GED Social Studies : Constitutional Amendments

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Constitutional Amendments

The Eighth Amendment to the United States' Constitution protects __________ 

Possible Answers:

the right to a speedy trial by jury. 

the right to freedom of assembly. 

American citizens from forced quartering of soldiers. 

the right to carry guns. 

American citizens from cruel and unusual punishment. 

Correct answer:

American citizens from cruel and unusual punishment. 

Explanation:

The Eighth Amendment to the United States' Constitution protects Americans from cruel and unusual punishment (including torture) or excessive fines. The Second Amendment protects the right to carry guns; the Third Amendment protects Americans from the forced quartering of soldiers; the First Amendment protects the right to freely assemble; the Sixth Amendment protects the right to a speedy trial, and the Seventh Amendment protects the right to trial by jury. 

Example Question #72 : Civics And Government

Which of these is not a freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment?

Possible Answers:

Freedom of speech

Freedom of religion

All of these are guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Freedom of peaceful assembly

Freedom of the press

Correct answer:

All of these are guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Explanation:

The First Amendment to the United States’ Constitution guarantees certain inalienable rights that cannot be infringed upon by the government. They are the freedom of speech, religion, the press, petition, and peaceful assembly. The First Amendment is the first of ten amendments that make up the Bill of Rights.

Example Question #73 : Civics And Government

The __________ Amendment gave women the right to vote.

Possible Answers:

Twenty-First

Nineteenth

Twenty-Fourth

Sixteenth

Twenty-Third

Correct answer:

Nineteenth

Explanation:

The women’s suffrage movement picked up steam during World War One, when many women stepped into the jobs and roles in society vacated by men off fighting in the war. The movement culminated in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of gender. The Amendment was ratified in 1920.

Example Question #81 : Civics And Government

The Eighteenth Amendment __________

Possible Answers:

established the line of succession should the President and Vice-President be unable to fulfill the duties of the office.

established a two-term limit for the President.

prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol.

abolished slavery.

repealed prohibition.

Correct answer:

prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Explanation:

The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited the sale, use, and consumption of alcohol. It represented the culmination of a decades-long temperance movement. The amendment was passed in 1919; however, the prohibition of alcohol led to a rise in organized crime and was repealed fourteen years later, in 1933, by the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment.

Example Question #82 : Civics And Government

Ged pic

This picture depicts a problem colloquially referred to as "political graft." The 17th Amendment attempted to solve this problem by changing the election of Senators how?
     

Possible Answers:

None of these

It provides that they shall be elected by their respective state legislatures

 It provides that the Governor of their respective state shall appoint them

It provides that they shall be directly elected

Correct answer:

It provides that they shall be directly elected

Explanation:

The correct answer is that the 17th Amendment provides for the direct election of Senators. Prior to the ratification of the 17th Amendment, Senators were elected indirectly. In other words, you (and your co-citizens) did not elect Senators. In fact, Senators were elected by state legislatures (which, of course, were elected by the voting public in each respective state). The 17th Amendment was, in large part, a response to the Progressive movement, which accused the indirect election system of being plagued by graft (political corruption, essentially).

This cartoon reflects that view (note the large gentlemen looming over the senators in the back). The large folks in the back are the purported "bosses" of individual states (e.g. Boss Tweed) who supposedly could thus buy state legislatures (or at least heavily influence them) and promote the election of the senator they wanted.

Example Question #1 : Constitutional Amendments

The 18th Amendment is colloquially called ________________ because it outlawed ________________?

Possible Answers:

direct election . . . states electing their own senators

prohibition . . . alcohol

succession . . . the election of the VP

civil rights . . . discrimination

Correct answer:

prohibition . . . alcohol

Explanation:

The correct answer is “prohibition . . . alcohol." Hopefully this question was relatively easy. The 18th Amendment, similar to the 17th, was adopted in large part in response to the Progressive movement (although, technically, it was the “Temperance” movement which gave birth to it). Women were a large driving force behind Prohibition, and it is no coincidence that women gained the right to vote soon after.

Example Question #84 : Civics And Government

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

This "Declaration of Rights and Sentiments" led directly (if some time later) to the passage of which Amendment?

Possible Answers:

19th

20th

17th

21st

Correct answer:

19th

Explanation:

The 19th Amendment is the correct answer. The "Declaration of Rights and Sentiments" was the women's rights analog to the Declaration of Independence. It was read at the Seneca Falls Convention, the first formal agitation of equal rights among the sexes, which eventually leads to the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Although some—many, actually—states granted women the right to vote prior to the 19th Amendment, it took an amendment to force the noncompliant states to allow women to vote. Do you know why that is?

Remember: controlling the franchise (that is, who gets to vote) belongs to the states alone! That’s why it took an amendment to change the laws in the states which did not allow women to vote.

Example Question #85 : Civics And Government

Could women vote prior to the ratification of the 19th Amendment?

Possible Answers:

No, of course not. Why else would there have been an amendment?

 Yes. All women could vote, and the amendment was superfluous.

Some women could. In fact, most states and territories west of the Mississippi allowed women to vote

None of these

Correct answer:

Some women could. In fact, most states and territories west of the Mississippi allowed women to vote

Explanation:

The correct answer is “Some women could . . .” Interestingly, many states west of the Mississippi allowed women to vote, with the Wyoming Territory (later the state) leading the charge. Do you know why this is? The answer is somewhat nuanced (and there are several theories as to why), but one plausible reason is that women were critical in settling the West, so the men “rewarded” them by extending the franchise. In other words, and likely a little more accurately, western women, unlike their eastern counterparts, were not simply homemakers and child-raisers. They actively participated in almost every aspect of life.

Example Question #2 : Constitutional Amendments

New York Times Headline, July 18, 1940: ROOSEVELT WINS THIRD TERM!

Which Amendment was passed (in large part) in response to this momentous event?

Possible Answers:

20th Amendment

19th Amendment

22nd Amendment

21st Amendment

Correct answer:

22nd Amendment

Explanation:

The 22nd Amendment limited the number of terms to which a President could be elected to 2. That said, it’s still possible for a President to be President for slightly less than 10 years. We’ll use names to make it easier. Billary Clownton and McDonald Grump are elected President and Vice President respectively. Clownton suffers an embarrassing political debacle halfway through her term, and is impeached and removed from office. Grump becomes President, and serves the remainder of Clownton’s term (a little less than two years). Grump goes on to be elected for two terms (8 years). Grump has been in office for (almost) 10 years, but only elected to 8. Pretty cool stuff!

Example Question #3 : Constitutional Amendments

In the event that a sitting President dies, resigns, is incapacitated, or impeached and convicted, who replaces him?

Possible Answers:

The Speaker of the House

The Vice President

The oldest senator

The Secretary of State

Correct answer:

The Vice President

Explanation:

The 25th Amendment formally sets Presidential succession, and in doing so, makes the VP the official President in the event of a death, resignation, or impeachment. Although that sounds a little goofy, it’s important mainly for somewhat attenuated legal reasons, the majority of which are beyond the scope of your course. Put simply, the 25th Amendment removed any confusion about whether the VP (in the event she needed to step up to the Presidency) was simply the “acting” President, or was actually the president.

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