AP US Government : The Bill of Rights

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : The Bill Of Rights

The Bill of Rights was primarily supported by __________.

Possible Answers:

the Federalists

the Anti-Federalists

the Whigs

the Democratic-Republicans

the Jacksonian Democrats

Correct answer:

the Anti-Federalists

Explanation:

The Bill of Rights is the name given to the collection of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, which were designed to preserve the individual rights and liberties of American citizens. Because they were passed as a condition for Constitutional ratification, you know that the correct answer must be either the Federalists or the Anti-Federalists, as none of the other political parties listed did not emerge until later in American history. The Anti-Federalists feared a strong centralized government and the tyranny it might bring a good deal more than the Federalists did, so they are the logical answer choice here.

Example Question #2 : The Bill Of Rights

Which Amendment to the Constitution was proposed in response to the British policy of quartering troops in colonial homes prior to independence?

Possible Answers:

The Sixth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment

The Tenth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment

The Third Amendment

Correct answer:

The Third Amendment

Explanation:

The Third Amendment to the Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, prohibits the United States Government from forcibly quartering troops in American homes during peacetime. It is generally considered to have been included in response to the Quartering Acts issued by the British Government during and after the French-Indian Wars, which forced American colonists to provide housing to British troops.

Example Question #3 : The Bill Of Rights

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states that __________.

Possible Answers:

No man can be tried twice for the same crime.

Congress has the sole power to regulate interstate commerce and foreign trade.

In the event that no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes in a national election, the campaign is decided by a vote in the House of Representatives.

The American Government can make no laws establishing an official state religion.

Those powers not granted to the Federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states and the people.

Correct answer:

Those powers not granted to the Federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states and the people.

Explanation:

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, the last of the Bill of Rights, was designed to reaffirm the basic principles of Federalism—the division of powers between the national and state governments. The Amendment states that any powers that are not granted to the National government by the states belong exclusively to the states or to the people.

Example Question #4 : The Bill Of Rights

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

the establishing of a state religion

the abridgement of freedom of speech

the violation of the right to freely assemble

the use of cruel and unusual punishment

the violation of freedom of the press

Correct answer:

the use of cruel and unusual punishment

Explanation:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the United States government from establishing a state religion or preventing anyone from practicing the religion of his or her choosing. It also protects freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and the freedom of the press. It does not regulate the use of cruel and unusual punishment; this is proscribed under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The First and Eighth Amendments are part of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights.

Example Question #5 : The Bill Of Rights

The Eighth Amendment __________.

Possible Answers:

prohibits the sale of alcohol

prohibits cruel and unusual punishment

prohibits an individual from being tried twice for the same crime

ensures equal voting rights for all citizens of the United States

ensures the right to freely assemble

Correct answer:

prohibits cruel and unusual punishment

Explanation:

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments enacted into the U.S. Constitution. The Eighth Amendment prohibits the United States government from levying excessive fines or from undertaking cruel and unusual punishment, such as torture. This amendment is often cited in the debate regarding capital punishment.

Example Question #5 : The Bill Of Rights

Which court case held that the Bill of Rights only applied to the federal government?

Possible Answers:

McCulloch v. Maryland

Barron v. Baltimore

Mapp v. Ohio

Engel v. Vitale

Yick Wo v. Hopkins

Correct answer:

Barron v. Baltimore

Explanation:

After an appellate court ruled that the rules on eminent domain codified in the 5th amendment don't apply to the state of Maryland, the Supreme Court upheld this decision citing the lack of language in the Constitution to indicate the Bill of Rights applies to the states.

Example Question #7 : The Bill Of Rights

In what year was the Bill of Rights adopted?

Possible Answers:

1781

1776

1766

1791

1810

Correct answer:

1791

Explanation:

The Bill of Rights was adopted on December 15, 1791, solidifying the first ten amendments as federal, constitutional law.

Example Question #8 : The Bill Of Rights

The Bill of Rights was initially submitted with how many Constitutional amendments for approval by the states?

Possible Answers:

27

14

9

10

12

Correct answer:

12

Explanation:

The original Bill of Rights was submitted with 12 Amendments instead of 10. Only 10 received the necessary number of approvals to become Constitutional law.

Example Question #6 : The Bill Of Rights

Which amendment holds provisions that call into question the use of enhanced interrogation techniques by the United States Government?

Possible Answers:

The 3rd Amendment

The 10th Amendment

The 1st Amendment

The 27th Amendment

The 8th Amendment

Correct answer:

The 8th Amendment

Explanation:

While the 1st Amendment has been used in the debate against government torture, the best answer is the 8th amendment, which prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishments, including torture by the government. 

Example Question #7 : The Bill Of Rights

Which original Bill of Rights amendment, preventing congressmen from giving themselves a salary raise in their current session, was not ratified until 1992?

Possible Answers:

None of these answers are correct

The 22nd Amendment

The 23rd Amendment

The 27th Amendment

The 24th Amendment

Correct answer:

The 27th Amendment

Explanation:

Madison's original proposal that congressmen shouldn't be able to vote for their own pay increases was never fully ratified with the other 10 original amendments from the Bill of Rights. Since no time limit was set on its ratification, it eventually became law in 1992 following the ratification of Michigan.

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