United States History and the Constitution Assessment Bank



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1. Colonial government can best be described as which of the following?

A) totalitarian

B) appointed by Parliament

C) representative

D) unlimited
2. Virginia’s House of Burgesses fulfilled which of the following roles?

A) It met on board the Mayflower to draft laws that would help institute representative government in Massachusetts.

B) It helped establish representative government by serving as the colonies’ first official elected body.

C) it sparked the American Revolution by meeting and selecting Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence.

D) It helped lay a foundation for future government by calling for a unifying government to rule over all the colonies during the French and Indian War.
3. What was the American colonists' primary objection to the taxes imposed by the Stamp Act?

A. It was the first time the British tried to control the colonies.

B. It set the rate so high that it harmed the colonial economy.

C. It had not been approved by colonial representatives.

D. It interfered with merchants' right to free trade.


4. In English history, the Magna Carta (1215) and the English Bill of Rights (1689) both reinforced the concept of

A) universal suffrage.


B) a limited monarchy.
C) religious toleration.
D) a laissez-faire economy.
5.

· English Bill of Rights ⇒ U.S. Bill of Rights
· Petition of Rights ⇒ U.S. Constitution
· Magna Carta ⇒ Articles of Confederation
· Magna Carta ⇒ Petition of Rights

Which shows an accurate relationship between these English and American political doctrines in terms of structure and purpose?

A) Magna Carta ⇒ Petition of Rights


B) Petition of Rights ⇒ U.S. Constitution
C) Magna Carta ⇒ Articles of Confederation
D) English Bill of Rights ⇒ U.S. Bill of Rights

6. Historically, New England's town meetings were good examples of

A) federalism.
B) republicanism.
C) direct democracy.
D) representative democracy.
7. Which statement BEST describes an effect of the British policy of salutary neglect?

A) The colonies developed an attitude for self-governing.
B) Colonial governors became more powerful than assemblies.
C) American colonists stopped sending raw materials to England.
D) Parliament increased its military supervision of the colonies.
8. The “Rule of Law” states that
A) there should be no barriers to the right to vote.
B) a just government derives its power from the governed.
C) all people, including those who govern, must obey the law.
D) a country’s citizens are the source of the government's power.
9. Which statement BEST describes an effect of the British policy of salutary neglect?
A) The colonies developed an attitude for self-governing.
B) Colonial governors became more powerful than assemblies.
C) American colonists stopped sending raw materials to England.
D) Parliament increased its military supervision of the colonies.
10. What was the purpose of the English Bill of Rights?
A) To reinstate King James II
B) To weaken the role of Parliament
C) To establish the British cabinet system
D) To limit the power of the British monarch
11. The political theory that people form governments for their mutual protection and that government rules only with the consent of those people is known as
A) communism.
B) socialism.
C) divine right theory.
D) social contract theory.
12. The “Rule of Law” states that
A) there should be no barriers to the right to vote.
B) a just government derives its power from the governed.
C) all people, including those who govern, must obey the law.
D) a country’s citizens are the source of the government's power.
13. The first written plan of self-government of an American colony was the

A) Magna Carta.

B) Mayflower Compact.

C) Petition of Right.

D) Fundamental Orders.


· established in the Colony of Virginia in 1619
· consisted of a Governor, a council, and representatives from the colony
· marked the beginning of representative government in British North America

14. These are all describing

A) the Plymouth Company.

B) the Mayflower Compact.

C) the House of Burgesses.

D) the Fundamental Orders.
15. How did the Virginia House of Burgesses differ from the government that was established by the Mayflower Compact?

A) The House of Burgesses was a representative assembly.

B) The House of Burgesses established a direct democracy.

C) The House of Burgesses developed before Jamestown was formed.

D) The House of Burgesses included democratic participation from women.
16. Which of these BEST describes the economic activities of the English colonies during the 17th-18th centuries?

A) Industrial in both north and south.

B) agricultural in both north and south.

C) agricultural in the north, industrial in the south.

D) industrial in the north, agricultural in the south.
17. The political theory that people form governments for their mutual protection and that government rules only with the consent of those people is known as

A) communism.

B) socialism.

C) divine right theory.

D) social contract theory.
18. This revenue law of the British parliament succeeded in angering the colonists, but failed to raise a single penny in taxes.

A) The Stamp Act.

B) The Sugar Act.

C) The Townshend Acts.

D) The Navigation Acts.


19. Which nation provided the foundation for the concept of limited government that is embodied in the U.S. Constitution?

A) England

B) France

C) Greece

D) Spain


20.

“…(L)aws, when good, should be supreme; and that the magistrate or magistrates should regulate those matters only on which the laws are unable to speak with precision owing to the difficulty of any general principle embracing all particulars. But what are good laws has not yet been clearly explained; the old difficulty remains. The goodness or badness, justice or injustice, of laws varies of necessity with the constitutions of states. This, however, is clear, that the laws must be adapted to the constitutions. But if so, true forms of government will of necessity have just laws, and perverted forms of government will have unjust laws."
- from Politics, Aristotle, 350 BCE

From this excerpt, Aristotle gives a cautious endorsement of

A) Tyranny.

B) Aristocracy.

C) the Rule of Man.



D) the Rule of Law.
21. The relationship between colonial governors and colonial legislatures can best be described as what?

A) always cooperative, because the colonists saw the importance of unity

B) bitter, because legislators loyal to the king resented the fact that most governors were more concerned with the welfare of the colony than with those of the crown

C) awkward, because both sides were often concerned about offending the other

D) often tense, because legislators tended to be most concerned with the needs of the colony while governors were loyal to the king who had appointed them
22. Which of the following is true regarding colonial governments?

A) They tended to be somewhat independent due to England’s policy of salutary neglect.

B) Due to the necessity for unity, colonial governors and legislative bodies rarely allowed tensions to arise between them

C) The House of Burgesses established representative government in New England

D) Desiring to start a country of their own, colonists rejected all previous models of English government in order to experiment with totally new ideas.
23. In what way did “social contract theory” help shape colonial ideas about government?

A) It reinforced the idea that the king ruled by sovereign right and that colonists owed him their loyalty.

B) It stated that laws passed by the king must have the approval of Parliament and the colonies.

C) It established that leaders are responsible to the people and that governments that fail to protect the natural rights of citizens and fulfill their responsibilities may be replaced by the people.

D) It strengthened the belief in representative government by promoting the idea of “taxation without representation.”
24. Which of the following is a principle that holds that governments are subject to the will of the people?

A) separation of powers

B) popular sovereignty

C) delegated powers

D) federalism
25. The fact that the president of the United States cannot do whatever he/she wants but is bound by the laws of the Constitution is evidence of what?

A) executive powers

B) a belief in natural rights

C) limited government

D) common law
26. What did the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and Tea Act all have in common?

A. They were parliamentary efforts to raise money to ease debt caused by war and to secure trade monopolies.

B. They were intended to punish the colonists for refusing to pay taxes.

C. They resulted in the skirmishes outside of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.

D. They aimed to manifest dissent against colonial leaders after the Continental Congresses convened.
27. How did the Intolerable Acts punish the British colonies?


  1. They place an embargo on the tea and sugar trades.

  2. They closed Boston Harbor and disallowed town hall meetings in Massachusetts.

  3. They demanded repayment for document burned during the Boston Tea Party.

  4. They dissolved the House of Burgesses

28. John Locke wrote, “All mankind…being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.”

A. Checks and balances

B. Inalienable rights

C. Separation of powers

D. Popular sovereignty


29. Use the list below to answer the following question.

*Strictly enforced customs duties.

*Raised taxes on sugar and molasses.

*Placed new taxes on silk, wine, coffee, pimento, and indigo

The list shows the measures the British government took in the 1760s to solve its financial problems created by


  1. The Revolutionary War.

  2. The Stamp Act Congress.

  3. Colonization.

  4. The French and Indian War.

30. Separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution refers to



  1. Proportional representation in the House of Representatives and equal representation in the Senate.

  2. Division of power between federal and state governments.

  3. Division of power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

  4. Division of duties between the president and vice president.

31.


Use the chart below to answer the following question.

The Road to Revolution



Act Colonists’ Reactions

Sugar Act Colonists protest that their rights have been violated.

Stamp Act ????????????????????????????????????????????????

Tea Act Colonists destroy British tea during the Boston Tea Party.

Which of the following answer choices BEST completes the “???” above?


  1. Delegates from nine colonies gather to explain their opposition to the act and request that the king repeal the legislation.

  2. The Battle of Saratoga is waged in protest.

  3. The Boston Massacre occurs as a result of colonial outrage.

  4. The colonies pass the Townshend Acts in retaliation.

32. The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution became effective in 1791. These amendments limit the power of the federal government and guarantee certain individual rights. Together, what are these amendments called?



  1. Declaration of the Rights of Man

  2. The Voting Rights Act

  3. The Rights of Citizens

  4. The Bill of Rights

33. Use the passage below to answer the following question.

“Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ‘Tis Time to Part….Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe….[and] England hath given her warning to depart. Oh! Receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.” ~Thomas Paine, Common Sense

What did Thomas Paine’s pamphlet help persuade the colonists to do?

A. Hold a boycott of British goods

B. Declare independence from Britain

C. Stage the Boston Tea Party

D. Burn the Gaspee



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