GED Social Studies : United States History

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Other Historic Documents

Which of these men did not contribute to the Federalist Papers?

Possible Answers:

Alexander Hamilton

John Jay

All of these men contributed to the Federalist Papers.

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

Correct answer:

Thomas Jefferson

Explanation:

The Federalist Papers were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Thomas Jefferson, as a leading anti-federalist, cannot be expected to have contributed to the Federalist Papers.

Example Question #1 : Revolutionary War

The battles of Lexington and Concord occurred at the beginning of __________.

Possible Answers:

World War One

The Mexican-American War

The War of 1812

World War Two

The Revolutionary War

Correct answer:

The Revolutionary War

Explanation:

The battles of Lexington and Concord occurred in 1775, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. They were the first two battles of the war.

Example Question #1 : Founding Fathers And Constitutional Framers

Which of these American Presidents presided over the Louisiana Purchase?

Possible Answers:

Martin Van Buren

Thomas Jefferson

George Washington

Andrew Jackson

James Madison

Correct answer:

Thomas Jefferson

Explanation:

The Louisiana Purchase took place in 1803, during the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson purchased the massive Louisiana territory from Napoleon and the French Empire for the sum of fifteen million dollars. Interestingly, given Jefferson’s stance on limiting the power of the Federal government and the President, it established a precedent that the President and the government had greater power than that which was accorded in the Constitution.

Example Question #2 : Founding Fathers And Constitutional Framers

The First Barbary War was fought by which American President?

Possible Answers:

William Henry Harrison

Martin Van Buren

Thomas Jefferson

George Washington

Andrew Jackson

Correct answer:

Thomas Jefferson

Explanation:

The First Barbary War was fought by the American navy against the pirate forces of the Barbary States in North Africa. The war was the first major foreign militaristic action taken by the young United States from 1801 to 1805. It was fought during the administration of Thomas Jefferson.

Example Question #1 : Founding Fathers And Constitutional Framers

Which of these men was not a Constitutional Framer or Founding Father?

Possible Answers:

John Adams

Henry Clay

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Franklin

John Jay

Correct answer:

Henry Clay

Explanation:

All of these men are considered Founding Fathers or Constitutional Framers, except Henry Clay, who was a prominent politician for a few decades in the first half of the nineteenth century. Henry Clay was a longtime Speaker of the House and also served as Secretary of State from 1825 until 1829. 

Example Question #1 : Founding Fathers And Constitutional Framers

Poor Richard’s Almanack was published by __________.

Possible Answers:

Adam Smith

Edmund Burke

Patrick Henry

Benjamin Franklin

John Jay

Correct answer:

Benjamin Franklin

Explanation:

Poor Richard’s Almanack was written and published by Benjamin Franklin. The almanac made Franklin rich and famous, and it helped spread Enlightenment ideas to the common people.

Example Question #1 : Other Revolutionary History

What was the name given to a grant from the English King to establish a colony in the New World in the years before independence?

Possible Answers:

reproachment.

charter.

pact.

appellate.

embargo.

Correct answer:

charter.

Explanation:

A charter was a legal document granted by the English King, or British government, that granted an individual or corporation the right to establish a colony in the New World in the years before independence. There were different types of charters—proprietary charters gave control of land to one man, who was effectively autonomous but owed allegiance to the British crown; a joint stock charter allowed a corporation, or group of individuals, collectively to own land and establish a colony; royal charters created colonies directly controlled by the crown.

Example Question #121 : Content Areas

American attempts to ensure safe passage for American merchants by engaging the US Navy with the pirate fleets of North Africa were called __________.

Possible Answers:

The Wars of Impressment

The Spanish-American War

The Gulf Wars

The Barbary Wars

The XYZ Affair

Correct answer:

The Barbary Wars

Explanation:

The Barbary Wars, first in 1801, during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, and again in 1815, during the presidency of James Madison, were fought to ensure safe and free passage for American merchant ships in North Africa. At the time American merchant ships were subject to harassment and capture by pirate ships in the Mediterranean, near North Africa. The Barbary Wars were fought by the United States Navy against these pirates and resulted in an American victory.

Example Question #121 : Content Areas

The Proclamation of 1763 declared that __________.

Possible Answers:

American colonists had to quarter British troops in their houses during wartime and occasionally in peacetime

American colonists could not purchase goods that were not sold or manufactured in Great Britain

American colonists could not settle beyond the Appalachian mountains

the financial burden for the French-Indian War would be assumed by the British population

the American population was in open rebellion against the British government

Correct answer:

American colonists could not settle beyond the Appalachian mountains

Explanation:

The Proclamation of 1763 was issued by the British government very shortly after the French-Indian War ended. It stated that the American colonists were now prohibited from settling beyond the Appalachian Mountains. This was done mostly to appease the Native-American allies of the British government, but it greatly angered the colonists. The end of the French-Indian War is considered the turning point that led to the American Revolution. Because the victory of the British over the French removed the threat of French invasion of the American colonies, the colonists no longer had to rely on British protection; furthermore, the British government felt that the colonists ought to be paying the cost of defending their lands, whereas the colonists felt that the British government had no right to tax them without allowing them representation in government. This situation led to a rapid and significant loss of faith between the two peoples, and revolution broke out a little more than a decade later.

Example Question #4 : Other Revolutionary History

Which of these English laws most directly led to the First Continental Congress?

Possible Answers:

The Tea Act

The Impressment Acts

The Sugar Act

The Stamp Act

The Intolerable Acts

Correct answer:

The Intolerable Acts

Explanation:

The Intolerable Acts were passed by the British Empire in the wake of the Boston Tea Party and were designed to deter future potential rebels from contemplating revolution; however, this only served to heighten the angered feelings of the colonists and contributed directly to the calling together of the First Continental Congress.

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