GED Social Studies : Cause and Effect

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

The religion of Judaism—for many hundreds of years after it had adopted monotheism—did not really deal with the notion of heaven and hell, or the afterlife. It was a fringe matter for theologians, but far from central to the practice of the religion. This all changed when a series of devastating wars and diseases dramatically reduced the population of the Jewish nation. Suddenly the belief in the afterlife, and the attention it was given by theologians, exploded. After all, these people had to have died for something, right? So, out of war and tragedy, grew one of the most influential ideas in human history—a monotheistic god who would guide all his people to life after death.

According to the author what caused an explosion in Jewish belief in the afterlife?

Possible Answers:

The fact that the Jewish people were exiled from their homeland

The rising attention given to the matter by Jewish theologians

The belief that the people that had died for the cause of the Jewish nation must have died for a reason.

The fear of death that took hold when much of the population died in war and from disease.

None of these answers; the author seems to find the causes behind the explosion of Jewish belief in the afterlife to be mysterious.

Correct answer:

The belief that the people that had died for the cause of the Jewish nation must have died for a reason.

Explanation:

The author notes that "a series of devastating wars and diseases dramatically reduced the population of the Jewish nation. Suddenly the belief in the afterlife, and the attention it was given by theologians, exploded. After all, these people had to have died for something, right?" The author is noting that the belief in the afterlife grew because the Jewish people believed their people must have died for a reason.

Example Question #2 : Cause And Effect

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

When considered from a historical standpoint, most academics believe that St. Paul was far more important to the development of the western world than Jesus Christ. Christianity of course emerged from the teachings of Jesus Christ, but it spread due to the dedicated work of St. Paul.

St. Paul was, in his own time, a famously devout Jew. He lived a pious life dedicated to God. One day, according to Paul, Christ spoke to him and showed him the way. From that moment on, Paul would travel back and forth across the Western World spreading the word of Christ and trying to convert anybody who would listen. Paul’s messages reached Rome, Greece, North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and even further afield. Without Paul’s influence, it is likely that Christ’s religion would have remained a niche branch of Judaism, rather than being established as the dominant western religion in its own right. Paul would continue his proselytizing right up until he died—condemned to death by the Romans for preaching a heathen religion.

Why was St. Paul condemned to death?

Possible Answers:

For demanding equality before the law

For failing to convert the western world to Christianity

For acting against his own conscience

For trying to convert Romans away from their faith

For protecting a heretic

Correct answer:

For trying to convert Romans away from their faith

Explanation:

The author tells you that "Paul would continue his proselytizing right up until he died—condemned to death by the Romans for preaching a heathen religion." So, the Romans condemned Paul to die for trying to convert Romans to a “heathen religion,” or “for trying convert Romans away from their faith.”

Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

In the years leading up to the Civil War, several disputes arose between the North and the South; although these disputes were generally resolved through compromise and concession, each disagreement seemed to entrench the divide between the two regions. Take, for example, the Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). The case centered around a former slave, Scott, who felt that, having been taken to a region where slavery was prohibited, he was now a free man. Abolitionists in the North, of course, agreed with him and took on his case as their own. The court ruling, however, shocked the abolitionists. The Supreme Court ruled that not only was Scott not a free man, but also, being a black man, that he was not an American citizen and therefore could not bring a case before the Court; furthermore, the court held that Congress could make no laws regarding the prohibition of slavery in territories acquired since the signing of the Constitution. The Chief Justice at the time, Roger Taney, had hoped this case was resolve the issue of slavery once and for all and prevent Civil War, but he was spectacularly wrong on both accounts. The ruling was met with outrage in the North and solidified the feeling that the North and the South were two separate nations, both ideologically and economically.

According to the author the Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Sandford __________

Possible Answers:

temporarily delayed the outbreak of Civil War.

lessened the intensity of the Civil War.

prolonged the length of the Civil War.

had no effect on the outbreak of Civil War.

accelerated the outbreak of Civil War.

Correct answer:

accelerated the outbreak of Civil War.

Explanation:

The author of this passage notes that the Supreme Court had hoped that the ruling in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford would delay, or forever eliminate, the need for Civil War; but, the author says, they were "spectacularly wrong." We may therefore infer that the author believes the Supreme Court ruling on Dred Scott v. Sandford accelerated the outbreak of Civil War.

Example Question #29 : Ged Social Studies

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage. 

The city of Dubrovnik has a rich and complicated history. For centuries it served as a halfway point between the Ottoman Empire and the Christian nations of Europe. After the Ottoman Empire invaded and conquered much of the Balkans, trade between the Empire and Christian Europe was largely forbidden, except through the independent city-state of Dubrovnik (at the time called Ragusa). Considering the massive amount of trade that poured through Dubrovnik on the way from the East to the Italian city-states and the nations of Northern Europe, it is no surprise that the city grew immensely wealthy and developed an autonomous character.

Dubrovnik developed as a center of trade primarily because __________________.

Possible Answers:

Muslims and Christians refused to engage in direct trade with one another

of it’s unique character and system of government

of it’s location and proximity to the wealthy Italian city-states

The Ottoman Empire controlled the city of Dubrovnik and encouraged trade

other forms of trade between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire were forbidden

Correct answer:

other forms of trade between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire were forbidden

Explanation:

Answering this cause-and-effect question is a simple matter of following the text carefully. You know that Dubrovnik developed as a center of trade: the author tells you why when he says that "after the Ottoman Empire invaded and conquered much of the Balkans, trade between the Empire and Christian Europe was largely forbidden." Thus trade between the Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire was forbidden except through Dubrovnik.

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