SAT II US History : Facts and Details 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

Example Question #41 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The colony of Delaware was originally settled by __________.

Possible Answers:

Portugal

the Netherlands

Sweden

England

Spain

Correct answer:

Sweden

Explanation:

The first permanent settlement in present day Delaware was established by Sweden in 1638. Fort Christina (now Wilmington) was the only Swedish settlement in North America. This placed it perilously between the English in Virginia and the Dutch in New Amsterdam. In 1651, the Dutch conquered Fort Christina, pushing the Swedes out of North America. By 1664, the English had conquered all Dutch territory in North America.

Example Question #42 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

In a Republican system of governmental power is derived, in theory, from __________?

Possible Answers:

the wealthy

the people

the church 

the Monarch 

the laborers

Correct answer:

the people

Explanation:

In a Republican system of government the power is derived from the mass of the people. The people vote to elect representatives, who are then given a mandate to make decisions on behalf of the people. This is the system of government present in the United States. 

Example Question #43 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which founding father was primarily responsible for drafting the United States Constitution?

Possible Answers:

James Madison

John Adams 

Alexander Hamilton 

George Washington 

Thomas Jefferson 

Correct answer:

James Madison

Explanation:

James Madison arrived at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 with the idea of creating an entirely new government than had existed under the Articles of Confederation. He documented these ideas, for the most part in his famous Virginia Plan, and garnered support from many of the delegates at the Convention. His ideas, along with those of Hamilton and Jefferson, would prove the driving forces behind the nature of the Constitution. 

Example Question #44 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Freedom of assembly is guaranteed in which Amendment to the Constitution?

Possible Answers:

Ninth 

Third 

First 

Fourth 

Sixth 

Correct answer:

First 

Explanation:

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of American citizens to free religious belief, free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to assemble and petition the government. Freedom of assembly was seen as vital to many of the Founding Fathers, as it would allow protection from tyranny and theoretically ensure the control of the people. 

Example Question #45 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of the following was NOT a weakness of the Articles of Confederation?

Possible Answers:

Nine out of the thirteen states had to agree in order to pass any legislation.

There was no president.

The Federal Government could not collect taxes.

The Federal Government could not declare war.

There was no judiciary.

Correct answer:

The Federal Government could not declare war.

Explanation:

Under the Articles of Confederation, there was a single legislative Congress, no president, and no judiciary. In this Congress, each state got a single vote and nine of the thirteen states had to agree to approve any legislation. This Congress could not print Federal currency, nor could it collect taxes.

About the only things it could do were handle foreign affairs, enter in to treaties, and declare war.

Example Question #42 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

A United States Senator has a term lasting __________

Possible Answers:

five years.

four years.

six years.

two years.

eight years.

Correct answer:

six years.

Explanation:

The first clause of Section 3, Article One of the Constitution, reads "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote." This is the only information on how Senators must be elected, and direct election of Senators by the population of a state was only guaranteed in 1913 by the Seventeenth Amendment.  The second clause divides the Senators into 3 roughly equal groups (classes), and staggers the elections of each class of Senators, providing that one third of the Senate seats will be elected every two years.

Example Question #51 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

The principle of popular sovereignty most directly states that ____________.

Possible Answers:

It is the responsibility of the people to protect the freedoms they have won through voluntary enlistment and westward settlement.

The United States Chief Executive should be elected directly by a popular vote of the people.

The people are the only legitimate source of government power.

There can be no taxation without representation.

None of those stated

Correct answer:

The people are the only legitimate source of government power.

Explanation:

The idea of popular sovereignty was extremely important to the fledgling United States. Fearing a return to a monarchic system, the Founding Fathers sought to have the only legitimate source of government power directly derived from the people. The Chief Executive was to be elected by a gathering of electors, who were in turn elected by the people.

 

Example Question #45 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The original Thirteen Colonies declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. Which of the following was not one of the original Thirteen Colonies?

Possible Answers:

New Jersey

North Carolina

Georgia

Vermont

Delaware

Correct answer:

Vermont

Explanation:

Georgia, North Carolina, Delaware, and New Jersey were all members of the original Thirteen Colonies. Vermont remained a sovereign state, governing itself, issuing it's own coinage, and retaining it's own postal service, until 1791, when it was admitted as the 14th state.

Example Question #46 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The first colony to have an elected legislative body was __________.

Possible Answers:

Rhode Island

Pennsylvania

Massachusetts

Virginia

Plymouth

Correct answer:

Virginia

Explanation:

The Virginia Company, after a decade and a half of struggles at Jamestown, sought to entice more people to come to North America through a new contract. The new Virginia Contract guaranteed any person who could pay their own way would receive tracts of land and be able to vote for a legislative body to help govern the colony. The House of Burgesses would first meet in 1619, before any other permanent English colonies were established in America, and would continue to help govern the colony of Virginia until the American Revolution.

Example Question #47 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of the following statements regarding the Constitutional Convention of 1787 is NOT true?

Possible Answers:

The New Jersey Plan was largely a response to the Virginia Plan

States’ rights activists favored the Virginia Plan

All of these answers are true/correct

Small states favored the New Jersey Plan

Large states favored the Virginia Plan

Correct answer:

States’ rights activists favored the Virginia Plan

Explanation:

States’ rights activists, along with smaller states, disfavored the Virginia Plan. The reason for smaller states’ disfavor should be somewhat obvious: given that the Virginia Plan based apportionment (a fancy word that means the number of delegates or representatives each state gets) solely on population, smaller states would be at the complete mercy of the larger states (because of the [possibly] huge population differential).

States’ rights activists, on the other hand, opposed the Virginia Plan for a totally different reason: the sheer amount of power delegated to the central government under the plan. Somewhat more specifically, the Virginia Plan allowed the proposed central government to exercise something called the “universal negative,” which allowed the proposed central government to veto any state law with which it disagreed. Even more disturbingly, from the view of the states’ rights activists, the proposed central government had the ability (under the plan) to enforce its own laws with the full force of its army. Thus, for all of these reasons, the states’ rights activists disfavored the plan.

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