v. United States. Nixon claimed executive privilege and his recordings of conversations were of a top secret nature. SC said “even the president is not above the law.”

    September 1974 President Ford- was the Speaker of the House of Representatives when he replaced Spiro Agnew the VP when Agnew resigned over tax evasion charges. Then replaced President Nixon when he resigned. Ford pardoned Nixon for Watergate. Ford felt the nation had gone through enough pain and stress over Nixon & Watergate.  Ford issued a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes Nixon might have committed against the United States while president

    President Jimmy Carter- Gave a presidential pardon to all Vietnam draft evaders. A Democrat President Jimmy Carter pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 566 people.  Among them are: Oscar Collazo – Attempted assassination of President Harry S. Truman; commuted to time served. And in addition to that pardoned over 200,000 Vietnam War draft dodgers. Many of them living in Canada.

    Camp David Accords- Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign the Camp David Accords, laying the groundwork for a permanent peace agreement between Egypt and Israel after three decades of hostilities. The accords were negotiated during 12 days of intensive talks at President Jimmy Carter’s Camp David retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. The final peace agreement–the first between Israel and one of its Arab neighbors–was signed in March 1979. Sadat and Begin were jointly awarded the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

    Reagan and Supply-Side Economics pg# 291


    Iran-Contra Affair: Under President Reagan


     NAFTA – pg# 298-North American Free Trade Agreement. Created a free trade zone between USA, Canada & Mexico. Hurt a lot of small farmers in Mexico. Helped big business like the auto industry move their plants to Mexico and or Canada to lower car making costs and increase profits.

      Bill Clinton & Impeachment pg# 296-297 review book-: President Clinton was under oath and lied (perjured) himself when he was asked about an affair with a white house intern named Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, Like President Andrew Johnson-1868-(Reconstruction & Radical Republicans) both were impeached (tried by the Senate) but were acquitted (found not guilty) by ONE vote.


    Bill Clinton-Economic foreign policy decision approving NAFTA into law.
    President Clinton worked to pass bipartisan legislation implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement, creating the world's largest free trade zone. Since passage of NAFTA, the U.S. manufacturing sector has created 400,000 jobs, and exports to Canada and Mexico support 600,000 more jobs today than in 1993. (Signed 12/8/93)

    Bush 41- met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and in July 1991, the two men signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. AND Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein launched an invasion and occupation of Kuwait in August 1990 and threatened to invade Saudi Arabia, Bush organized a military coalition of more than 30 countries who began a U.S.-led air assault against Iraq in mid-January 1991. After five weeks of the air offensive and 100 hours of a ground offensive, Operation Desert Storm ended in late February with Iraq’s defeat and Kuwait’s liberation.

     Bush 43- No Child Left Behind. Mr. Bush's education reform policy, labelled "No Child Left Behind," sparked great optimism when it was introduced in 2001. The legislation aimed to improve America's education system while bridging the gap between minority and white students. Since its introduction, the test results of American children have markedly improved.

    9/11: US attacked by jihadists using hijacked airplanes, Pentagon, World Trade Center, fields in Pennsylvania. Resulted in the Patriot Act. War on terror.

    Patriot Act: Executive Branch is in charge of the PA-the president is the head of the executive branch. If you are accused of being a terrorist the law enforcement does not have to obtain search warrants, you can be jailed without the right of Habeas Corpus. Like the Alien & Sedition Acts and FDR’s Executive order # 9066, dated February 19, 1942 the internment of all Japanese Americans, in times of national emergency the Constitutional rights of minorities can be reduced and or limited.  

    War in Iraq & Afghanistan- As a result of the 9/11 attacks Pres. Bush 43 ordered military attacks against these 2 countries because Afghanistan was harboring the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a destabilizing force in the Mideast and the Bush administration accused Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction. None were found.


     Earth Day pg# 310



    Hurricane Katrina: Govt was accused of not responding fast enough to aid New Orleans.

     Presidents Clinton & Obama’s Health Care reform policies:

    Clinton tried to pass a National Health Care Bill- failed

    Obama Care- Passed but was not supported by Republicans. AND created forces care forced into paying program. Not popular but it was something.

    But eliminated previous health condition denials so people could get health care even if in their past they had severe health issues.


     Presidential Races that were controversial

    Q: How many times was a president elected who did not win the popular vote? A: It has happened four times.


    The 2000 election was the most recent when the candidate who received the greatest number of electoral votes, and thus won the presidency, didn’t win the popular vote. But this scenario has played out in our nation’s history before.

    In 1824, John Quincy Adams was elected president despite not winning either the popular vote or the electoral vote. Andrew Jackson was the winner in both categories. Jackson received 38,000 more popular votes than Adams, and beat him in the electoral vote 99 to 84. Despite his victories, Jackson didn’t reach the majority 131 votes needed in the Electoral College to be declared president. In fact, neither candidate did. The decision went to the House of Representatives, which voted Adams into the White House.

    In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes won the election (by a margin of one electoral vote), but he lost the popular vote by more than 250,000 ballots to Samuel J. Tilden.

    In 1888, Benjamin Harrison received 233 electoral votes to Grover Cleveland’s 168, winning the presidency. But Harrison lost the popular vote by more than 90,000 votes.

    In 2000, George W. Bush was declared the winner of the general election and became the 43rd president, but he didn’t win the popular vote either. Al Gore holds that distinction, garnering about 540,000 more votes than Bush. However, Bush won the electoral vote, 271 to 266.

    2016-Donald Trump Electoral votes: 304 to Clinton’s 227.

    Famous First Amendment SC Decisions (Holdings)

    Freedom of Expression in Schools: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 1969: In this seminal case considering the First Amendment right of students who were expelled after they wore black armbands to school in symbolic protest of the Vietnam War, the Supreme Court held that students "do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate" and that the First Amendment protects public school students' rights to express political and social views.

    Morse v. Frederick,   2007. Bong hits for Jesus case-- School authorities do not violate student first amendment free speech when they, written restrict or stop student words written or spoken when students are promoting drug use. Bong Hits for Jesus—--Whether a HS principal violated the Free Speech clause of the 1st Amendment by restricting speech at a supervised school event when the speech is viewed a promoting drug use. The school’s principal ordered that the plaintiff-- a student --remove his banner saying “Bong Hits for Jesus”.  January, 2002 the student, Morse, was suspended because he was advocating illegal drug use. The case went to the SC. The SC decided that students’ free speech is limited and that any speech or words that advocated illegal drug use is inappropriate to ALL the students in the school and the administration has a moral obligation to stop speech that endorses drug use.

    Free Speech Issues = 1st Amendment Free Press Issues = 1st Amendment Issues

    Free-press= New York Times Company v. United States, 1971 In the "Pentagon Papers" case, the U.S. government attempted to prevent & deny both the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing classified documents concerning Vietnam. The SC Court ruled in favor of the press—the publication of the documents would NOT interfere with foreign policy and prolong the war. Right to a free press.

    Free-press= Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 1988 Hustler Magazine published a parody of a liquor advertisement in which Rev. Jerry Falwell described his "first time" as a drunken encounter with his mother in an outhouse. A unanimous Supreme Court held that a public figure had to show actual malice in order to recover for intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of a parody in a magazine. The Court held that political cartoons and satire such as this parody "have played a prominent role in public and political debate. Right to a free press!

    1st Amendment Issues Flag Burning:
    Right to Dissent/protest: 
      Texas v. Johnson, 1989 In this case the Supreme Court held that burning the United States flag was a protected form of symbolic political speech, concluding that there is no legitimate government interest in protecting the U.S. flag where the sole act in question is destroying the flag in its symbolic capacity. "A bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment is that Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."


    4th Amendment & 14th Amendment give women the Right to an Abortion

    Roe v. Wade 1973-Issue Abortion, Right to 4th Amendment privacy and 14th Amendment equality before the laws.

    Jane Roe was an unmarried and pregnant Texas resident in 1970. Texas law made it a felony to abort a fetus unless “on medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.”  Roe filed suit against Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, contesting the statue on the grounds that it violated the guarantee of personal liberty and the right to privacy implicitly guaranteed in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. In deciding for Roe, the Supreme Court invalidated any state laws that prohibited first trimester abortions. 14th Amendment equality of the law


    Student Search & Seizure in Schools

     4th Amendment T.L.O v NJ 1985: student search is  permissible … A New Jersey high school student was accused of violating school rules by smoking in the bathroom, leading an assistant principal to search her purse for cigarettes. The vice principal discovered marijuana and other items that implicated the student in dealing marijuana. The student tried to have the evidence from her purse suppressed, the Supreme Court decided that the search did not violate the Constitution and established more lenient standards for reasonableness in school searches.

                                                                                    USA’s Economic/ Govt.  Decisions

    In 1933 depression FDR removes USA from national gold standard, transcontinental RxR, Jimmy Carter orders a price freeze 1977 during inflation economy, FDR’s New Deal programs, Financial subsidies by Govt. to beef ranchers, 1915 Federal Reserve Act, Income Tax Amendment = 16th Amendment

    1964 Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society Programs

    1. 1964 Civil Rights Act
    2. 1965-voting Rights Act
    3. Food Stamps

    June 6, 1944 D-Day

    August 1945 VJ day war ends with Japan.

    1974 President Nixon resigns over Watergate- he lost in the SC case United States v Nixon. Nixon claimed he had executive privilege and his tape recorded conversations, Notes and conversations were all protected because of Executive privilege. The info is to secret and might have negative effects on both National & Public decisions. SC says the President is not above the law.

    1914- Clayton Anti-Trust Act-strengthens Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

    FDR New Deal Programs, SC, Court Packing, Social Security, TVA etc.

    -How has Geography influenced the development of America? Transcontinental RxR, Louisiana Purchase, American System, Erie Canal, Dust Bowl, Home Stead Act. National Parks.

    Foreign Policy decisions: NATO, SEATO, Truman Doctrine, Eisenhower Doctrine, Containment of Communism


    Foreign Policy decisions by USA

    Domino Theory- as one nation becomes communist the one next will also fall to Communism like Dominoes: Example Chine communist 1049, North Korea 1953, and Vietnam 1954-1975.

    Roosevelt Corollary-

    Dollar Diplomacy-

    Suez Crisis-

     Cuban Missile crisis=

    Geography Theme: —Development of the United States

    Many important events in United States history have been influenced by geography.

    Geographic factors or conditions include location, size, climate, natural resources, and

    Physical features. These events in turn have had political, social, and economic impacts on the development of the United States. Examples below & next page. 

    Task: Identify two important events in United States Geographical history and for each

    • Describe how a geographic factor or condition influenced the event
    • Discuss the political, social, and/or economic impacts of this event on the development of the United States

    You may use any important event that was influenced by geographic factors or conditions. Some suggestions you might wish to consider include the Louisiana Purchase, the

    construction of the Erie Canal, Home Stead Act, migration to California in the late 1840s, the Civil War, the purchase of Alaska, the building of the transcontinental railroad, Trans Alaska Highway, the acquisition of the Philippines, the building of the Panama Canal, the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the construction of the interstate highway system. 

                                                                    Famous Presidential Executive (EO) Orders or decisions that set a precedent

    Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution contains a vague reference to executive orders, giving the president the power to "take care that the laws are faithfully executed. “Strict constructionists interpret this phrase to empower the president only to enact laws approved by Congress, 

    George Washington: 2 terms, no foreign alliances

    • 1832-President Jackson orders the Indian removal Act = Trail of tears

    1863 Lincoln signs The Emancipation Proclamation.
    The Proclamation freed all slaves living in the Confederacy, though left out the border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia, which had yet to secede.


    Ulysses S. Grant created dozens of Indian reservations.


    • FDR & the New Deal. Name 3 New Deal programs and explain them.


    FDR orders Japanese Americans to internment camps: Executive order # 9066

    President Truman: orders the Atomic Bomb dropped 2x on Japan August 6 & 9 1945       

    Truman Orders the use of Atomic Bombs on Japan--After Japanese leaders flatly rejected the Potsdam Declaration, President Truman authorized use of the atomic bomb any time after August 3, 1945. On the clear morning of August 6, the first atomic bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, was dropped on the city of Hiroshima.  

     Harry Truman 1948 desegregates USA armed forces

    President Trump Executive Orders--build a wall along the US-Mexico border-- put in place a temporary ban on all refugees and restrictions on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, inked an order that paves the way for the repeal of the Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

    Bill Clinton-- Memorandum on ending sexual Discrimination in the Armed Forces. Don’t ask do not tell if you or someone is Gay.




    President Obama- Affordable Care Act. --ban the use of torture in enemy interrogations, shut down the Central Intelligence Agency’s overseas prisons. Created Obama Care


    • Equal Employment Opportunity
      At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 which bars discrimination in federal employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 

    Affirmative Action
    On March 6, 1961 President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925, which included a provision that government contractors "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin."

    Desegregation of Schools
    In 1954 the Supreme Court decided Brown vs. Board of Education. Reverses Plessy v. Ferguson But it would take much more than a court order to end school segregation, as the nation saw in 1957 when Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus refused to comply. Dwight D. Eisenhower's EO # 10730 placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent in U.S. army troops to ensure that nine black children could safely attend Little Rock High School.

    Environmental Policies and Disasters

    1972 Clean water Act- Nixon-1972-Clean Air Act- AND the 1970 Clean Water Act- Nixon also created a new cabinet position The Environmental Protection Agency- a Cabinet position to protect the environment.


    Dust Bowl--The first major dust storm of the 1934-35 "Dust Bowl" deposits a thick layer of Midwestern soil in Washington, D.C., where Congress begins to take seriously the longstanding calls for a federal soil conservation program.

    Rachel Carson’s research on DDT- Carson’s research connecting DDT usage with the death of robins from the Velsicol chemical plant in St. Louis where DDT was manufactured. Robins are important. Because robins eat mostly earthworms from very near their nests during the nesting season, their deaths help pinpoint where excessive DDT remains in the soil. DDT also weakens the egg shells of Eagles and Ospreys. DDT was banned for use in 1972 it was one of the first chemicals in widespread use as a pesticide.

    President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the park system's greatest patrons. During his administration (1901-09) five new parks were created, as well as 18 national monuments, four national game refuges, 51 bird sanctuaries, and over 100 million acres of national forest.


    1st National Park was Yellowstone National Park is a national park located in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on 3/1/1872

    Next 2 national parks were Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890.


    Environmental Policies and Disasters


    Environmental Racism- environmental racism refers to socially marginalized racial minority communities which are subjected to disproportionate exposure of pollutants, the denial of access to sources of ecological benefits (such as clean air, water, and natural resources), or both. Examples would be Flint Michigan and the lead in the water crisis. The poor side of many towns is where the scrap yards are located.

    John Muir- creation of Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park and millions of other conservation areas. He fought to preserve -- the wilderness of the western United States, especially California.

    Julia "Butterfly" Hill (1974- ) is one of the most committed environmentalists alive today. After nearly dying in an auto accident in 1996, she dedicated her life to environmental causes. For almost two years, Hill lived in the branches of an ancient redwood tree (which she named Luna) in northern California to save it from being cut down. Her tree-sit became an international cause célèbre, and Hill remains involved in environmental and social causes.

    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was one of America's first philosopher-writer-activists, and he is still one of the most influential. In 1845, Thoreau -- disillusioned with much of contemporary life -- set out to live alone in a small house he built near the shore of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. The two years he spent living a life of utter simplicity were the inspiration for Walden, or A Life in the Woods, a meditation on life and nature that is considered a must-read for all. Thoreau also wrote an influential political piece called Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) that outlined the moral bankruptcy of overbearing governments.

    Theodore Roosevelt- As governor of New York, he outlawed the use of feathers as clothing adornment in order to prevent the slaughter of some birds. While president of the United States (1901-1909), Roosevelt set aside hundreds of millions of wilderness acres, actively pursued soil and water conservation, and created over 200 national forests, national monuments, national parks and wildlife refuges.

    Other important Environmental decisions by the US Government in our area.

    Ordering General Electric to vacuum-dredge 100 miles of Hudson River from Albany down to the PCB contaminated mud and dispose of it in a land fill. PCBs are a suspected carcinogen. Polychlorinated biphenyls - were discharged from GE capacitor plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls between 1946 and 1977. Their use was banned in 1977. GE paid for dredging under a 2002 EPA order.


    1. Close Striped Bass & Shad Netting to commercial fishing on the Hudson river, Why because of over fishing by long net fishing boats on the coastal Atlantic ocean. And PCB contamination in the fish.






    Possible Thematic or DBQ Essays on the Unwritten Constitution

    The Unwritten Constitution:  are those processes of our government that are considered an essential part of our system of govt. yet they are not actually in the Constitution. These are customs and precedents that have been done for so long that many citizens think these are, in fact, laws yet they are not.

    • The Cabinet - George Washington's first task as President of the United States was to appoint Secretaries (heads) of each of the executive departments. He appointed Alexander Hamilton Secretary of the Treasury, John Jay Secretary of State until Thomas Jefferson returned from Europe and Henry Knox was made Secretary of War. John Adams was the Vice President. Washington took things a step further when he called regular meetings to get the advice of these men. He therefore created what became known as the Cabinet. The formation of a cabinet to advise the president is a precedent set by George Washington. The Constitution neither required nor suggested Washington do this. Since then every president has had one. The today the cabinet is much larger and is comprised of the heads of the various federal agencies and departments as well as key advisors. How many cabinet positions are there 2018?


    • The Electoral College Promise - When the Electoral College originally voted it was on its own. No one would tell the college how to vote. This was a rather undemocratic method of electing a President. In 1824 the nation, for the first time, took a popular vote. The electors then voted based upon the popular vote of each state. The fact that the Electoral College votes by state according to the majority of the popular vote of that state is not in the constitution. In fact it is merely a promise and historical precedent.
    • Judicial Review - The power of the Supreme Court to declare laws unconstitutional is not in the constitution yet it has become one of the basic tenants of the checks and balances system. As previously discussed judicial review is a result of precedent set in the Marbury v Madison 1803 decision.
    • Political Parties - While today we rely on political parties to help us choose candidates for president and all other offices there is no mention of this in the constitution.
    • Congressional Committees - Congress uses a committee system to wade through and made recommendations on bills. Each Senator and Congressman belongs to several committees and develops expertise in that area. Committees have enormous power because if a committee chairman pigeonholes (refuses to allow debate or a vote) a bill or the committee makes a negative recommendation then the bill dies in committee. There is no mention of this committee system in the constitution. It was developed because it is a more efficient way to run the legislative branch.
    • Term Limits for President (**Note - This is no longer a part of the unwritten Constitution, it is now a written part of the Constitution!)As an example of how important the unwritten constitution has become one might cite the example of the two term limit. Our first President George Washington refused to run for a third term. He felt that to rule for longer than that might give one man too much power and influence. In doing so he set a precedent that was followed until Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt also followed the precedent set and when he was finished with his second term did not run again. A young man (50) Roosevelt continued to be active in his political party. When Taft was President (Roosevelt's choice by the way) Roosevelt became enraged at the way the new President did things. In response he ran for President under a new third party named the "Bull Moose Party." Roosevelt split the vote with Taft and a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, was elected.

    It took another Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), to violate the precedent a second time. FDR ran for, and won a third and a fourth term. FDR died before serving his fourth term and his Vice President, Harry S. Truman, took office. Many Americans, while loving FDR, recognized that the two term limit should be protected. FDR was President for over a decade. In 1951 the 22nd amendment was ratified setting a two term limit. In doing this we made a part of the unwritten constitution a part of the written constitution.


                                              20 Thematic Essays from previous years

    1-- Theme: Technology Throughout United States history, technological developments have played an important role in transforming American society. These developments have had both positive and negative effects on the United States and on American society Task: Choose two technological developments that have transformed American society and for each • Describe the change brought about by the technological development • Discuss the positive and/or negative effects this technological development has had on the United States and/or on American society You may use any technological development that has transformed American life. Some suggestions you might wish to consider include: Cotton gin—plantation economy (1793–1860) Railroads—local and national markets (1830–1900) Steel plow—farming on the Great Plains (1860–1940) Elevators—urbanization (1890–present) Automobile—population distribution (1920–1980) Nuclear energy—practical or military applications (1940–present) Television—political campaigns (1960–present) You are not limited to these suggestions.


    2-- Following World War II, the threat of communist expansion led the United States to take diplomatic, military, and economic actions to limit the global influence of the Soviet Union and China. These Cold War actions met with varying degrees of success.
    Treaty Organization [NATO] (1949), intervention in Korea (1950-1953), the blockade of Cuba (1962), the escalation of the Vietnam War (1964-1973), the visit of President Richard Nixon to China (1972), and the pursuit of the Strategic Defense Initiative [SDI] (1983-1989).


    3-- Throughout the history of the United States, the primary goal of its foreign policy has been to protect the nation's interests. The United States has taken military and economic foreign policy actions to achieve that goal. These actions have resulted in varying degrees of success.

    President George Washington's Proclamation of Neutrality (1793), congressional declaration of war against Mexico (1846), acquisition of the rights to build the Panama Canal (1901), United States entry into World War I (1917), implementation of the Marshall Plan (1947), United States entry into the Korean War (1950), escalation of the Vietnam War beginning in 1964, and President Jimmy Carter's efforts to negotiate the Camp David Accords (1978).

    4-- Throughout United States history, Congress has passed legislation to address important political, social, or economic issues. These laws have often had a significant impact on American society.

    Embargo Act (1807), Pure Food and Drug Act (1906), Indian Removal Act (1830) Social Security Act (1935), Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) GI Bill/ Servicemen's Readjustment Act (1944), Interstate Commerce Act (1887), Americans with Disabilities Act (1990).


    5-- After the Civil War, the United States developed an increasingly industrialized economy. Industrialization provided many benefits for the nation; however, it also created serious problems that required action by the government, groups, or individuals.

    corruption in government, exploitation of workers, overcrowding of cities, establishment of trusts, production of unsafe consumer goods, destruction of the natural environment, and increase in anti-immigrant attitudes

    6-- United States presidents often make foreign policy decisions in an attempt to deal with international problems. These decisions have had an impact on both the United States and on other countries or regions.

    James K. Polk sending troops to the Rio Grande (1846), William McKinley deciding to annex the Philippines (1898), Woodrow Wilson asking for a declaration of war(1917), Harry Truman deciding to use the atomic bomb (1945), John F. Kennedy quarantining Cuba (1962), Lyndon B. Johnson sending combat troops to Vietnam (1965-1968), Richard Nixon improving relations with China (1972), George H. W. Bush sending troops to Kuwait (1990-1991), and George W. Bush sending troops to Iraq (2003).

    7-- Decisions of the United States Supreme Court have had a significant impact on the nation.

    Marbury v. Madison (1803), Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), Worcester v. Georgia (1832), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Schenck v. United States (1919), Korematsu v. United States (1944), Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), Miranda v. Arizona (1966), Roe v. Wade (1973), and New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)


    8-- Many important events in United States history have been influenced by geography. Geographic factors or conditions include location, size, climate, natural resources, and physical features. These events in turn have had political, social, and economic impacts on the development of the United States.

    Louisiana Purchase, the construction of the Erie Canal, migration to California in the late 1840s, the Civil War, the purchase of Alaska, the building of the transcontinental railroad, the acquisition of the Philippines, the building of the Panama Canal, the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the construction of the interstate highway system.


    9-- When the Founding Fathers wrote the United States Constitution, they included the amendment process. The amendments that have been passed brought political, social, and economic changes to American society.

    13th amendment (abolition of slavery, 1865), 17th amendment (direct election of senators, 1913), 18th amendment (Prohibition, 1919), 19th amendment (woman's suffrage, 1920), 22nd amendment (presidential term limits, 1951), 24th amendment (elimination of the poll tax, 1964), and 26th amendment (suffrage for 18-year-old citizens, 1971).


    1. Throughout United States history, Supreme Court decisions have addressed the issue of the constitutional rights of various groups. These decisions have limited or expanded the rights of members of these groups.

      Worcester v. Georgia (1832), Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Korematsu v. United States (1944), Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964), and Roe v. Wade (1973).


    1. Technological developments have had both positive and negative effects on the United States economy and on           American               society.

      the cotton gin, steam-powered engines, the assembly line, nuclear power, the automobile, television, and computers.


    1. Throughout United States history, individuals have used writing as a way to focus attention on issues facing the American people. To resolve the issues raised in these writings, actions have been taken by the government, groups, or individuals.

      Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776), Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852), How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis (1890), The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906), "I, Too, Sing America" by Langston Hughes (1925), The Other America by Michael Harrington (1962), Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962), The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963), and "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1963).


    1. Throughout United States history, many different groups have faced discrimination. The federal and state governments have taken actions that have either protected or limited the rights of these groups in American society.
      Ex. - Native American Indians, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, the elderly, and the disabled


    1. The movement of people into and within the United States has had a significant impact on the nation. These movements have been both voluntary and involuntary.

      colonial settlement (1600s-1700s), westward expansion (1800s), rural to urban migration (1870s-1920s), European immigration(1880-1910), the Dust Bowl (1930s), suburbanization (1950s-1960s), and illegal immigration.
    2. Throughout history, the United States government has taken various actions to address problems with the nation's economy.

      assumption of Revolutionary War debts, building the transcontinental railroad, passage of tariff laws, passage of the Interstate Commerce Act, creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, adoption of the Social Security system, passage of federal minimum wage laws, Reagan Era tax cuts, and ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


    1. Throughout United States history, individuals other than presidents have played significant roles that led to changes in the nation's economy, government, or society.

      Frederick Douglass and slavery, Andrew Carnegie and industrialization, Jacob Riis and urban life, Upton Sinclair and consumer protection, Henry Ford and the automobile industry, Margaret Sanger and reproductive rights, Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights, Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers, and Bill Gates and the software industry.


    1. Actions taken by the United States government have often been influenced by geographic factors. Some of these factors include location, climate, natural resources, and physical-features.

      the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-1806), issuance of the Monroe Doctrine (1823), Mexican War (1846-1848), Commodore Perry's opening of Japan (1853), passage of the Homestead Act (1862), purchase of Alaska (1867), construction of the Panama Canal (1904-1914), entry into World War II (1941), passage of the Interstate Highway Act (1956), and involvement.
    2. Major historical events are often referred to as turning points because they have led to important political, social, and economic changes. Identify two major events in United States history that were important turning points and for each:
      -Describe the historical circumstances that led to the event
      -Discuss the political, social, and/or economic changes that resulted from the event.

      the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776), end of Reconstruction (1877), Henry Ford's use of the assembly line (1913), United States entry into World War I (1917), Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964), and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989).
    3. Following World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a conflict that became known as the Cold War. The Cold War created problems that the United States addressed with specific actions. These actions had varying degrees of success.

      the postwar economic upheaval in Western Europe (1945-1947), Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe (1945-1948), threat of Communist takeover in Greece (1947), Soviet blockade of Berlin (1948), nuclear arms race (1950s-1970s), and placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba (1962)


    1. Reform movements are intended to improve different aspects of American life. Through the actions of individuals, organizations, or the government, the goals of these reform movements have been achieved, but with varying degrees of success.
      Ex. - the abolitionist movement, woman's suffrage movement, temperance movement, Progressive movement, civil rights movement, women's rights movement, and environmental movement.

    Other Possible Essay Exam Topics to Know about Illegal immigration: Present day issues- under President Obama there is a plan to grant citizen ship to many illegals because they have been here for many years and their children are part of US society. Republicans tend to want stricter anti-illegal immigrant policy & Democrats want a more kinder-liberal program that allows the path to citizenship to take place. This is called DACA= Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.