Like Connections to the Philippine-American War, this assessment gauges students' knowledge of the past. Rather than measure whether students can simply recall decontextualized facts, this assessment requires students to make connections across time and construct an argument about how events are connected. Students with a strong sense of the past will be able to explain that the transcontinental railroad was constructed, in part, due to the increasing American population in California from the Gold Rush onward. Strong students will also explain that the completion of the transcontinental railroad prompted Chinese workers previously employed on the railroad to compete for more desirable jobs, which contributed to anti-Chinese sentiment. This prejudice led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
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Photograph of Promontory Point - Library of Congress