SAT II US History : U.S. Political History

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #401 : U.S. Political History

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.

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

The framers would have agreed with all these statements.

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

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 #72 : 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 Townshend Acts

The Boston Massacre

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

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.

Example Question #402 : U.S. Political History

The colonists believed in the inherent fairness of “virtual representation” ______________.

Possible Answers:

at all levels of government

at the federal level

at the state level

None of these, the colonists did not believe that virtual representation was inherently unfair.

Correct answer:

None of these, the colonists did not believe that virtual representation was inherently unfair.

Explanation:

In order to answer this question, you must have remembered the meaning of virtual representation—the belief held by Grenville and others in the British political elite that the members of parliament accurately represented all citizens of the Empire, regardless of their actual physical representation (or lack thereof). This, of course, was one of the biggest matters of disagreement in between the Brits and colonists: the colonists disagreed with the so-called virtual representation—the colonists believed that the only fair representation would be actual, physical, representation in Parliament (hence “no taxation without representation”). 

Example Question #403 : U.S. Political History

Which of the following were reasons for Antifederalist opposition to ratification?

Possible Answers:

Fear of tyranny

All of the answers are correct

Fear of diminished state power

Lack of a Bill of Rights, or protections from federal encroachment

Correct answer:

All of the answers are correct

Explanation:

This question requires relatively little explanation, given that the answers are all explanations. That said, one of the answers—fear of diminished state power—may require some explanation. Some of the more entrenched and powerful state governors stood to lose much power if the Constitution was ratified. Do you understand why?

Answer: The individual states, and thus the heads of state (i.e. governors), gave up the nearly-unlimited power under the Articles of Confederation for the unity and protection of the Constitution.

Example Question #404 : U.S. Political History

What is the most significant political legacy of the Virginia colony?

Possible Answers:

None of the answers given

That white supremacy on the continent was both legitimate and inevitable

That religion should be subordinate to secular interests in government

The introduction of representative politics on the continent

That resistance to the Crown could be successful due to distance from Europe

Correct answer:

The introduction of representative politics on the continent

Explanation:

In 1619, the Virginia Company established the House of Burgesses. It guaranteed the right of all white males in the colony to elect representatives who in turn consulted with the governor about the passage of laws in the colony. It was the first such example in the United States and laid the foundations for the institution of the House of Representatives in the United States Constitution.

Example Question #405 : U.S. Political History

The United States Constitution required ratification by nine of the thirteen original states. Which state was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, thus solidifying the formation of the federal Union?

Possible Answers:

Virginia

New Hampshire

Vermont

New York

Massachusetts

Correct answer:

New Hampshire

Explanation:

New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution and thus give it effect. It did so on June 21, 1788. The first eight, listed in chronological order, were Delaware (December, 1787), Pennsylvania (December, 1787), New Jersey (December, 1787), Georgia (January, 1788), Connecticut (January, 1788), Massachusetts (February, 1788), Maryland (April, 1788), and South Carolina (May, 1788).

Example Question #406 : U.S. Political History

Which of the following was not a British response to the Boston Tea Party?
       

Possible Answers:

The Administration of Justice Act

Closing Boston Harbor

The Stamp Act

The Quebec Act

Correct answer:

The Stamp Act

Explanation:

This was a difficult question, due to the similarity of all of the answers. The key to answering it is remembering the timeline of pre-revolutionary America: “Closing Boston Harbor,” “The Administration of Justice Act,” and “The Quebec Act” were all part of the “Intolerable Acts” (also called the “Coercive Acts”). Britain passed the Intolerable Acts as a reaction to the Boston Tea Party; closing the Boston Harbor, for example, makes complete sense in that regard. The Stamp Act, however, was not a reaction to the Boston Tea Party—that would have been impossible given that Britain passed the Stamp Act nearly 10 years prior to the Boston Tea Party.

Example Question #1 : Summary Of U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

All of the following are true about the beginning of the Revolutionary War EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:
The French were instrumental in helping the Americans fight against the Royal Navy.
George Washington's troops fared very poorly at Valley Forge, losing thousands of men.
in 1783, Britain acknowledged the legitimacy of America.
The signing of the Declaration of Independence led to the first shots fired of the war.
The Revolution went well at first, with several victories for the Americans coming early on.
Correct answer: The signing of the Declaration of Independence led to the first shots fired of the war.
Explanation:

The first fighting of the Revolution started in April of 1775 when Paul Revere road through the night to spread the news.  The Declaration of Independence, however, didn't happen until July of 1776, over a year after the war began.  

Everything else here is true.  America saw early victories at Fort Ticonderoga and Boston, but then the war took a turn for the worse, and over 2,500 Americans died at Valley Forge. The French, still angry over the French and Indian War, offered support to the Americans and were instrumental in changing the tide of the war. The Americans and the French trapped the British in Chesepeake Bay, and on September 3, 1783, the British prime minister resigned and officially recognized the United States. 

Example Question #2 : Summary Of U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The Presidential Veto is an example of which tenet of the United States Constitution?

Possible Answers:

Republicanism

Checks and Balances

Judicial Review

Popular Sovereignty

Separation of Powers

Correct answer:

Checks and Balances

Explanation:

The ability of the President to veto a law passed by Congress is an example of the system of checks and balances that the founding fathers believed would help prevent any one branch of government from wielding too large a portion of control. In a further example of the system of checks and balances, Congress can overturn a Presidential Veto with a two-thirds majority vote in both Houses of Congress. 

Example Question #3 : Summary Of U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The Albany Plan                 .

Possible Answers:

passed the colonial assemblies, but was rejected by the British government 

proposed a peaceful and immediate resolution to conflict with Britain

rejected the imposition of taxation without representation on the colonists

improved trade relations between the colonies and France

called for a united government of the thirteen colonies for mutual protection 

Correct answer:

called for a united government of the thirteen colonies for mutual protection 

Explanation:

The Albany Plan was proposed by Benjamin Franklin in the middle of the eighteenth century. Franklin called for the creation of a unified government to provide for the mutual defense and protection of the thirteen colonies. The representatives were motivated by a desire to better protect themselves against raids by Native American people and the French. The plan was rejected both by the colonial assemblies and by the British government—who feared that the Albany Plan would lead to further unification and weaken British control on the individual colonies. Many of the ideas expressed in the Albany Plan would resurface in the Articles of Confederation, following the end of the Revolutionary War. 

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