GED Social Studies : Philosophies Impacting the Constitution

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Philosophies Impacting The Constitution

The English Bill of Rights was passed in which century?

Possible Answers:

The eighteenth century

The nineteenth century

The seventeenth century

The thirteenth century

The fourteenth century

Correct answer:

The seventeenth century

Explanation:

The English Bill of Rights was passed in 1689, following the accession of William and Mary after the Glorious Revolution, in which James II was ousted from power. For much of the seventeenth century, the English monarchy and parliament were at constant odds with one another, and after a Civil War resulted in parliamentary victory, the Kings of England would never have the same power again. The English Bill of Rights established limits on the powers of the monarchy and reserved powers for Parliament. It is considered a precursor to the American Bill of Rights and probably the most important document of the uncodified English Constitution.

Example Question #2 : Philosophies Impacting The Constitution

Which of these Enlightenment philosophers could best be considered as the foil for John Locke’s optimism about humanity?

Possible Answers:

Sir Thomas More

Immanuel Kant

Voltaire

Dante

Thomas Hobbes

Correct answer:

Thomas Hobbes

Explanation:

John Locke believed in a social contract between rulers and ruled that heavily limits the power of the ruler and provides inalienable rights for the ruled. Although Locke, by modern standards was still somewhat conservative about human nature (he still favored monarchy over democracy) in his own time Locke was about as liberal as it was possible to be about human nature and political theory (without being considered dangerously insane). Hobbes, on the other hand, was a renowned pessimist about the human condition and an even more renowned royalist. Hobbes fled England during the Civil War, and upon his return published his most famous work, The Leviathan, which outlines Hobbes’ belief that life is nasty, brutish, and short, and that in a state of nature mankind would rip itself to shreds. A strong, absolute government was needed to enforce law and order. Together, their views helped shape generations of politicians’ viewpoints, but compared to one another they were chalk and cheese.

Example Question #3 : Philosophies Impacting The Constitution

John Locke’s preferred system of government was __________.

Possible Answers:

absolute monarchy

representative democracy

theocracy

constitutional monarchy

direct democracy

Correct answer:

constitutional monarchy

Explanation:

John Locke was an Enlightenment-Era philosopher. His writings were hugely influential to the Constitutional Framers of the United States. His liberal views on inalienable rights of all people to "life, liberty, and property" might make it seem like Locke would support direct democracy, or at least republicanism, but Locke was a man of his time as well. He believed that the best government was a constitutional monarchy, one where there is a king whose power is heavily limited by constitutional obligations to provide for the fair and just treatment of his citizens. Essentially, Locke believed that the king only held the power to rule if those ruled consented to it.

Example Question #4 : Political Philosophies

Two Treatises of Government was written by __________.

Possible Answers:

Thomas Hobbes

John Locke

Voltaire

Thomas Jefferson

Immanuel Kant

Correct answer:

John Locke

Explanation:

The Enlightenment philosopher John Locke was deeply influential to the founding fathers of the United States of America. His writings on the social contract and the responsibility of government to its citizens, found in the second of his two treatises, were impactful to the generation of Constitution Framers who established the government of the United States.

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