AP US History : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

"If an act of the Legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the Courts and oblige them to give it effect? Or, in other words, though it be not law, does it constitute a rule as operative as if it was a law? This would be to overthrow in fact what was established in theory, and would seem, at first view, an absurdity too gross to be insisted on. It shall, however, receive a more attentive consideration.

It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each."

What U.S. Supreme Court case is the passage excerpted from?

Possible Answers:

Gibbons v. Ogden

Dred Scott v. Sandford

Marbury v. Madison

Mcculloch v. Maryland

Correct answer:

Marbury v. Madison

Explanation:

Marbury v. Madison (1803) established the principle of judicial review. It held that the Supreme Court had the authority to invalidate legislation passed by Congress that was unconstitutional. Its author was Chief Justice John Marshall.

Example Question #2 : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

"If an act of the Legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the Courts and oblige them to give it effect? Or, in other words, though it be not law, does it constitute a rule as operative as if it was a law? This would be to overthrow in fact what was established in theory, and would seem, at first view, an absurdity too gross to be insisted on. It shall, however, receive a more attentive consideration.

It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each."

Who wrote the Supreme court decision that this excerpt is from?

Possible Answers:

Chief Justice John Jay

Chief Justice Earl Warren

Chief Justice Roger B. Taney

Chief Justice John Marshall

Correct answer:

Chief Justice John Marshall

Explanation:

Chief Justice John Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and served from 1801 to 1835. In Marbury v. Madison, the principle of judicial review was established. This provided that the Supreme Court had the authority to invalidate congressional acts. This has contributed to his reputation as the "court builder." Other key decisions authored by Marshall include McCullough v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden.

Example Question #3 : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

"If it be conceded, as it must be by every one who is the least conversant with our institutions, that the sovereign powers delegated are divided between the General and State Governments, and that the latter hold their portion by the same tenure as the former, it would seem impossible to deny to the States the right of deciding on the infractions of their powers, and the proper remedy to be applied for their correction. The right of judging, in such cases, is an essential attribute of sovereignty, of which the States cannot be divested without losing their sovereignty itself, and being reduced to a subordinate corporate condition." - John C. Calhoun, South Carolina Exposition and Protest, 1828

"My experience in public concerns and the observation of a life somewhat advanced confirm the opinions long since imbibed by me, that the destruction of our State governments or the annihilation of their control over the local concerns of the people would lead directly to revolution and anarchy, and finally to despotism and military domination. In proportion, therefore, as the General Government encroaches upon the rights of the States, in the same proportion does it impair its own power and detract from its ability to fulfill the purposes of its creation. " - President Andrew Jackson, Second Inaugural Address, 1833

Which controversial act of government is Calhoun responding to in his speech?

Possible Answers:

The forced migration of American Indians to the Oklahoma Territory.

The Tariff of 1828, also known as the "Tariff of Abominations"

The "American System" program of internal improvements advanced by President John Quincy Adams.

The revocation of the charter for the Second Bank of the United States.

Correct answer:

The Tariff of 1828, also known as the "Tariff of Abominations"

Explanation:

The Tariff of 1828 negatively affected the Southern economy and was the proximate cause of the nullification crisis that Calhoun's speech presages.

Example Question #4 : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

"If it be conceded, as it must be by every one who is the least conversant with our institutions, that the sovereign powers delegated are divided between the General and State Governments, and that the latter hold their portion by the same tenure as the former, it would seem impossible to deny to the States the right of deciding on the infractions of their powers, and the proper remedy to be applied for their correction. The right of judging, in such cases, is an essential attribute of sovereignty, of which the States cannot be divested without losing their sovereignty itself, and being reduced to a subordinate corporate condition." - John C. Calhoun, South Carolina Exposition and Protest, 1828

"My experience in public concerns and the observation of a life somewhat advanced confirm the opinions long since imbibed by me, that the destruction of our State governments or the annihilation of their control over the local concerns of the people would lead directly to revolution and anarchy, and finally to despotism and military domination. In proportion, therefore, as the General Government encroaches upon the rights of the States, in the same proportion does it impair its own power and detract from its ability to fulfill the purposes of its creation. " - President Andrew Jackson, Second Inaugural Address, 1833

Which earlier historical group espoused strong support for states' rights?

Possible Answers:

Congressional supporters of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798

Farmers who participated in the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791

Federalists supporting John Adams for re-election in 1800

Soldiers in the War of 1812

Correct answer:

Farmers who participated in the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791

Explanation:

The Whiskey Rebellion was the first major challenge to federal authority. Although it was quickly suppressed, it set the stage for decades of debate over the rightful role and power of the federal government. All of the other examples either favored a strong federal government or, in the case of 1812 soldiers, were not a cohesive political group.

Example Question #5 : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

"If it be conceded, as it must be by every one who is the least conversant with our institutions, that the sovereign powers delegated are divided between the General and State Governments, and that the latter hold their portion by the same tenure as the former, it would seem impossible to deny to the States the right of deciding on the infractions of their powers, and the proper remedy to be applied for their correction. The right of judging, in such cases, is an essential attribute of sovereignty, of which the States cannot be divested without losing their sovereignty itself, and being reduced to a subordinate corporate condition." - John C. Calhoun, South Carolina Exposition and Protest, 1828

"My experience in public concerns and the observation of a life somewhat advanced confirm the opinions long since imbibed by me, that the destruction of our State governments or the annihilation of their control over the local concerns of the people would lead directly to revolution and anarchy, and finally to despotism and military domination. In proportion, therefore, as the General Government encroaches upon the rights of the States, in the same proportion does it impair its own power and detract from its ability to fulfill the purposes of its creation. " - President Andrew Jackson, Second Inaugural Address, 1833

Which statement best synthesizes Andrew Jackson's position on the policy of nullification proposed by Calhoun?

Possible Answers:

He believed in the Tariff of 1828 and opposed nullification because it would upset the fragile American economy

He supported nullification because it would allow Southern states to maintain the institution of slavery

Despite a sympathy for states' rights advocates, he opposed nullification, believing that it would dissolve the union

He was a strong supporter of states' rights and backed the nullification proposal

Correct answer:

Despite a sympathy for states' rights advocates, he opposed nullification, believing that it would dissolve the union

Explanation:

 Jackson supported states rights, as evidenced by the quoted passage and his campaign against the national bank. However, he felt like nullification went too far, hence the passage of the Force Act of 1833, which authorized military action against any state in violation of federal law.

Example Question #6 : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

"The Judas of the West has closed the contract and will receive the thirty pieces of silver. . . . Was there ever witnessed such a bare faced corruption in any country before?" 

- Andrew Jackson, in a letter to his wife

This passage was written in reference to what historical event?

Possible Answers:

The Nullification Crisis of 1828-32

The War of 1812

The Panic of 1837

The Election of 1824

The Mexican American War

Correct answer:

The Election of 1824

Explanation:

In this quote, Jackson rails against the "Corrupt Bargain," or the Election of 1824. This was in reference to the deal Henry Clay made with John Quincy Adams. Jackson lost the election after Clay turned his electoral votes over to Adams, giving Adams the majority and electing him president.

Example Question #7 : Domestic Politics 1801–1848

"The Judas of the West has closed the contract and will receive the thirty pieces of silver. . . . Was there ever witnessed such a bare faced corruption in any country before?" 

- Andrew Jackson, in a letter to his wife

This passage from Jackson most directly reflects which of the following continuities in United States history?

Possible Answers:

efforts to expand civil rights

concerns about economic inequality 

worries about political radicalism

concerns about regional divisions within the United States leading to political strife

concerns about political liberty and the importance of maintaining a fair, democratic system

Correct answer:

concerns about political liberty and the importance of maintaining a fair, democratic system

Explanation:

Jackson considered the Election of 1824 to be a "Corrupt Bargain" because he felt that Henry Clay had subverted the democratic system and ceded his electoral votes to John Quincy Adams in return for a political post as Secretary of State. He and his supporters considered this to be back-door dealing and not reflective of true democracy. 

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