Posted by: Ed Darrell | April 18, 2011

TAKS Review for U.S. history (social studies) 2011, Part 1

Here’s a good review for TAKS, courtesy of George Blair’s site to assist students at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas — from his Big Stick Social Studies site, with a few edits — a review of things you need to know for the Social Studies TAKS about geographic, economic and political influences on U.S. history.  This should help get you through the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for Social Studies (11th grade, or Exit Level).  Especially, you may use this list to see areas where you don’t know history, and study it quickly:

Geographic, Economic, and Political Influences on United States History

Absolute Chronology

Time and date measurements based upon an exact date (example: July 4, 1776)
Relative Chronology Time and date calculated from a major event (example: “Ten years after the birth of Jesus”, “25 years before World War I”, etc.), one event comes before or after another one

Magna Carta

First document of English rights, trial by jury, Could not be deprived of life, liberty and property, signed by King John in 1215
Representative government Philosophy of limited government with elected representatives serving at the will of the people
Spatial diffusion The process where plants, animals, diseases, ideas, or innovations are transmitted from one group or culture to another across space, examples – bubonic plague, Columbian exchange
Bubonic plague Example of Spatial Diffusion, – Black Death, spread from Asia to Europe, 1347 to 1352, 25 million (one third of population) died in Europe
Columbian Exchange of foods and products
Example of Spatial Diffusion of Food, Plants, Animals, and Diseases between New World (the Americas) and Old World (Europe, Africa, Asia)
Traditional economy An economic system where production is determined by tradition and customs, and goods and services are exchanged by bartering without money
Command economy An economic system where the production of goods and services is determined by the government
Market economy An economic system where the production of goods and services is determined by demand from consumers, and prices are determined by the prices buyers are willing to pay in a market; also called capitalism
Subsistence agriculture Goods produced by a family only for own consumption, small scale, low technology, no surplus, no trade with others
Cottage industries Products usually made in the home or in small shops, small scale production of goods for sale in markets in traditional economy
English Bill of Rights Passed by Parliament in 1689 – English rights reinforced, no taxation, right to petition, individual rights
Physical geographic factors Factors related to natural environment – topography, climate, vegetation, land forms, water bodies, natural resources, and location on earth
Human geographic factors Factors related to people – population distribution, population density, population growth rates, agriculture and industry, culture, environment, government, language, religion, history, economy, education, etc.
Demographic patterns Changes and trends in population (people) and settlement patterns, for example: increases in income or birth rates, migration of people between areas (emigration and immigration)

You may find other reviews useful, too; here is the list of the 2011 series:


  1. i did not take the TAKS test from this year, but the last year was a little difficult because i did no know much about dates, and some stuff from the progressive era, but fortunately a passed it with 2200
    thank you Eduardo Chaparro 8 period

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