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 #391 : U.S. Political History

Anti-Federalists most likely would have supported

Possible Answers:

The imposition of tariffs on all foreign goods

The power of states to nullify Federal law

The response of the Federal government to the Whiskey Rebellion

Anti-Federalists would have supported none of those mentioned

The creation of the National Bank

Correct answer:

The power of states to nullify Federal law

Explanation:

Anti-Federalists opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution on the grounds that it gave too much power to the Federal government, did not include a Bill of Rights providing for individual liberty, and took too much power away from the states. As a result of this knowledge, we can reasonably conclude that Anti-Federalists would have objected to the creation of a National Bank and to the imposition of tariffs, because both of these measures strengthened the power of the Federal government. In addition, Anti-Federalists would have objected to George Washington calling in the militia to deal with the Whiskey Rebellion; however, they would have approved of the idea of nullification, as it represents a clear improvement to the power of states to resist Federal authority. 

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

According to the Connecticut Compromise              .

Possible Answers:

Maine was to be admitted to the Union as a free state and Alabama was to be admitted to the Union as a slave state

Congress would be divided into a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the upper house and equal representation in the lower house

Slavery was to be outlawed above the Missouri line, except in the proposed state of Missouri, and legal below the Missouri line

Congress would be divided into a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house and equal representation for each state in the upper house 

Slaves would count for three-fifths a person when appropriating representation 

Correct answer:

Congress would be divided into a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house and equal representation for each state in the upper house 

Explanation:

The Connecticut Compromise was proposed, in 1787, as a solution to a disagreement between the larger and smaller states as to how representation should be appropriated in the newly formed United States. The smaller states desired that representation should be equal for all states, regardless of population size. The larger states desired that representation should be proportional to population. As a compromise the Union enacted a bicameral legislature whereby the lower house (House of Representatives) was to have proportional representation and the upper house (Senate) was to have equal representation for all states. The agreement persists to this day. 

Example Question #71 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

In order to vote in the Plymouth Colony, under the Mayflower Compact, an individual had to be                       .

Possible Answers:

white, male, a land owner, a member of the church, and married

white, male, and a land owner

white

white and male

white, male, a land owner, and a member of the church 

Correct answer:

white, male, a land owner, and a member of the church 

Explanation:

The Mayflower Compact was signed by some of the original settlers of the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, in 1620. Having been bound for Virginia, their ship was forced to change direction by a violent storm, ending up in Massachusetts. The Pilgrims took this as a sign from God that this place was where they were to make their new community. They signed the Mayflower Compact shortly after arriving and dictated that the government of this new territory would adhere to majority rule of the members of the church (despite the fact that slightly less than half of the people on board were Pilgrims). In order to vote, an individual needed to be white and male, own land, and be a recognized member of the church community.

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

In Pontiac’s Rebellion                       .

Possible Answers:

indentured servants and slaves rose up against the land owning classes, but were ultimately defeated

indentured servants and slaves rose up against the land owning classes and affected massive social and economic change

Native American forces attacked colonial settlements and refused to concede British sovereignty 

None of these answers illustrate what happened in Pontiac’s Rebellion

Native American forces attacked colonial settlements, but ultimately conceded British sovereignty 

Correct answer:

Native American forces attacked colonial settlements, but ultimately conceded British sovereignty 

Explanation:

Pontiac’s Rebellion, also called Pontiac’s War, was launched following the culmination of the Seven Years' War in 1763. It was waged between Native Americans and British settlers. Native Americans from the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley were the primary aggressors, at least directly, in the conflict. They attacked colonial settlements throughout the region, reaching as far as Central Pennsylvania. Eventually, the Native American alliance began to fracture and the full might of the British Empire was directed at the conflict. The combination of these two factors caused the Native people to accept a peaceful resolution and to concede ultimate British sovereignty over their lands.

Example Question #71 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

The New Jersey Plan primarily favored                     .

Possible Answers:

merchants and bankers

small states

wealthy land owners

big states

farmers and day laborers

Correct answer:

small states

Explanation:

The New Jersey Plan was one of two plans put forward at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The other was the Virginia plan. The Virginia plan called for two houses of Congress, both elected with proportional representation. This plan would place the majority of influence in the hands of the more populated states. The New Jersey Plan was an attempt by the smaller states to counter this proposal. It argued that representation should be left how it had been under the Articles of Confederation—namely that each state, regardless of size, get an equal share of representation. The controversy was eventually solved by the Great Compromise, which created a bicameral legislature. The upper house was to follow the New Jersey Plan, the lower house the Virginia Plan. 

Example Question #11 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was organized to amend __________.

Possible Answers:

The Northwest Ordinance 

The Bill of Rights

The Treaty of Paris

The United States Constitution

The Articles of Confederation 

Correct answer:

The Articles of Confederation 

Explanation:

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was convened originally with the intention of amending the decidedly unworkable Articles of Confederation. Several incidents since the break with Britain had demonstrated that the Articles were too loose and weak of a governing body to adequately manage the affairs of a young, large and growing nation. Many politicians, most notably James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, argued for the abandonment of the Articles of Confederation and the creation of a new government and constitution.

Example Question #71 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Which of these early political figures did not write essays supporting the ratification of the Constitution under the pseudonym Publius

Possible Answers:

They all contributed

James Madison 

Alexander Hamilton 

John Jay

Thomas Jefferson 

Correct answer:

Thomas Jefferson 

Explanation:

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay wrote a series of eighty-five articles arguing in favor of ratification of the Constitution. All three wished to remain anonymous, writing under the pseudonym Publius, but the identities were discovered after their deaths. The collection of their work is called The Federalist Papers. 

Example Question #72 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

The main difference between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan was that __________.

Possible Answers:

the Virginia Plan gave suffrage to all male citizens, whereas the New Jersey Plan only granted suffrage to land owning citizens.

the Virginia Plan gave more federal aid to farmers than to merchants and artisans, while the New Jersey Plan favored merchants and artisans over farmers.

the Virginia Plan would allow slavery in every new state, whereas the New Jersey Plan would prohibit slavery in every new northern state.

the Virginia Plan called for a legislature that was based on state population and the New Jersey Plan called for a legislature in which each state had a single vote.

the Virginia Plan delegated the task of presidential selection to congress, but the New Jersey Plan gave that power to the people.

Correct answer:

the Virginia Plan called for a legislature that was based on state population and the New Jersey Plan called for a legislature in which each state had a single vote.

Explanation:

The Virginia Plan was written by James Madison, a Virginia farmowner himself. In it, a lot of the legislative power was give to the southern, farming states. This was done through population based apportionment, the southern states where larger both in size and population, so they would very easily control Congress.

In response, William Patterson penned the New Jersey Plan, in which each state got a single vote in Congress.

These plans were resolved by the Great Compromise penned by Roger Sherman. The Great Compromise, or Connecticut Plan, called for a bicameral legislature with a population based House of Representatives, and a Senate in which each state had equal representation.

Example Question #12 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The framers of the Constitution would have agreed, for the most part, with which of the following statements?

Possible Answers:

The inherent goodness and intelligence of people means that few electoral obstacles should be placed in their way.

Political parties are divisive and dangerous to the preservation of liberty and the Union.

The legislative branch should have ultimate control over the direction of the government.

The framers would have agreed with all these statements.

The institution of slavery should be disbanded, as it goes against the democratic ideals of the Union.

Correct answer:

Political parties are divisive and dangerous to the preservation of liberty and the Union.

Explanation:

It must first be stated that it is hard to generalize about the opinions of the framers, however almost exclusively they believed that the existence of political parties would be detrimental to the growth of freedom and liberty in the Union. George Washington spoke out against political parties when he stepped down from power; Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote extensively against political parties in The Federalist Papers.

The framers generally felt that the common man was unprepared for ultimate control of government, so they allowed for a group of electors to dilute the democratic process. In addition, whilst many framers abhorred the immorality of slavery, many others were slave holders themselves and actively sought to protect the institution, at least for the remainder of their lifetimes. Finally, the framers believed that no single branch (executive, legislative or judicial) should have complete control over the government and sought to institute a system of checks and balances to prevent this.

Example Question #71 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

What was the primary stumbling block between the colonies and the British government?

Possible Answers:

The British policy of leniency towards Native Americans encroaching on Colonial lands

The Townshend Acts

The Boston Massacre

The British Parliament’s insistence on the legitimacy of the theory of virtual representation

The British belief that all colonists were subjects of the Crown

Correct answer:

The British Parliament’s insistence on the legitimacy of the theory of virtual representation

Explanation:

Parliament’s insistence that virtual representation was sufficient to adequately represent the interests of the colonists in British policy making was a major ideological problem for the colonies. Virtual representation rested on the theory that since Parliament protected the interests of all British citizens and subjects, it was not necessary for colonists to directly elect representatives. Colonists, on the other hand, believed that such a policy meant their interests were second to those of the actual electorate and, in the years leading up to revolution, demanded fair and equal representation.

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