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

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Example Question #51 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Under the Articles of Confederation, the government could levy taxes ______________.
     

Possible Answers:

only for the top earners

None of these answers. Under the Articles of Confederation the government cannot levy taxes.

only on land or businesses

only at the municipal level 

Correct answer:

None of these answers. Under the Articles of Confederation the government cannot levy taxes.

Explanation:

This should have been a fairly easy question. Remember: one of the major reasons for the eventual proposal and ratification of the Constitution was the weakness of the government under the Articles of Confederation. One of those weaknesses, of course, was the inability to tax, which was not-so-slowly but surely driving the budding country into the ground. 

Example Question #57 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Many of the abuses of the British government were so egregious that the colonists required protections from anything similar when creating their own government. One such of these protections is in the 4th Amendment—the protection against unauthorized searches and seizures. Which of the following British practices was this in response to?

Possible Answers:

The suspension of habeas corpus

The administration of justice act

Writs of assistance

The quartering act

Correct answer:

Writs of assistance

Explanation:

This was a difficult question. Before getting to the answers, let’s pick apart the question a little bit. The question is asking you to think about some of the abuses practiced by the British during their control of the colonies. After thinking about those, the question asks you to compare whatever abuses you’ve come up with to the protections granted in a particular clause of the 4th Amendment—the searches and seizures clause. Thus, you have to ask yourself what British practice is similar to an unauthorized search and seizure (the ones protected against in the 4th Amendment). The answer is, “writs of assistance.” A writ of assistance allowed an official to conduct a blanket search—that is, a general search without specifics in terms of location OR items sought. During the ratification of the new constitution, anti-federalists were so concerned about a possible repeat, that they demanded protections in the form of the Bill of Rights.

Example Question #51 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The government under the Articles of Confederation had which of the following attributes?

Possible Answers:

Bicameral Legislature

Weak Judiciary

Strong Executive

Unicameral Legislature

Correct answer:

Unicameral Legislature

Explanation:

This should have been a fairly easy question. Since the Articles of Confederation allowed for only a legislature, all of the other answers (other than “Unicameral Legislature and Bicameral Legislature”) must be incorrect. Now, the only difficulty is determining which (unicameral or bicameral) is correct. Here, even if you’re not entirely sure of the meaning of uni/bicameral, you can apply basic prefix knowledge and assess that “uni” means one and “bi” means two. Then, you must simply remember that the Articles of Confederation legislature had only one chamber—thus the answer is “Unicameral” (which means one chamber).

Example Question #52 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What is one of the major reasons for an increase in British control and oversight of the colonies?

Possible Answers:

None of the answers are correct

 After the Albany Plan, the British were concerned for their safety

 The French and Indian War/Seven Years War led to an Empire desperate for an additional tax base

Lord Grenville convinced the English monarchy that additional control would be beneficial for the colonies

Correct answer:

 The French and Indian War/Seven Years War led to an Empire desperate for an additional tax base

Explanation:

This should have been a relatively easy question. The Seven Years War (the French and Indian War was the North American theater of the overall war) nearly bankrupted the British Empire. Wars are expensive to fight, and the French and Indian War was no exception. Moreover, the subjects of the British Empire (the citizens of England, essentially) were already the highest-taxed citizenry in the entire world, so the Brits were aware that, politically speaking, attempting to assess any additional taxes would be disagreeable, to say the least. Thus, the Brits turned their eyes to the colonies—the colonies who, due to smuggling, and lax oversight by the British government, were paying next to nothing in taxes of any kind.

Example Question #52 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

How much of a vote did it take to amend the Articles of Confederation?

Possible Answers:

Unanimous

Plurality

Simple Majority

Correct answer:

Unanimous

Explanation:

Open and shut answer here, no tricks or gimmicks. The Articles of Confederation imposed very high transaction costs on all parties involved (transaction costs, of course, are the time effort and money it takes to get something done). The transaction costs were so high that it took a unanimous vote to amend the Articles of Confederation.

Example Question #53 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Under the Articles of Confederation, states could ___________ raise tariff barriers against one another.

Possible Answers:

only under special circumstances

None of these answers is correct.

not

always 

Correct answer:

not

Explanation:

This question assesses your ability to remember the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. One of the weaknesses, of course, was the government’s inability to control interstate (between-states) commerce. This led to states raising all sorts of trade barriers against one another and inadvertently hurting both themselves and the fledgling country.

Example Question #54 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Why did Great Britain establish the Proclamation Line of 1763? 

Possible Answers:

To make money by selling the land to France 

None of these

So that Native Americans and colonists would avoid conflict 

To keep the colonists all in one place so that they would be easier to tax

To give Canada control of the West 

Correct answer:

So that Native Americans and colonists would avoid conflict 

Explanation:

The Proclamation Line of 1763 was created by Great Britain so that conflict between Native Americans and the American colonists would be avoided. By setting a settlement line along the Appalachian mountains, they hoped that lack of physical proximity and encroachment would eliminate conflict between the two groups.

Example Question #55 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What was the main political point of the Declaration of Independence? 

Possible Answers:

The government is supposed to guarantee economic security for every citizen 

If a government is not representing or protecting the rights and ideas of the people, that government can be overthrown

Governments are not allowed to tax their people

The federal and state governments have equal power

None of these

Correct answer:

If a government is not representing or protecting the rights and ideas of the people, that government can be overthrown

Explanation:

Similar to Enlightenment ideas, the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence supported the ideas that if the government does not protect the rights of the people, a revolution is justified. 

Example Question #56 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of these was not an accomplishment of the Second Continental Congress, which convened in 1775?

Possible Answers:

The authorization of the Declaration of Independence

The establishment of an army under the direct control of General George Washington

The ratification of the United States Constitution

The dispatch of representatives to France, Spain, and the Netherlands to ask for assistance in a war with Britain

The Passage of the Olive Branch petition, calling for peace with Britain on the colonists’ terms

Correct answer:

The ratification of the United States Constitution

Explanation:

The Second Continental Congress established itself as the primary governing body during the Revolutionary War and began to make all the necessary steps in order that the country should be able to effectively wage war. The Olive Branch petition was roundly refuted by the British, and indeed most Representatives believed it to be little more than a piece of propaganda. Much more important were the dispatches to other European nations requesting economic or even military assistance. One consequence of this was France entering the war on the side of the colonists. The Congress also ratified the Declaration of Independence, but did not ratify the Constitution (that would not happen until 1789). Instead, they proposed an Articles of Confederation, which would serve as the governing document between 1781-1789, the years immediately following war.

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