United States History and the Constitution Assessment Bank

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1. What did the Mexican Cession, “Bleeding Kansas,” and John Brown’s Raid have in common?

A. All were examples of Manifest Destiny.

B. All provoked increased debate over slavery.

C. All were sparked by conflict with Native Americans.

D. All helped Democrats win the ensuing presidential election.

2. What did the South gain from both the Compromise of the 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act?

A. an enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law

B. a provision to honor the Mason-Dixon line

C. the gradual elimination of slavery in the territories being added to

the nation

D. the use of popular sovereignty in making decisions about slavery

in the territories
3. The Supreme Court case that most clearly contributed to the start of the Civil War was

A) Roe v. Wade.

B) Dred Scott v. Sanford.

C) McCulloch v. Maryland.

D) Brown v. Board of Education.



"The Legislation of the Republic is in the hands of this handful of Slaveholders. The body which gives the supreme law of the land, has just acceded to their demands, and dared to declare that under the charter of the Nation, men of African descent are not citizens of the United States and can not be — that the Ordinance of 1787 was void — that the American Congress has no power to prevent the enslavement of men in the National Territories — that the inhabitants themselves of the Territories have no power to exclude human bondage from their midst — and that men of color can not be suitors for justice in the Courts of the United States!"

--The Albany (New York) Evening Journal, 1857

The author in this editorial is reacting to the Supreme Court decision in

A) Plessy v. Ferguson

B) Worcester v. Georgia

C) Dred Scott v. Sandford

D) Thomas Richardson v. The City of Boston

5. How did many free African Americans living in Northeastern United States become slaves during the Federalist period?

A) They were kidnapped and sold back into slavery.

B) They wanted to move away from the harsh winters in the North.

C) They voluntarily moved South to be slaves and live with family.

D) They believed the discrimination in the North was worse than being a slave in the South.
6. The Wilmot Proviso (1846) attempted to forever ban slavery in territories that were won as a result of

A) the Civil War.

B) the Mexican War.

C) the Louisiana Purchase.

D) the Spanish-American War.




In 1860, the darkest area on the map above would have been LEAST likely to

A) use forced labor in its agricultural production.

B) vote for Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States.

C) push for expansion of slavery in western states and territories.

D) support the notion of "popular sovereignty" in the debate over slavery.
8. Which Supreme Court case raised the issue of a black slave who lived in a free state and questioned whether slaves were free once they set foot upon Northern soil?
A) Plessy v. Ferguson
B) Worcester v. Georgia
C) Dred Scott v. Sandford
D) Nat Turner v. Virginia
9. In February of 1861, the seven seceded states met in Montgomery, Alabama, to
A) found the Confederate States of America.
B) discuss military strategy after the victory at First Bull Run.
C) decide how resources would be divided between the seven states of the Confederacy.
D) try to get Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee to join the Confederacy.


· Triggered the "Panic of 1857" and resulted in several railroad bankruptcies and bank closures.

· Strengthened pro-slavery and secessionist support in the south.

· Made the question of extending slavery into new territories an unstable issue.

· Divided the Democratic Party on sectional lines and strengthened the Republican Party.

These statements are describing the effects of the Supreme Court's decision in
A) Plessy v. Ferguson
B) Worcester v. Georgia
C) Richardson v. Boston
D) Dred Scott v. Sandford


Which issue would BEST explain the voting trend represented in this election map from 1860?

A) The Republicans promised increased industrial opportunities.
B) The Constitutional Union party stood for universal suffrage.
C) The northern states favored a stance of American neutrality in foreign conflicts.
D) The southern states refused to support Lincoln's stance against slavery's expansion.
12. When the admission of new states threatened the balance of free and slave states in the Union, which Kentucky Senator drew up the "Missouri Compromise" in 1820?
A) Henry Clay
B) Andrew Jackson
C) John C. Calhoun
D) William H. Harrison

"I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself."

This is an excerpt from
A) The Gettysburg Address.
B) The Emancipation Proclamation.
C) Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address.
D) The Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
14. Early in his Presidency, Abraham Lincoln declared that his primary goal as President was to
A) preserve the Union.
B) encourage sectionalism.
C) enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.
D) end slavery throughout the entire country.
15. Which Supreme Court case would have had the BIGGEST impact on slaves in the United States?
A) Marbury v. Madison (1803)
B) Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
C) McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
D) Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)


"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature"

--Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address, 1861.

"Our present position has been achieved in a manner unprecedented in the history of nations. It illustrates the American idea that government rests upon the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish a government whenever it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established. The declared purposes of the compact of Union from which we have withdrawn were to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, to provide for the common defence, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity; and when in the judgment of the sovereign States now comprising this Confederacy it had been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, an appeal to the ballot box declared that so far as they were concerned the government created by that compact should cease to exist"

--Jefferson Davis, Inaugural Address, 1861.

Which statement offers the BEST conclusion that one can draw from these two inaugural speeches?
A) Davis believed the idea of secession was unconstitutional.
B) Both Lincoln and Davis were dedicated to the goal of preserving the Union.
C) Lincoln was prepared to use military force to prevent secession and keep the southern states in the Union.
D) Lincoln's goal was to preserve the Union, while Davis's goal was to create an independent government for the Confederacy.
17. The antebellum Republican party was distinct from the Democrats primarily in what way?

A) Only Southerners supported the Democrats, while Northerners supported Republicans.

B) All Republicans wanted to abolish slavery, while all Democrats supported slavery.

C) Republicans were united in their support of slavery, while Democrats were divided.

D) Republicans adamantly opposed the extension of slavery into new territories, while Democrats were often divided on the issue.
18. Which of the following was not a result of the tension that existed in the US over the slavery issue prior to the Civil War?

A) the Sumner-Brooks incident

B) John Brown’s raid

C) the South Carolina nullification crisis

D) “Bleeding Kansas”
19. How did John Brown’s actions accelerate the violence in “Bleeding Kansas”?

A) He supported the Ordinance of Nullification.

B) He led pro-slavery Missourians across the border into Kansas to vote.

C) His murder of five pro-slavery men prompted roving bands to kill over 200 people.

D) He arrested local leaders in Lawrence, Kansas for treason.
20. What conclusion can be made about the effect of the Dred Scott cases?

A) It effectively bolstered the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

B) It resulted in less of a need for the Underground Railroad.

C) It received greater support in the North than in the South.

D) It prompted congress to pass legislation protecting the rights of slaveholders.

Causes: Event:_____________________

*Desire to organize new territories *Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854

*Desire to resolve the issues of expanding slaveholding


*Missouri Compromise repealed

*Northern anger over spread of slavery to “free” land


*John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry
Which of the following BEST completes the “######” ?

A) Kansas and Nebraska become free states

B) Outbreak of violence in “Bleeding Kansas”

C) Fugitive Slave Act

D) Lincoln elected president
22. Why was the Missouri Compromise proposed?

  1. To allow Missouri to become a free state

  2. To make the land more suitable for farming

  3. To keep the Senate balanced between slave and non-slave states

  4. To admit Oregon to the Union

23. The Kentucky Resolutions advanced the idea of nullification, meaning that

  1. The Supreme Court could nullify unconstitutional laws.

  2. States could nullify the citizenship of any naturalized immigrant convicted of treason.

  3. States could nullify federal laws that they deemed unconstitutional.

  4. The federal government could nullify state laws it deemed unconstitutional.

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