General Certificate of Education

Advanced Subsidiary Level and Advanced Level


Paper 5 The History of the USA, c.1840–1968

June 2006

3 hours




If you have been given an Answer Booklet, follow the instructions on the front cover of the Booklet.


Write your Centre number, candidate number and name on all the work you hand in.


Write in dark blue or black pen on both sides of the paper.


You may use a soft pencil for any diagrams, graphs or rough working.


Do not use staples, paper clips, highlighters, glue or correction fluid.


Answer four questions.


You must answer Question 1 (Section A) and any three questions from Section B.


At the end of the examination, fasten all your work securely together.


All questions in this paper carry equal marks.





Read the Sources and then answer the question.

When answering Question 1, candidates are advised to pay particular attention to the interpretation and evaluation of the Sources, both individually and as a group.

Source A

All men. Do not submit to become agents in extending legalized oppression and injustice over a vast territory still exempt from these terrible evils.

We implore Christian ministers to intervene. Their religion requires them to regard every man as a brother, and to labour for the advancement of the human race.

Whatever apologies may be offered for tolerating slavery in the States where it already exists, none can be offered for its extension into Territories where it does not exist, and where that extension involves the repeal of ancient law and breaking solemn agreements. Let all protest emphatically, by correspondence, through the press, by resolutions of public meetings and legislative bodies, and in whatever way may seem effective against this enormous crime.

For ourselves, we shall resist it by speech and vote, and with all our ability. Even if overcome in the impending struggle, we shall not submit. We shall go home to our constituents, raise again the banner of freedom, and call on the people to come to the rescue of the country from the domination of slavery. We will not despair; for the cause of human freedom is the cause of God.

S. P. Chase

Charles Sumner

J. R. Giddings

Edward Wade

Gerritt Smith

Alexander De Witt


(The two Senators and four Congressmen above were leading founders of the Republican Party later that year.)


Appeal of the Independent Democrats against the Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854



Source B

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South.

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

Abraham Lincoln’s first speech in his campaign for the Senate, June 1858.

Source C

Through all, I have never objected to any part of the constitution. The legal right of the Southern people to reclaim their fugitives I have constantly admitted. The legal right of Congress to interfere with their institution in the States I have constantly denied. My whole effort has been simply to resist the spread of slavery to new territory. I have not felt nor expressed any harsh sentiments towards our Southern brethren.

I claim no indifference to political honours, but if today the Missouri Compromise could be restored, and the whole slavery question replaced on the old ground of toleration by necessity where it exists, with unqualified hostility to the spread of it, I would gladly agree that Judge Douglas should never be out of office and I never in it.

Abraham Lincoln’s last speech in his campaign for the Senate, October 1858.

Source D


That the maintenance of the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence, ‘That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed’, is essential to the preservation of our Institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the Rights of the States, and the Union of the States, must be preserved.

That the maintenance of the rights of the States, and especially of the right of each State to control its own domestic institutions, is essential to that balance of powers on which our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed forces of the soil of any State or Territory.

That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom and we deny the authority of Congress, or a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States.

Republican Party Platform for the Presidential Elections, May 1860.

Source E

You ask me what I think of the state of the country and in reply I would say that before this agitation will end we must have a good fight. We cannot do without it. All the compromises in the world will not stop it, the matter might be delayed a few years, but eventually the spirit of slavery agitation would rise up with more fury. The irrepressible conflict will go on. We must have slavery everywhere or universal freedom, there can be no half-way. The South understands this, they know as we all know when we examine ourselves that we of the North with a few disgraceful exceptions are all abolitionists at heart, that our ultimate object is to exterminate the curse of slavery from this land. The North has got to test its strength with the South to see which is the master. We have no doubt of the result. Let us fight it out now.

Letter from Congressman Edward Wade to his wife, January 1861.

Now answer the following question.

‘Republicans did not oppose slavery, they simply opposed its extension.’ Using Sources A–E, discuss how far the evidence supports this assertion.




You must answer three questions from this section.

2 How valid is the assertion that improved transportation was the basic reason for America’s dramatic westward expansion during the period 1840-96?

3 Why were the gains made by the Freedmen during Reconstruction both superficial and short-lived?

4 How serious were the problems caused by the vast expansion of US industry and commerce in the period 1865-1901?

5 Why were the civil rights of Native Americans largely overlooked for most of the period 1895­1968?

6 ‘The business of America is business’; ‘The ideal of America is idealism.’ How far do these sayings of Calvin Coolidge reflect the policies of his Presidency, 1923-9?

7 ‘To walk softly but carry a big stick.’ To what extent is this an accurate portrayal of Theodore Roosevelt’s conduct of foreign affairs, 1901-1909?

8 ‘The apparent religious revival after 1945 was superficial and served mainly to justify the American way of life.’ Evaluate this contention.