SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints in U.S. Political History from Pre-Columbian to 1789

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II US History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

"Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Having signed the Declaration of Independence, a fundamentally treasonous declaration, Benjamin Franklin reportedly made the above comment to fellow signer, John Hancock, which illustrated Franklin's insistence on what?

Possible Answers:

Women's suffrage

The repeal of the Stamp Act

The abolition of the death penalty

The abolition of slavery

Unity among the colonies

Correct answer:

Unity among the colonies

Explanation:

Benjamin Franklin was a staunch advocate of colonial unity, believing cohesion to be critical in the face of the ensuing revolution.  He is well known for his famous cartoon, 'Join or Die' which depicted a snake cut up into eighths, each representing a colony.

Example Question #2 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What two reasons were responsible for the Anti-Federalist’s objections to the ratification of the United States Constitution?

Possible Answers:
The insufficient establishment of checks and balances to contain the Judiciary Branch and The election of the Chief Executive by electors, as opposed to via popular vote
The insufficient establishment of checks and balances to contain the Judiciary Branch and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
The election of the Chief Executive by electors, as opposed to via popular vote and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
The increased power of the Federal Government over the states and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
The election of the Chief Executive by electors, as opposed to via popular vote and The increased power of the Federal Government over the states
Correct answer: The increased power of the Federal Government over the states and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
Explanation:

The Anti-Federalists opposed ratification of the Constitution on a number of issues that centered on the fear that the power of the Federal government had been increased too heavily, at the expense of the States, and would lead the power of the centralized government to keep growing and growing. Further, to the point of preventing a possible rise of tyranny the Anti-Federalist demanded that prior to ratification the Constitution have included a Bill of Rights that would forever codify into law the individual freedoms and liberties of all Americans. The central argument of the Anti-Federalists was that, as written, the Constitution did not do enough to prevent the possibility of an autocratic President, or Congress, gaining power and using it to subjugate the people.

Example Question #3 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The British government viewed the passage of the Stamp Act primarily as?

Possible Answers:
The debt that the United States colonists owed the British crown for protection during the French-Indian war
A punishment directed against rebellious and treasonous colonists
A means to raise revenue for the government in the wake of costly wars
A means to rile up colonists in attempt to promote a rebellion that could then be crushed to demonstrate the consequences of rebellion.
Reinforcement of the position of the Crown’s dominion over the colonies
Correct answer: A means to raise revenue for the government in the wake of costly wars
Explanation:

The British government, and Prime Minister George Greenville, issued the Stamp Act to help raise revenue for the indebted Crown. Although many in British society felt that the colonists owed a debt to the British public for protecting them during the French-Indian wars, and many in the colonies felt that this was meant as a demonstration of the Crown’s ultimate dominion the primary reason was simple “dollars and cents”. The government needed more money and was willing to incur the colonists’ wrath in order to get it. The Stamp Act was passed in 1765 and required colonists to purchase heavily taxed stamps for all post and newspapers. The passage of the Act promoted widespread indignation and some protests in the colonies. 

Example Question #4 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What was the primary impetus behind William Penn’s establishment of the Pennsylvania colony in 1682?

Possible Answers:
To spread Christianity and encourage missionaries to use the colony as a base to expand the religion Westwards
To gain economic prosperity for himself and his company
To provide religious freedom for the Quakers and political freedom for others
To provide a colony for infant Democracy to grow and flourish
To resist the control of the English crown and attempt to form an independent state
Correct answer: To provide religious freedom for the Quakers and political freedom for others
Explanation:

William Penn was granted a proprietary colony from the English Crown in 1682 and endeavored to set up a colony that granted political freedom to all and, also, to provide a colony for the “Holy Experiment” of the Quakers – who were disparaged and persecuted in Europe. Penn’s intentions were somewhat democratic, but the most pertinent reason was the provisions guaranteeing Quaker religious freedom.

Example Question #5 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

In the early years of the United States, how were slave populations divided for the purposes of Congressional representation?

Possible Answers:
The slave population was counted as three-fifths its actual number
Slaves were considered equal to free men
Two slaves were equivalent to one free man
Slaves were not counted as members of the population
Three slaves were equivalent to one free man
Correct answer: The slave population was counted as three-fifths its actual number
Explanation:

At the Constitutional Convention, the Northern and Southern states could not decide on how to account for the slave populations when considering how Congressional representatives should be divided. The North favored a system where slaves did not count at all, conversely the South favored a system where each slave was equivalent to one free man. In an attempt at compromise, the Convention passed the Three-Fifths Compromise - which stated that, for the purposes of representation, a slave was to be equal to three-fifths of a free man. 

Example Question #6 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of the following men is correctly paired with his viewpoint?

Possible Answers:

James Madison: believed the United States should have a standing army

Alexander Hamilton: believed federal government should not absorb the debts of the states

Thomas Jefferson: believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Bible

Benjamin Franklin: co-authored The Federalist Papers

George Washington: believed in a strong national government and national bank

Correct answer:

George Washington: believed in a strong national government and national bank

Explanation:

Here the information on George Washington is correct.  He strongly supported Alexander Hamilton in his creation of a national government and national bank.  

Thomas Jefferson rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Bible, and argued for laws to protect religious freedom.

Benjamin Franklin did not write the Federalist Papers, which were written by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton.

Alexander Hamilton did believe the federal government should assume the war debts of the states, and as secretary of the Treasury pushed Congress to form a national bank for this purpose.

Finally, James Madison did not believe the US should have a standing army.  In fact, he feared that the United States would become an oppressive government if such a thing happened. 

Example Question #7 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Anti-Federalists most likely would have supported

Possible Answers:

Anti-Federalists would have supported none of those mentioned

The creation of the National Bank

The imposition of tariffs on all foreign goods

The power of states to nullify Federal law

The response of the Federal government to the Whiskey Rebellion

Correct answer:

The power of states to nullify Federal law

Explanation:

Anti-Federalists opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution on the grounds that it gave too much power to the Federal government, did not include a Bill of Rights providing for individual liberty, and took too much power away from the states. As a result of this knowledge, we can reasonably conclude that Anti-Federalists would have objected to the creation of a National Bank and to the imposition of tariffs, because both of these measures strengthened the power of the Federal government. In addition, Anti-Federalists would have objected to George Washington calling in the militia to deal with the Whiskey Rebellion; however, they would have approved of the idea of nullification, as it represents a clear improvement to the power of states to resist Federal authority. 

Example Question #8 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

According to the Connecticut Compromise              .

Possible Answers:

Congress would be divided into a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house and equal representation for each state in the upper house 

Congress would be divided into a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the upper house and equal representation in the lower house

Slaves would count for three-fifths a person when appropriating representation 

Maine was to be admitted to the Union as a free state and Alabama was to be admitted to the Union as a slave state

Slavery was to be outlawed above the Missouri line, except in the proposed state of Missouri, and legal below the Missouri line

Correct answer:

Congress would be divided into a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house and equal representation for each state in the upper house 

Explanation:

The Connecticut Compromise was proposed, in 1787, as a solution to a disagreement between the larger and smaller states as to how representation should be appropriated in the newly formed United States. The smaller states desired that representation should be equal for all states, regardless of population size. The larger states desired that representation should be proportional to population. As a compromise the Union enacted a bicameral legislature whereby the lower house (House of Representatives) was to have proportional representation and the upper house (Senate) was to have equal representation for all states. The agreement persists to this day. 

Example Question #9 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

In order to vote in the Plymouth Colony, under the Mayflower Compact, an individual had to be                       .

Possible Answers:

white

white, male, a land owner, a member of the church, and married

white, male, a land owner, and a member of the church 

white, male, and a land owner

white and male

Correct answer:

white, male, a land owner, and a member of the church 

Explanation:

The Mayflower Compact was signed by some of the original settlers of the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, in 1620. Having been bound for Virginia, their ship was forced to change direction by a violent storm, ending up in Massachusetts. The Pilgrims took this as a sign from God that this place was where they were to make their new community. They signed the Mayflower Compact shortly after arriving and dictated that the government of this new territory would adhere to majority rule of the members of the church (despite the fact that slightly less than half of the people on board were Pilgrims). In order to vote, an individual needed to be white and male, own land, and be a recognized member of the church community.

Example Question #10 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

In Pontiac’s Rebellion                       .

Possible Answers:

indentured servants and slaves rose up against the land owning classes, but were ultimately defeated

indentured servants and slaves rose up against the land owning classes and affected massive social and economic change

Native American forces attacked colonial settlements, but ultimately conceded British sovereignty 

Native American forces attacked colonial settlements and refused to concede British sovereignty 

None of these answers illustrate what happened in Pontiac’s Rebellion

Correct answer:

Native American forces attacked colonial settlements, but ultimately conceded British sovereignty 

Explanation:

Pontiac’s Rebellion, also called Pontiac’s War, was launched following the culmination of the Seven Years' War in 1763. It was waged between Native Americans and British settlers. Native Americans from the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley were the primary aggressors, at least directly, in the conflict. They attacked colonial settlements throughout the region, reaching as far as Central Pennsylvania. Eventually, the Native American alliance began to fracture and the full might of the British Empire was directed at the conflict. The combination of these two factors caused the Native people to accept a peaceful resolution and to concede ultimate British sovereignty over their lands.

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