GED Social Studies : Government Organization

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : Governments And Philosophies

Which of these government positions is appointed rather than elected by the people?

Possible Answers:

President

None of these positions is appointed; they are all elected.

Senator

Representative

Supreme Court Justice

Correct answer:

Supreme Court Justice

Explanation:

The President and both Houses of Congress are elected by a vote of the people. Supreme Court Justices, however, are appointed by Presidents. The appointment has to be approved by the Senate.

Example Question #1 : Government Organization

Which of the following is a power that the President of the United States may exercise as a check on the powers of Congress?

Possible Answers:

The President may call for the election of a new Congress.

The President may fire members of Congress.

The President may veto a bill from Congress.

The President may appoint members of Congress.

The President may rewrite Congressional legislation.

Correct answer:

The President may veto a bill from Congress.

Explanation:

Perhaps despite the wishes of many Presidents who have battled oppositional Congresses, the President is not provided with any power to alter the membership of Congress by appointing or firing members, nor can the President call for new elections. The President also must abide by the laws that the Congress passes. Article I Section 7 of the US Constitution does, however, grant the President the power to refuse to sign a bill from Congress or to outright veto it. This power allows the President some power to oppose legislation they find unacceptable, but Congress can override a veto. Overriding a veto requires much higher support (2/3 "super-majority") within Congress for the bill. 

Example Question #1 : Government Organization

The primary role of the Legislative Branch in American government is to __________.

Possible Answers:

enforce laws

interpret the Constitution

make laws

negotiate foreign treaties

make amendments

Correct answer:

make laws

Explanation:

In the American government power is separated into three branches. The Legislative Branch makes laws, the Executive Branch carries out and enforces laws, and the Judicial Branch interprets whether or not laws violate the Constitution.

Example Question #41 : Content Areas

The McCarran Act __________

Possible Answers:

established the chain of succession should the President and Vice-President be rendered unable to fulfill the duties of the Presidential office.

provided funding for Cuban dissidents who were dedicated to overthrowing Fidel Castro.

required all Communist organizations and members to register with the United States government.

provided financial aid to returning veterans after the Second World War.

declared that separate, but equal was inherently unconstitutional.

Correct answer:

required all Communist organizations and members to register with the United States government.

Explanation:

The McCarran Act was signed into law in 1950; it was part of the Red Scare period of American history. The McCarran Act required all Communist organizations and members to register their affiliation with the United States government.

Example Question #1 : Laws

The Equal Protection Clause is part of __________

Possible Answers:

The Fourteenth Amendment.

The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.

The Articles of Confederation.

The Federalist Papers.

The English Bill of Rights.

Correct answer:

The Fourteenth Amendment.

Explanation:

The Equal Protection Clause appears in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It prohibits the states from denying equal protection under the law to anybody on the basis of race, gender, or other forms of discrimination. It also essentially ensures that the Bill of Rights are extended to cover actions taken by state governments as well as the national government.

Example Question #41 : Civics And Government

The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed during the Presidency of ___________.

Possible Answers:

Abraham Lincoln

John Adams

James Madison

Andrew Jackson

Thomas Jefferson

Correct answer:

John Adams

Explanation:

The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798, during the Presidency of John Adams. The Alien and Sedition Acts were released during the so-called Quasi War with France, and sought to (in theory) increase national security by making it illegal to speak out against the government, and by making it harder for immigrants to come to the new nation. The Acts were denounced by Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans as an attempt to solidify the power of the Federalist Party, which helped propel the Democratic-Republicans into the Presidency in 1800.

Example Question #1 : Government Organization

Although the Civil War was fought over a series of issues, it can reasonably be understood as a conflict over the interpretation of __________.

Possible Answers:

American Federalism

the power of the Supreme Court

the Monroe Doctrine

Manifest Destiny

America’s relationship with the European powers

Correct answer:

American Federalism

Explanation:

The main reason the South seceded from the Union is that it felt that the states should have greater control over the direction of their laws and should be less subservient to the federal government. The majority of Southerners in this time period identified more with their state than with the nation. So, the Civil War can be seen as a conflict over the interpretation of American Federalism. The South felt that the system of Federalism should divide powers more equally between the state and national governments, and the Union felt otherwise. This disagreement was effectively resolved (legally speaking) with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, which outlined the requirements for states to abide by national laws.

Example Question #1 : Federalism And State Governments

Marble-cake Federalism (also called "Cooperative Federalism") really emerged into prominence during __________.

Possible Answers:

the Vietnam War

the Civil War

the Presidency of Bill Clinton

the Cuban Missile Crisis

the Great Depression

Correct answer:

the Great Depression

Explanation:

For the first one hundred and fifty years of American political history, the country essentially operated under Dual Federalism, also called "Layer-cake Federalism." This involves a clear delineation of powers reserved for national governments, state governments, and local governments. During the Great Depression, the power of the Federal government grew dramatically, and the United States' federalism system began to appear more like Cooperative Federalism, also called "Marble-cake Federalism." In Marble-cake Federalism, national, state, and local governments work together cooperatively to tackle problems and pass laws.

Example Question #1 : Government Organization

Nullification can be understood as a rejection of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Tenth Amendment

the separation of church and state

the Elastic Clause

the Supremacy Clause

the First Amendment

Correct answer:

the Supremacy Clause

Explanation:

Nullification declares that the states have the right to declare any federal law unconstitutional or illegal and choose to ignore it within the state itself. This position was championed particularly by Thomas Jefferson as is the central point of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. Because nullification involves the repudiation of the ultimate authority of the national government, it can be understood as a rejection of the Supremacy Clause, which states that the Constitution and the national government make up “the supreme law of the land.”

Example Question #1 : Government Organization

The transfer of powers from the national government to the state and local governments is known as __________.

Possible Answers:

administration

accountability

the Square Deal

devolution

Dual Federalism

Correct answer:

devolution

Explanation:

During the Republican administrations of Nixon and Reagan, many of the powers of the Federal government were transferred to the state and local governments. This policy was branded as New Federalism, but the actual process of the transference of powers is called devolution.

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