AP US Government : Constitutional Amendments

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Constitutional Amendments

Which constitutional amendment repealed the prohibition of alcohol?

Possible Answers:

The Fourteenth Amendment

The Nineteenth Amendment

The Fifteenth Amendment

The Eighteenth Amendment

The Twenty-First Amendment

Correct answer:

The Twenty-First Amendment

Explanation:

The Eighteenth Amendment, passed in 1919, prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol and represents the official beginning of the Prohibition era in American history. In 1933, fourteen years later, the Twenty-First Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment and made the consumption of alcohol legal again. The Nineteenth Amendment granted women the right to vote. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments relate to the expansion of civil and democratic rights to freed slaves in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War.

Example Question #2 : Constitutional Amendments

Which Constitutional amendment allows citizens of the District of Columbia to vote in Presidential elections as if the district were a state?

Possible Answers:

The Twenty-Third Amendment

The Twenty-First Amendment

The Eighteenth Amendment

The Twenty-Second Amendment

The Nineteenth Amendment

Correct answer:

The Twenty-Third Amendment

Explanation:

The Twenty-Third Amendment, passed in 1960, granted citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote in Presidential elections as if the district were a separate state. The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the sale and use of alcohol, and the Twenty-First Amendment overturned it. The Nineteenth Amendment extended suffrage to women. The Twenty-Second Amendment set a term limit for the office of President to two terms.

Example Question #3 : Constitutional Amendments

Which amendment gave women the right to vote?

Possible Answers:

The Fourteenth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment

The Twenty-first Amendment

The Nineteenth Amendment

The Eighteenth Amendment

Correct answer:

The Nineteenth Amendment

Explanation:

The Nineteenth Amendment, ratified in 1920, gave women the right to vote. The Eighth Amendment outlawed cruel and unusual punishment. The Fourteenth Amendment gave citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the United States, including recently freed slaves. The Eighteenth Amendment established the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. The Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, overturning prohibition laws.

Example Question #4 : Constitutional Amendments

The Amendment to the United States Constitution that limits the President to no more than two full terms in office is the

Possible Answers:

Twenty-first Amendment.

Nineteenth Amendment.

Twenty-Second Amendment.

Twentieth Amendment.

Twenty-third Amendment.

Correct answer:

Twenty-Second Amendment.

Explanation:

The Twenty-second Amendment to the US Constitution was passed through Congress in 1947, less than two years after the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected to four terms as President. The Twenty-second Amendment was largely proposed and supported by Republicans opposed to Roosevelt and his successor Harry S. Truman. Nonetheless, by 1951, the required 36 states ratified the Amendment.

Example Question #5 : Constitutional Amendments

How many amendments have there been to the United States Constitution?

Possible Answers:

Twenty-Five

Twenty-Nine

Thirty

Twenty-Seven

Thirty-Five

Correct answer:

Twenty-Seven

Explanation:

There have been twenty-seven amendments to the United States Constitution. The most recent was in 1992, when an amendment was added to prevent Congress from raising its own wage immediately. Henceforth, any changes in the pay rate of Congress could only come into effect at the beginning of the next set of Congressional terms.

Example Question #2 : Constitutional Amendments

The Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which moved the date that the President assumed office forward from March to January, was enacted in response to __________.

Possible Answers:

George W. Bush being unable to accelerate the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2001

Abraham Lincoln being paralyzed in his response to the secession of the Confederate States in 1861

Harry Truman being unable to meet the threat of the Soviet Union during the Berlin Blockade in 1949

Franklin D. Roosevelt being unable to tackle the Great Depression in 1933

Richard Nixon being unable to address the growing problems in Vietnam in 1973

Correct answer:

Franklin D. Roosevelt being unable to tackle the Great Depression in 1933

Explanation:

Originally a President had to wait four months, from November until March, to assume the Presidency once he had been elected. This led to a considerable "lame-duck" period where the outgoing President was able to get little action completed, and the incoming President could do nothing to respond to national emergencies. This was particularly pronounced during the secession of the Confederacy in 1861, when Lincoln was unable to meet the threats proposed by the Civil War; however, it was not until 1933, when Roosevelt was prevented from doing anything to counter the threat of the Great Depression, that the Twentieth Amendment enacted the change from March to January into law.

Example Question #7 : Constitutional Amendments

What proportion of state legislatures must ratify an amendment in order for it to become part of the Constitution?

Possible Answers:

A simple majority

Two-thirds

Four-fifths

Three-fourths

Three-fifths

Correct answer:

Three-fourths

Explanation:

In order for an amendment to become part of the Constitution it must be ratified by three-fourths, or seventy-five percent, of the state legislatures.

Example Question #8 : Constitutional Amendments

The Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the Constitution __________.

Possible Answers:

repealed the prohibition of alcohol

effectively lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen

set a two-term limit on the Presidency

extended suffrage to women

prohibited Congress from making changes to their own pay structure

Correct answer:

effectively lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen

Explanation:

The Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the State and Federal governments from denying people aged eighteen to twenty-one the right to vote. Although some states already allowed eighteen-year-olds to vote, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment effectively lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen. It was passed in 1971. The Twenty-First Amendment repealed prohibition; the Nineteenth Amendment gave women suffrage rights; the Twenty-Second Amendment set a two-term limit on the Presidency; the Twenty-Seventh Amendment ensures that any changes that Congress makes to raise or lower it’s own pay does not come into effect until the start of the next terms of office.

Example Question #9 : Constitutional Amendments

The extension of voting rights to those aged between eighteen and twenty-one by the Twenty-Sixth Amendment was primarily motivated by __________.

Possible Answers:

the conscription of young men to fight in the Vietnam War and the civil activism of students in the 1960s

the death of so many older men in World War One and World War Two, which lead to a massive dearth of eligible voters in the early 1950s

John F. Kennedy’s desire to expand the Democrat support base by extending the vote to the social group most likely to vote for the Democratic Party—young people.

the political maneuverings of Richard Nixon, who believed that it was impossible to defend the voting age being placed at twenty-one on constitutional grounds

civic activism of students and young people in the 1980s and the waning influence of law and order in American society

Correct answer:

the conscription of young men to fight in the Vietnam War and the civil activism of students in the 1960s

Explanation:

The voting age was lowered from twenty-one to eighteen by the passage of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, in 1971. The movement was some thirty-odd years in the making and gained a great deal of momentum in the 1960s. After Franklin D. Roosevelt had lowered the conscription age to eighteen during World War Two, it became rather obviously unjust that young men were being sent to fight in the Vietnam War without having any electoral say in whether their country should be there in the first place. This, coupled with the civic activism displayed by students and other young people in the 1960s, pressured the political powers to lower the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen.

Example Question #10 : Constitutional Amendments

Which of these Amendments is concerned with the ability of Congress to set its own wage?

Possible Answers:

The Twenty-Seventh Amendment

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment

The Twentieth Amendment

The Twenty-Fourth Amendment

The Twenty-Second Amendment

Correct answer:

The Twenty-Seventh Amendment

Explanation:

The Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1992; it is the most recent amendment that has been made to the Constitution. It takes away the ability of Congress to regulate its own pay structure easily. Under the new amendment any changes to increase or decrease the wage of Congressmen will not come into effect until the beginning of the next term of office for representatives.

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