GED Social Studies : Content Areas

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Constitutional Amendments

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.

repealed prohibition.

abolished slavery.

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 The amendment was passed in 1919; however, the prohibition of alcohol led to a rise in organized crime and was repealed fourteen years later, in 1933, by the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment.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 #1 : Constitutional Amendments

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:

It provides that they shall be directly elected

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

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

None of these

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:

prohibition . . . alcohol

direct election . . . states electing their own senators

civil rights . . . discrimination

succession . . . the election of the VP

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 #2 : Constitutional Amendments

"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:

17th

21st

20th

19th

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 #1 : Departments And Processes

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

Possible Answers:

None of these

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

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:

21st Amendment

19th Amendment

22nd Amendment

20th 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 #171 : Ged Social Studies

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

Possible Answers:

The Secretary of State

The Speaker of the House

The Vice President

The oldest senator

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.

Example Question #21 : Us Government

At least how old must you be to vote?

Possible Answers:

None of the above are correct

20 years old

21 years old

18 years old

Correct answer:

18 years old

Explanation:

The correct answer is 18 years old. The 26th Amendment forced the states to set their voting age no higher than 18. The states are free, however, to lower their voting age to (presumably) whatever they want. Remember: the states control who gets the franchise (bounded, obviously, by voting amendments).

Example Question #81 : Content Areas

Which of these executive departments was created first? 

Possible Answers:

The Department of Homeland Security

The Department of the Treasury

The Department of Transportation

The Department of Justice

The Department of Education

Correct answer:

The Department of the Treasury

Explanation:

The Department of Treasury has existed from the very beginning of United States political history under the Constitution (1789). The Department of Justice was created in 1870, Transportation in 1967, Education in 1979, Homeland Security in 2002. 

Example Question #82 : Content Areas

Which of these executive departments is responsible for advising the President on foreign policy? 

Possible Answers:

The State Department

The Department of the Interior

The Department of Labor

The Department of Defense

The Department of Commerce

Correct answer:

The State Department

Explanation:

The State Department is responsible for advising the President on foreign policy, as well as negotiating foreign treaties and engaging in diplomatic practices. 

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