Lecture 8: The 1980s and 1990s: The End of the American Century
1. The building of nuclear weapons was part of “the arms race” between the US and the USSR. TRUE
2. Mikhail Gorbachev believed that the USSR had a strong economy and could win the arms race against the US. FALSE
3. Year that Gorbachev met Reagan to sign a treaty limiting nuclear missiles:
(a)1980 (b) 1970 (c) 1987
4. Action taken by Gorbachev in 1988:
(a) destruction of the Berlin Wall
(b) withdrawal of soldiers from Afghanistan
(c) retiring of about 2500 nuclear missiles
5. With the end of the Cold War, many Americans celebrated the victory of capitalism and democracy. TRUE
6. The US economy was strong during the 1980s. FALSE
7. In the 1980s, Americans shopped and used credit cards; media celebrated the lives of the rich. TRUE
8. American families had higher rates of divorce; there were more single parent families in the 1980s. TRUE
9. Percentage of single parent families among African Americans in 1990: (a) 50 % (b) 60 % (c) 15 %
10. Many Americans questioned the lifestyles developed among youth in the 1960s, including:
(a) the use of drugs (b) traditional marriage (c) rock and roll music
11. Women and minorities, including African Americans, made important social advances during the 1980s and 1990s. TRUE
12. Home entertainment expanded with cable television, new specialty channels and the video
cassette in the 1980s. TRUE
13. Year the personal computer was introduced by Apple:
(a) 1980 (b) 1977 (c) 1990
14. Percentage of households with PCs by the end of the 1990s:
(a) 15 % (b) 41 % (c) over 50 %
15. The Internet is a Cold War communication technology that was opened for commercial use in 1995. TRUE
Lecture 7: The 1960s and 1970s, Changing Times
Correct multiple choice answers are underlined.
1. The hydrogen bomb (H-Bomb) was many times more powerful than the atomic bomb (A-Bomb) used against Japan. TRUE
2. The year the Soviet Union (USSR) developed its H-Bomb:
(a) 1952 (b) 1957 (c) 1953
3. After the launch of Sputnik, the US government worried that the USSR could use space to launch missiles at the US. TRUE
4. By the late 1950s, the US and the USSR had enough nuclear weapons to destroy Earth. FALSE (by the 1960s)
5. Name of communist leader in Cuba: (a) Kennedy (b) Castro (c) Kruschev
6. In 1961, the US supported a successful invasion of Cuba by Cuban expatriates. FALSE (The invasion failed.)
7. The year the US learned there were Soviet missiles in Cuba:
(a) 1961 (b) 1962 (c) 1963
8. The US declared that an attack from Cuba would be considered an attack from the USSR and trigger a war. TRUE
9. Duration of the Cuban missile crisis: (a) 10 days (b) 2 weeks (c) one month
10. Which was NOT a main reason for the the US and USSR pursuing the Space Race, according to the lecture?
(a) national pride (b) technological progress (c) military advantage
11. The year Apollo 11 landed on the moon: (a) 1967 (b) 1969 (c) 1961
12. Number of people crossing from East to West Berlin each week in 1961:
(a) 100, 000 (b) 20, 000 (c) 10, 000
13. American intervention in Vietnam was part of its policy of containment against communism. TRUE
14. Number of soldiers in Vietnam by 1968:
(a) 100, 000 (b) 500, 000 (c) 1, 000, 000
15. Television news showed the cruelty of the war and as a result many Americans became opposed to the war in Vietnam. TRUE
16. Total number of protesters killed or wounded at Kent State in 1970.
(a) 10 (b) 4 (c) 14 (4 killed, 10 wounded)
Lecture 6: Hot and Cold Wars
1. World War II: Fill in the blanks 1-3 using three of the following words:
weapons | ended | attack | economy | began | arm
The Second World War, which began in 1939, (1) ended the Great Depression in the United States. The U.S. did not enter the war immediately but supplied (2) weapons to England and its allies until 1941 after Japan’s (3) attack on Pearl Harbor.
2. True or False: The U.S.economy was weak after World War II. FALSE
3. Use words and phrases from the Vocabulary list above to fill in the blanks (1-6) in the paragraphs below.
The Cold War: The United States’ policy of (1) containment. in Cold War was an attempt to stop (2) communism being spread by the USSR. At home, in the U.S., Senator Joseph A. McCarthy began a campaign against (3) suspected communists.
Post-War Affluence: The post-war era was a time of (4) prosperity for white Americans. Children born after the war were members of the (5) ‘baby boom’ generation. Television was an important influence on families and their values, while rock and roll was an important part of the new (6) youth culture.
4. Fill in the blanks below with the information that you hear (numbers or years).
The Civil Rights Movement: During the 1950s, 13 million African Americans in the U.S faced discrimination in jobs, housing and education. In 1954, the Supreme Court of the US ruled that the segregation of black and white children in schools was illegal. In December of 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her arrest led to a bus boycott organized by Martin Luther King Jr. In 1956, the boycott ended and segregation on buses was made illegal.
Reading “The Issei and the Nissei”
Lecture 5: Boom and Bust
1. The decade of the 1920s is sometimes called “the roaring twenties” because it was a time of prosperity, a time of great change and energy in the United States. TRUE
2. Why was America prosperous in the 1920s? Check the reasons that you hear:
………. American farmers were poor.
. … X … American factories supplied weapons to European countries during the First World War.
. … X … The American economy was well organized for production after the war.
. ………. The US owed a lot deal of money to European nations.
. … X … The US was rich in natural resources, and its industrial economy had been growing since the 19th century.
3. What is a consumer society?
Consumer society is a society in which people buy most everything they need.
4. Why were times tough for immigrants and farmers in the US? Choose two.
………. Industrial production was high, and farmers did not have clocks or electric power.
. … X … Immigrants working in factories did not make a lot of money.
. … X … Some farmers did not own their own land; the European market for goods after the war was weak.
. ………. Immigrants had to pay extra taxes, and farmers worked long hours for very little pay.
5. Social reformers pressured the government to make drinking and selling alcohol illegal, but Prohibition helped create organized crime in the US. TRUE
6. What is a speakeasy? Write your answer below.
A speakeasy was a kind of bar–usually secret–where people could go to drink alcohol illegally.
7. One reason for the 1929 Stock Market crash: Company profits declined because people did not have enough money to buy the goods that were being produced. TRUE
8. Because of the Roosevelt’s New Deal, many Americans came to believe that government should play a bigger part in the lives of the people. TRUE
Short Reading: TOEFL iBT Questions
Lecture 4: Assimilation and Immigration
Correct answers are in bold type.
1. America has accepted more immigrants than any other country in the world. TRUE
2. Reason why people left Ireland in the 1840s:
(a) famine (b) war (c) religious persecution
3. Number of Irish who arrived in the US in 1847:
(a) about 740, 000 (b) about 13 million (c) about 118, 000
4. Number of Americans with German ancestors:
(a) one in three (b) one in four (c) one in ten
5. Before 1880 most immigrants came from countries in northern Europe TRUE
6. Between 1880 and 1925 about 5.7 million Jewish people left Europe because of religious persecution. FALSE (about 2 million)
7. Information about Ellis Island that is NOT true:
(a) about 2000 people arrived each day
(b) closed in 1954
(c) over 200 million people entered by Ellis Island (20 million)
8. Americans welcomed immigrants from Asia and praised their willingness to work for low wages. FALSE
9. Reason why Chinese people came to the US:
(a) famine (b) work (c) religious persecution
10. Maximum annual number of immigrants allowed under the Reed-Johnson Act (1924):
(a) 87% (b) 150, 000 (c) 20 million
11. America’s share of global industrial production in 1913:
(a) one third (b) one quarter (c) one half
12. Immigration benefited industrial growth and profits in the US. TRUE
13. NOT part of Henry Ford’s production system:
(a) standardization (b) assembly line (c) 12 hours to complete one car
14. NOT a living or working condition of immigrants in cities:
(a) long work hours (b) high wages (low wages) (c) dirty, overcrowded neighborhoods
15. Groups trying to improve living and working conditions in the US:
(a) the square deal (b) capitalism (c) Progressive movement
Lecture 3: The Civil War and Reconstruction
Correct multiple choice answers are underlined.
1. There were over 1, 000, 000 African-American slaves in the US in 1810. TRUE
2. Major crop grown in the South:
(a) cotton (b) wheat (c) potatoes
3. Owner of slaves who was unhappy about the institution of slavery:
(a) Dred Scott (b) John Brown (c) Thomas Jefferson
4. Name of state where slavery was illegal:
(a) new state (b) the Confederacy (c) free state
5. The Fugitive Slave Act (1850) gave slave owners the right to recapture runaway slaves. TRUE
6. Republican party candidate (later president) opposed to slavery:
(a) John Brown (b) Abraham Lincoln (c) Robert E. Lee
7. Name of group of Southern states that declared independence in 1861:
(a) the Confederacy (b) the Union (c) the Free States
8. The Underground Railroad was a subway system connecting the east and west coasts. FALSE
9. Experienced Southern military leader:
(a) Ulysses S. Grant (b) John Brown (c) Robert E. Lee
10. The South had a larger, better equipped army than the North. FALSE
11. Southern capital city captured by the Union army in 1865:
(a) Union (b) Richmond (c) New Orleans
12. Number of casualties in the Civil War:
(a) about 600, 000 (b) about 1.2 million (c) about 21 million
13. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution gave African-Americans all rights of citizenship, including the right to vote. However, most southern states refused to accept the amendment. TRUE
14. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at the theater on April 14th, 1865. TRUE
15. Name of Southern laws restricting African Americans:
(a) Civil Rights (b) black codes (c) 14th Amendment
Lecture 2: Colonial Life in America
1. FALSE After independence, the central government of the U.S. was very strong.
2. TRUE The 55 leaders who met in 1787 to write the new constitution were rich men who owned land.
3. Why did the US adopt a federal system with three branches of government?
a. America was recognized as an independent country.
b. Americans had no feeling of national identity.
c. Americans believed a balance of power would prevent domination.
d. The central government was weak.
4. TRUE The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in 1791 .
5. TRUE As settlers moved west, there was much fighting with the Amerindians.
6. FALSE The Indian Removal Act was a law that protected the land of the Cherokee people.
7. Which territory was NOT acquired by America in the west between 1803 and 1848?
8. The Homestead Act offered settlers:
b. train transportation from east to west
c. 160 acres of free land
9. By 1890, the center of manufacturing in the US was in
a. the south
b. the northeastern states
Short Reading Practice
1. Which of the following would be the best title for the passage?
(A) The First Political Parties
(B) The Bill of Rights
(C) The Rich in Colonial America (
D) A Short History of the Democratic Republican Party
2. The word “illustrated” in line 1 is closest in meaning to
(D) wrote about
3. The word “it” in line 6 refers to
(A) the less wealthy
(B) the Bill of Rights
(C) the Democratic Republican Party
(D) The whole idea in the previous sentence
4. Which of the following groups would be more likely to support the Federalist Party?
(A) the lower classes
(B) wealthy businessmen
(C) small farmers
Lecture 1: Colonial Life and American Independence, 1600-1800
Lecture Listening Activity: Answers
TRUE 1. There are many stories about travels to the New World, but only the arrival of the Vikings around 1000 AD has been verified.
TRUE 2. Other European countries hoped to find gold in the New World, just as Spain had done.
FALSE 3. England’s first successful colony was started by the Puritans at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
FALSE 4. The Puritans hoped to find gold and silver, and become rich.
FALSE 5. By the late 18th century, New York was the largest city in the colonies with about 28, 000 people.
TRUE 6. As a result of the war with France, England increased taxes on the colonies.
TRUE 7. American colonists became angry with England because of restrictions on settlement and high taxes.
TRUE 8. The Declaration of Independence was important because it stated that all men had a natural right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ and that a good government listens to the voice of the people.
FALSE 9. During the War of Independence, Spain supported the United States against England.
TOEFL-Style Reading: Answers
1. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. The potlatch was part of the culture of the Pacific coast tribes of North America.
B. Potlatch means “gift giving.”
C. People of the Pacific coast tribes were very rich.
D. The original potlatch involved extensive gift giving in order to show wealth and maintain honor and power.
2. The phrase “went much further” in line 3 is closest in meaning to
A. traveled a long distance
B. was very rich
C. was more complicated
D. went to a party
3. The word “entire” in line 6 is closest in meaning to
D. part of
4. According to the passage, in the original potlatch, many gifts were given by
A. the elder of a family
B. the women of the family
C. all of the guests at the potlatch
D. the entire tribe