AP US Government : Rights of Minority Groups

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Rights Of Minority Groups

The Wilmot Proviso __________.

Possible Answers:

succeeded in banning the extension of slavery into any new territories once they became states

argued that states should have the right to determine the slavery issue themselves through popular sovereignty

attempted to ban slavery in any territory acquired in the war with Mexico

attempted to ban the extension of slavery into any new territories once they became states

succeeded in banning slavery in the territory acquired in the war with Mexico

Correct answer:

attempted to ban slavery in any territory acquired in the war with Mexico

Explanation:

The Wilmot Proviso is considered an important part of the build up to the outbreak of Civil War. It attempted to ban the extension of slavery into any states or territory acquired in the war with Mexico; however, it was repeatedly rejected in the Senate because the South had enough representatives to block such legislation from passing. The issue would be settled temporarily by the Compromise of 1850.

Example Question #2 : Rights Of Minority Groups

Grandfather clauses were __________.

Possible Answers:

designed to prevent working-class people from voting in the early years of the American republic

deemed unconstitutional during the Truman administration

designed to prevent African-Americans from voting in the Reconstruction-era south

established in African-American communities to encourage the people to get out and vote

established in the Antebellum South to prevent African-Americans from serving in office

Correct answer:

designed to prevent African-Americans from voting in the Reconstruction-era south

Explanation:

Grandfather clauses were established in the South during the Reconstruction era, after the Civil War, in an attempt to prevent many African-Americans from voting. In the Reconstruction era, many Southern states made laws declaring that any man voting had to pass strict literacy and property ownership tests, unless he could prove that his grandfather had been able to vote prior to the Civil War. Grandfather clauses were ruled unconstitutional in 1915.

Example Question #3 : Rights Of Minority Groups

In Dred Scott v. Sandford, the US Supreme Court ruled that what group of people could not be considered American citizens?

Possible Answers:

Servant workers

Women

African Americans

The Irish

Correct answer:

African Americans

Explanation:

In 1857, the Supreme Court made a decision that black Americans were inferior, not-citizens that didn’t hold equal rights to white men (regardless of free or slave status). This decision also struck a blow against new-land abolitionists, ruling that the federal government couldn’t control the legality of slavery in new federal territories.

Example Question #4 : Rights Of Minority Groups

The Thirteen Amendment established what civil right?

Possible Answers:

Freedom from enslavement

Protection from hateful discrimination

Women's right to vote

The right to privacy

Correct answer:

Freedom from enslavement

Explanation:

The Thirteenth Amendment passed in 1865 at the end of the Civil War abolished slavery in the reunited Union.

Example Question #5 : Rights Of Minority Groups

Korematsu v. US upheld what controversial government action?

Possible Answers:

Restrictive quotas on Japanese and Chinese immigrants

Revoking citizenship of Japanese Americans during World War II

Disproportionate tariff hikes against Asian imports

Forced internment of Japanese Americans

Correct answer:

Forced internment of Japanese Americans

Explanation:

Korematsu v. US upheld the coerced relocation of Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. Despite its controversy, a later court has never explicitly overturned it.

Example Question #6 : Rights Of Minority Groups

Which amendment granted African Americans the right to vote?

Possible Answers:

15th

13th

14th

16th

Correct answer:

13th

Explanation:

The 15th Amendment granted African Americans the right to vote, after the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery and the 14th Amendment establishing the equal protection clause.

Example Question #4 : Rights Of Minority Groups

The 1967 case Loving v. Virginia invalidated all laws prohibiting what?

Possible Answers:

Sexual relationships in the workplace

None of the other answers are correct

Interracial marriage

The employment of immigrants

Correct answer:

Interracial marriage

Explanation:

Loving v. Virginia struck down laws banning interracial marriage. This case was later referenced as an argument in the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriages.

Example Question #5 : Rights Of Minority Groups

Which historic court case ended racial segregation in public schools?

Possible Answers:

Brown v. Board of Education

Mapp v. Ohio

Plessy v. Ferguson

Grutter v. Bollinger

Correct answer:

Brown v. Board of Education

Explanation:

Brown v. Board of Education was a case from Topeka, KS decided in 1954. It struck down separate white and black public schools, overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and the notion of “separate but equal.”

Example Question #6 : Rights Of Minority Groups

Select the piece of legislation or Constitutional Amendment which MOST effectively protected the right to vote of all African-American citizens.

Possible Answers:

The Twenty-fourth Amendment (1964)

The Fifteenth Amendment (1870)

The Civil Rights Act (1964)

The Voting Rights Act (1965)

Correct answer:

The Voting Rights Act (1965)

Explanation:

Both Congress and the Supreme Court made several attempts to ensure that African-Americans were able to freely exercise, without harassment or burden, their right to vote. But by far, the most effective of these attempts was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act built on the protections already in place (but not always enforced) by other federal acts – including the Fifteenth and Twenty-fourth Amendments and the Civil Rights Act – but expanded these rights decisively and also granted the federal government wide latitude to support to them. In the past, most Southern states, and many in the North as well, had circumvented the Fifteenth Amendment’s requirement that all African-American males be permitted to vote, often through the passage of strict Jim Crow laws, discriminatory literacy tests at the election box, exorbitant poll taxes, and/or by holding so-called white primary elections (in which only white citizens were permitted to vote). The Voting Rights Act outlawed any and all method(s) which any level of government (national, state, or local), on the grounds of race, might use to prevent an individual from exercising their right to vote. To ensure that this Act was carried out to the fullest possible extent, the federal government contacted state and local governments directly, sending voter-registration forms into racially-discriminatory areas and requiring any alterations to the electoral process to first be approved and assessed by the federal government. The Voting Rights Act was a great success; many African-Americans, especially throughout the South, were able to reclaim their right to vote for the very first time.

Example Question #10 : Rights Of Minority Groups

Select the original federal source of the affirmative action policy.

Possible Answers:

The Civil Rights Act 

A Supreme Court ruling 

An Executive Order 

The Education Act of 1972 

Correct answer:

An Executive Order 

Explanation:

The policy of affirmative action originally derives from an Executive Order passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, in which he banned federal institutions and employees from engaging in any discriminatory practices on the basis of race, gender, or religion. Furthermore, President Johnson required these federal bodies to take active measures to prevent and stop discrimination, particularly when it came to employment decisions; simple passive acknowledgement was no longer permitted. President Johnson’s Order is therefore the basis for the affirmative action policy, which strives to ensure that all minorities, particularly those against whom society has historically discriminated, are accorded fair and equal opportunities in the realms of both employment and education. The Supreme Court has heard many cases arguing both for and against affirmative action over the years, but overall the Court has upheld the practice, although it has imposed certain definitions, requirements, and prohibitions.

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