GED Social Studies : United States History

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Magna Carta

The Magna Carta was __________

Possible Answers:

signed between the King and English nobles in the seventeenth century.

signed between the King and English nobles in the thirteenth century.

signed between the English government and the American colonies to protect colonial independence in the eighteenth century.

signed between the English government and the common man in the eighteenth century.

signed between English nobles and the common man in the fifteenth century.

Correct answer:

signed between the King and English nobles in the thirteenth century.

Explanation:

The Magna Carta was a document signed between King John II and the English nobility in the thirteenth century. It was intended to prevent the King from abusing his power and aimed to protect certain rights of the nobility. It is often considered the beginning of English democracy and thus American democracy.

Example Question #1 : United States History

The Magna Carta was signed in __________

Possible Answers:

1215. 

1676. 

1776.

1781. 

1415. 

Correct answer:

1215. 

Explanation:

The Magna Carta was signed in 1215 between English nobles and King John II. The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, and the Articles of Confederation were signed into practice in 1781.

Example Question #91 : Content Areas

In which country was The Magna Carta signed?

Possible Answers:

The United States

Greece

France

Rome

England

Correct answer:

England

Explanation:

The Magna Carta (1215) was the first legal attempt to check the power of the English monarchy and to guarantee certain rights for some of the population. Seen as the founding moment of English democracy, it is worth considering that it only protected the nobles and other aristocrats from the abuses of the monarchy, and it would be a few hundred years before any true democracy began to take shape in England. Still, it is a seminal moment in the progression from autocratic monarchy to representative democracy in the English-speaking world.

Example Question #1 : Mayflower Compact

The pilgrims who signed the Mayflower Compact travelled to America to __________

Possible Answers:

flee religious persecution in Europe.

make their fortune and achieve economic autonomy.

establish a military base in the war between England and France.

establish a free and fully democratic society.

colonize the continent of America for the British crown.

Correct answer:

flee religious persecution in Europe.

Explanation:

The pilgrims who arrived in Massachusetts from Europe were fleeing religious persecution in England under King James I. They signed the Mayflower Compact which essentially stated they were an autonomous and self-governing people.

Example Question #1 : United States History

According to the United States Declaration of Independence, a government derives its "just Powers" from what?

Possible Answers:

The "Right of the Governors Birth"

The "Might of the King"

The "Consent of the Governed"

The "Authority of God"

The "Wishes of the Elite"

Correct answer:

The "Consent of the Governed"

Explanation:

The opening text of the Declaration of Independence reads: 

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government...

The Declaration of Independence was inspired by the burgeoning liberal tradition which held that it was nobody's natural right to rule over a people regardless of their wishes. Political legitimacy, instead of being based upon divine right or noble birth, is a matter of self-determination among those who consent to being governed. 

Example Question #181 : Ged Social Studies

Which of these Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Possible Answers:

John Hancock

John Adams

Alexander Hamilton

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Correct answer:

Thomas Jefferson

Explanation:

The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. He famously adapted John Locke’s views that all men have the right to "life, liberty, and property" to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Example Question #1 : Historic Documents And Court Decisions

The Federalist Papers were written to __________.

Possible Answers:

highlight the deficiencies of the Constitution

support the ratification of the Constitution

support the Articles of Confederation

garner support for the Revolutionary war effort

highlight the dangers of the Revolutionary war effort

Correct answer:

support the ratification of the Constitution

Explanation:

The Federalist Papers were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay in 1790 and 1791 as a series of newspaper editorials. The Federalist Papers were a series of essays written to support the ratification of the Constitution and garner support for a strong and centralized national government.

Example Question #1 : Historic Documents And Court Decisions

Where in the Constitution is it stated that all powers not reserved for the federal government fall to the states?

Possible Answers:

The Fifth Amendment

The Elastic Clause

The Tenth Amendment

Article V

Article II

Correct answer:

The Tenth Amendment

Explanation:

In the American system of federalism, the federal government makes the supreme law of the nation that all the states must follow; however, to prevent a tyranny of the national government (something greatly feared by the states and the Constitutional framers) the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution declares that all powers that are not explicitly reserved for the federal government fall to the state governments.

Example Question #1 : United States History

The Establishment Clause __________.

Possible Answers:

defines the limit of Congressional power

prohibits the United States’ government from establishing a state religion

allows Congress to establish any laws necessary for abiding by the Constitution

allows the President to act with increased power during times of war or national emergency

allows the United States’ government to establish a state religion

Correct answer:

prohibits the United States’ government from establishing a state religion

Explanation:

For many Americans the freedom to practice their religion was one of the reasons why they moved to the colonies in the first place. Many colonists had been persecuted for their religion in Europe, and so when it came time to establish their own government, freedom of religion was considered extremely important. The Establishment Clause in the Constitution prohibits the government from establishing a state religion.

Example Question #1 : Constitution

The Free Exercise Clause in the Constitution is related to __________.

Possible Answers:

freedom of religion

All of these answers

freedom of speech

freedom of the press

freedom of assembly

Correct answer:

freedom of religion

Explanation:

The Free Exercise Clause is included in the part of the Constitution that features the Establishment Clause, and thus it is related to freedom of religion. The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from establishing a state religion. The Free Exercise Clause forbids the government from preventing any religious group from freely practicing their religious beliefs.

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