SAT II US History : U.S. Political History from Pre-Columbian History to 1789

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #61 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History 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.

always 

not

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 #62 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History 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

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

So that Native Americans and colonists would avoid conflict 

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 #63 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

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

Possible Answers:

Governments are not allowed to tax their people

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

None of these

The federal and state governments have equal power

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 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

The authorization of the Declaration of Independence

The ratification of the United States Constitution

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

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.

Example Question #1 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

"Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Having signed the Declaration of Independence, a fundamentally treasonous declaration, Benjamin Franklin reportedly made the above comment to fellow signer, John Hancock, which illustrated Franklin's insistence on what?

Possible Answers:

The abolition of the death penalty

Women's suffrage

Unity among the colonies

The repeal of the Stamp Act

The abolition of slavery

Correct answer:

Unity among the colonies

Explanation:

Benjamin Franklin was a staunch advocate of colonial unity, believing cohesion to be critical in the face of the ensuing revolution.  He is well known for his famous cartoon, 'Join or Die' which depicted a snake cut up into eighths, each representing a colony.

Example Question #61 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

What two reasons were responsible for the Anti-Federalist’s objections to the ratification of the United States Constitution?

Possible Answers:
The insufficient establishment of checks and balances to contain the Judiciary Branch and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
The insufficient establishment of checks and balances to contain the Judiciary Branch and The election of the Chief Executive by electors, as opposed to via popular vote
The election of the Chief Executive by electors, as opposed to via popular vote and The increased power of the Federal Government over the states
The increased power of the Federal Government over the states and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
The election of the Chief Executive by electors, as opposed to via popular vote and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
Correct answer: The increased power of the Federal Government over the states and the omission of a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual liberty
Explanation:

The Anti-Federalists opposed ratification of the Constitution on a number of issues that centered on the fear that the power of the Federal government had been increased too heavily, at the expense of the States, and would lead the power of the centralized government to keep growing and growing. Further, to the point of preventing a possible rise of tyranny the Anti-Federalist demanded that prior to ratification the Constitution have included a Bill of Rights that would forever codify into law the individual freedoms and liberties of all Americans. The central argument of the Anti-Federalists was that, as written, the Constitution did not do enough to prevent the possibility of an autocratic President, or Congress, gaining power and using it to subjugate the people.

Example Question #65 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

The British government viewed the passage of the Stamp Act primarily as?

Possible Answers:
The debt that the United States colonists owed the British crown for protection during the French-Indian war
Reinforcement of the position of the Crown’s dominion over the colonies
A means to raise revenue for the government in the wake of costly wars
A means to rile up colonists in attempt to promote a rebellion that could then be crushed to demonstrate the consequences of rebellion.
A punishment directed against rebellious and treasonous colonists
Correct answer: A means to raise revenue for the government in the wake of costly wars
Explanation:

The British government, and Prime Minister George Greenville, issued the Stamp Act to help raise revenue for the indebted Crown. Although many in British society felt that the colonists owed a debt to the British public for protecting them during the French-Indian wars, and many in the colonies felt that this was meant as a demonstration of the Crown’s ultimate dominion the primary reason was simple “dollars and cents”. The government needed more money and was willing to incur the colonists’ wrath in order to get it. The Stamp Act was passed in 1765 and required colonists to purchase heavily taxed stamps for all post and newspapers. The passage of the Act promoted widespread indignation and some protests in the colonies. 

Example Question #61 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

What was the primary impetus behind William Penn’s establishment of the Pennsylvania colony in 1682?

Possible Answers:
To spread Christianity and encourage missionaries to use the colony as a base to expand the religion Westwards
To gain economic prosperity for himself and his company
To resist the control of the English crown and attempt to form an independent state
To provide religious freedom for the Quakers and political freedom for others
To provide a colony for infant Democracy to grow and flourish
Correct answer: To provide religious freedom for the Quakers and political freedom for others
Explanation:

William Penn was granted a proprietary colony from the English Crown in 1682 and endeavored to set up a colony that granted political freedom to all and, also, to provide a colony for the “Holy Experiment” of the Quakers – who were disparaged and persecuted in Europe. Penn’s intentions were somewhat democratic, but the most pertinent reason was the provisions guaranteeing Quaker religious freedom.

Example Question #3 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

In the early years of the United States, how were slave populations divided for the purposes of Congressional representation?

Possible Answers:
The slave population was counted as three-fifths its actual number
Three slaves were equivalent to one free man
Slaves were not counted as members of the population
Two slaves were equivalent to one free man
Slaves were considered equal to free men
Correct answer: The slave population was counted as three-fifths its actual number
Explanation:

At the Constitutional Convention, the Northern and Southern states could not decide on how to account for the slave populations when considering how Congressional representatives should be divided. The North favored a system where slaves did not count at all, conversely the South favored a system where each slave was equivalent to one free man. In an attempt at compromise, the Convention passed the Three-Fifths Compromise - which stated that, for the purposes of representation, a slave was to be equal to three-fifths of a free man. 

Example Question #1 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of the following men is correctly paired with his viewpoint?

Possible Answers:

George Washington: believed in a strong national government and national bank

Benjamin Franklin: co-authored The Federalist Papers

Alexander Hamilton: believed federal government should not absorb the debts of the states

James Madison: believed the United States should have a standing army

Thomas Jefferson: believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Bible

Correct answer:

George Washington: believed in a strong national government and national bank

Explanation:

Here the information on George Washington is correct.  He strongly supported Alexander Hamilton in his creation of a national government and national bank.  

Thomas Jefferson rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Bible, and argued for laws to protect religious freedom.

Benjamin Franklin did not write the Federalist Papers, which were written by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton.

Alexander Hamilton did believe the federal government should assume the war debts of the states, and as secretary of the Treasury pushed Congress to form a national bank for this purpose.

Finally, James Madison did not believe the US should have a standing army.  In fact, he feared that the United States would become an oppressive government if such a thing happened. 

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