United States History and the Constitution Assessment Bank

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1. What was a common criticism of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution?

A. It made the South Vietnamese more vulnerable to communist aggression.

B. It encouraged the use of guerrilla warfare in Vietnam.

C. It allowed the U.S. executive branch too much power.

D. It reduced the freedom of the American press.

2. The Kent State protest of 1970
A) is the only recorded war demonstration of the Vietnam War era.
B) marked the final significant student protest during the Vietnam War.
C) was met with violent force by the Ohio National Guard, killing and injuring students.
D) is significant because former President Johnson participated in protesting the Vietnam War.

3. The most damaging evidence against President Nixon in the Watergate impeachment proceedings was the

A) Nixon’s detailed record of orders to "punish" his enemies.
B) John Dean’s testimony revealing Nixon's personal involvement .
C) discovery of audio tapes of conversations connecting him in attempts to cover up details of the Watergate break-in.
D) the discovery of illegal campaign contributions made by foreign investors and political lobbyists to Nixon’s re-election campaign.
4. How did the War Powers Act of 1973 impact the relationship between the President and the Legislative branch?
A) The President's military powers increased while the Legislative branch lost power.
B) The Speaker of the House acts like the Commander in Chief when the President is unable to fulfill that role.
C) The President must inform Congress within 48 hours of sending troops into a hostile area without a declaration of war.
D) When there is no declaration of war, troops can remain in hostile areas for an unlimited time without Congressional approval.


Joint Resolution

To promote the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia.

Whereas naval units of the Communist regime in Vietnam, in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law, have deliberately and repeatedly attacked United States naval vessels lawfully present in international waters... and

Whereas theses attacks are part of a deliberate and systematic campaign of aggression that the Communist regime in North Vietnam has been waging against its neighbors and the nations joined with them in the collective defense of their freedom; and

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America... the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.

-- Approved August 10, 1964

An opponent of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution would argue that it was unconstitutional because it gave too much power to the
A) armed forces.
B) judicial branch.
C) executive branch.
D) legislative branch.
6. How did the War Powers Act of 1973 impact the role of the president?
A) The act provided the President unlimited funds for spending on the armed forces.
B) The act increased the ability of the President to send troops into hostile areas.
C) The act placed a limit on the President's ability to send troops into hostile areas.
D) The act gave the President the authority to declare war without Congressional approval.



The drastic increase in American troop strength in Vietnam in 1964 was caused directly by
A) the Tet Offensive.
B) the Kennedy assassination.
C) the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
D) the election of Richard Nixon.
8. According to most historians, Kennedy’s philosophy regarding Vietnam prior to his death and Johnson’s appear to be different in what way?

A. It appears that Kennedy was in the process of figuring out how to pull out of Vietnam, while Johnson was determined to escalate US involvement to prevent a communist takeover.

B. Kennedy was preparing to launch an all-out war against North Vietnam, while Johnson’s approach was more cautious.

C. Kennedy did not fear communism in Vietnam, while Johnson clearly did.

D. Kennedy believed that North Vietnam should be supported by the US, while Johnson believed that the US should back South Vietnam instead.
9. Which of the following best describes the Tet Offensive?

A. an incident in which US soldiers were guilty of war atrocities

B. an event in which US bombers dropped thousands of tons of explosives on North Vietnam

C. psychological victory scored by the communists in Vietnam in which they showed their ability to surprise their enemies with a coordinated attack

D. attack on US ships as they sat anchored off the coast of Vietnam.
10. Which of the following marked the end of any official US involvement in Vietnam?

A. the Geneva Accords

B. the Paris Peace Accords

C. the Pentagon Papers

D. the Fall of Saigon

11. Public reaction in the US to the Vietnam War can best be described as what?

A. united

B. divided

C. supporting the war

D. opposed to the war

12. On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guard soldiers fired on demonstrators at Kent State University who were protesting

  1. The excessive influence of large corporations.

  2. Unfair treatment of African American students.

  3. The escalation of the Vietnam War.

  4. Restrictive campus regulations.

13. Use the chart below to answer the following question.


The United States sends $15 million dollars in military aid to the French for the war in Indochina.


Delegates from nine nations convene in Geneva to start negotiations that will lead to the end of hostilities in Indochina.


During a tour of Asian countries, Vice President Lyndon Johnson visits President Diem in Saigon


The Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizes President Lyndon Johnson to “take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.”

The events above are connected with the U.S. entry into

  1. World War I.

  2. World War II.

  3. The Persian Gulf War.

  4. The Vietnam War.


1. What anticommunist organization in Afghanistan did the United States train and fund to drive the Soviets out of their nation?

A) Taliban
B) al-Qaeda
C) Jundullah
D) Mujahadeen



The arrow is pointing to a tiny island where, in October of 1983, the United States led a successful invasion against a Marxist-led government that had taken control weeks earlier. What is the name of this island nation?

A) Grenada
B) Jamaica
C) Puerto Rico
D) Grand Cayman
3. In 1983 which nation did the US invade in order to prevent it from becoming communist and to protect American medical students living there?
A) Cuba
B) Grenada
C) Afghanistan
D) El Salvador

4. The Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade (1973) dealt with the issue of

A) abortion.
B) flag burning.
C) school prayer.
D) discrimination.

5. The theory that the government can best stimulate the economy by helping businesses produce more is known as

A) Marxism.
B) mercantilism.
C) Keynesian economics.
D) supply-side economics.

6. Which of these statements is true about the "Iran-Contra" affair?

A) Impeachment proceedings on President Reagan began in 1986.
B) Money from the exchange was used in covert operations in Nicaragua.
C) Lt. Col. Oliver North was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for lying to Congress.
D) Money from the exchange was used to fund a military mission to free the U.S. hostages held in Iran.
7. Which of these statements BEST describes a result of the "Iran-Contra Affair"?
A) It resulted in impeachment proceedings against the President.
B) The hostages held at the American embassy in Tehran were freed.
C) A Congressional investigation determined the process was illegal.
D) Money from the exchange was used in covert operations in the Soviet Union.

8. Which BEST describes the term "Silent Majority"?

A) a liberal political movement that began in the late 1960s
B) a conservative political movement that began in the late 1960s
C) a movement that nonviolently protested segregation laws in the United States
D) the anti-integration movement that resisted the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.
9. Under which presidential administration did the national debt triple, due to a combination of tax cuts and defense spending?
A) Bill Clinton
B) Ronald Reagan
C) Richard Nixon
D) Lyndon Johnson

10. The Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade (1973) dealt with the issue of

A) abortion.
B) flag burning.
C) school prayer.
D) discrimination.



1. Look at the graph below and answer the question that follows.

Which statement best explains the changes in economic inequality from 1980 to 2000?

A. The number of active union members increased.

B. The number of two-income households increased.

C. The number of high-wage manufacturing jobs decreased.

D. The number part-time and temporary workers decreased.

2. Why did the United States government place price controls on petroleum companies in the early 1970s?
A) Oil companies needed more money in order to increase exploration.
B) Oil executives had been criticized for spending money wastefully.
C) There was an international oil embargo that caused gas prices to rise.
D) People were refusing to buy gasoline because of its link to terrorist groups.

"New immigrants are good for America. They are revitalizing our cities...building our new economy...strengthening our ties to the global economy, just as earlier waves of immigrants settled on the new frontier and powered the Industrial Revolution. They are energizing our culture and broadening our vision of the world. They are renewing our most basic values and reminding us all of what it truly means to be an American."

--President Bill Clinton, Commencement Address at Portland State University, June 13, 1998

Which statement would Clinton be MOST LIKELY to agree with?
A) Immigration has a positive effect on the national economy.
B) Immigration has a negative effect on the national economy.
C) More focus should be placed on ensuring that all immigrants be naturalized.
D) Free healthcare and education should be extended to all immigrants, legal or not.

4. In the 1980s the United States Congress created a law known as "Superfund," which allocated money for what pressing issue?

A) failing farms
B) hazardous waste
C) communist spies
D) industrial output

5. Coming into effect in 1994, NAFTA encouraged free trade between the United States and which two other countries?

A) Canada and Cuba
B) Japan and China
C) Canada and Mexico
D) Finland and Albania

6. Although originally developed for use by the United States military, many believe the innovation that will surpass the telephone and television in global importance is the

A) internet.
B) cellular phone.
C) laptop computer.
D) portable MP3 player.
7. During the early 1990s, the American economy was
A) spiraling into a depression.
B) the wealthiest in the world.
C) dependent on aid from Western Europe.
D) less well-off than in previous years.
8. Which of these would be the LEAST relevant explanation as to why labor unions saw declining membership in the last years of the 20th century in the United States?
A) pro-management tendencies existed in American businesses
B) the association between unions and communism drove many away
C) new laws were passed limiting unions' abilities to be effective
D) industry was relocated into areas with little or no union presence
9. It is argued that Global Warming will be the most pressing environmental issue in the coming years because
A) there is no awareness or concern for it now.
B) the temperatures had been going down the previous years.
C) there is not precedent in Earth's history for a rise in the planet’s average temperature.
D) the rise in temperature is being made worse by pollution and current environmental policies.


One can infer from this chart that a person in the United States who speaks a language other than English at home is most likely to be from which of these countries?

A) Canada
B) Germany
C) Mexico
D) Spain
11. Which of these is the MOST significant impact of the wide availability of computers and high-speed internet connections since the start of the 21st century?
A) an increase in television sales
B) a decrease in college graduates
C) more people teleworking from home
D) renewed interest in the space program
12. For the first time in 16 years, the Presidential Election of 1992 saw
A) a landslide victory.
B) a Democrat win the election.
C) a third-party candidate for President.
D) a woman was a candidate for Vice-President.

13. Which of the following statements is true?

A. Bill Clinton was elected successfully depicting himself as a “tax and spend liberal.”

B. Reagan believed in “big government.”

C. George W. Bush has repeatedly expressed that he is unconcerned about North Korea and Iran’s alleged nuclear programs.

D. George W. Bush became president of the United States in 2001 only after the Supreme Court ruled on the 2000 election results.

14. Which of the following represents a controversy surrounding immigration?

A. whether or not people should visit the US

B. whether or not legal immigrants should be allowed to go to school

C. whether or not a fence should be built to secure the border

D. whether or not illegal immigration is against the law
15. Use the chart below to answer the following question.

U.S. exports to Canada = $175 billion

U.S. imports from Canada = $229 billion

U.S. exports to Mexico = $109 billion

U.S. imports from Mexico = $135 billion

Mexican exports to Canada = $8.5 billion

Mexican imports from Canada = $1.3 billion

Which of the following is the best title for the above chart?

  1. Effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

  2. Effects on Global Trade of the European Union

  3. Growth of Canadian-Mexican Trade

  4. American Balance of Trade with Mexico


16. President Reagan’s proposal to stimulate the economy by increasing the production of goods and services was called

  1. Supply-side economics.

  2. Deregulation.

  3. Glasnost.

  4. Revenue sharing.



1. What was a military outcome of Operation Desert Storm in 1991?

A. The elimination of Kuwait’s oil resources in Iraq

B. The capture of Baghdad by United Nations forces

C. The occupation of Iraq and Kuwait by allied ground troops

D. The forced removal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait by coalition forces

2. What foreign policy under the administrations of has been a consistent feature of U.S. President Harry Truman through President George W. Bush?

A. support for the state of Israel

B. opposition to dictators in Iraq

C. friendly relations with mainland China

D. strained relations with France and Germany

3. The stated purposes of the war in Iraq that began in 2002 involve all of the following EXCEPT
A) foster democracy in Iraq.
B) restoring self-rule to Kuwait.
C) promote freedom in the region.
D) prevent an attack on the United States.
4. Why did the policies of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union change the way Ronald Reagan interacted with that nation?
A) The policies demonstrated to the United States that communism would stand firm.
B) The policies allowed for the United States and Soviet Union to lift trade sanctions off of China.
C) The policies showed Reagan that the socialist state was being reformed to a more democratic nation.
D) The policies provided an opportunity for the United States to engage in free trade with nations in Eastern Europe.
5. Signed into law on October 26, 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act has received criticism because
A) it faced great opposition from Congress.
B) of its damaging impact on the environment.
C) it greatly increased taxes on the middle classes.
D) of its curtailing of civil rights in order to fight terrorism.
6. What event is generally considered to be the "spark" that started the "War on Terrorism"?
A) the war in Iraq, 2003-present
B) 1991 Iraq invasion of Kuwait
C) the war in Afghanistan, 2001-present
D) September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S.
7. Which of these is the BEST explanation for the United States' increased involvement in Middle Eastern affairs after World War II?
A) to stop the spread of Communism from the USSR
B) to purchase cheap oil for the growing economy
C) to trade with newly formed Middle Eastern states
D) to form military alliances with several Arab nations
8. Unlike the Camp David Accords in 1978, the Camp David Accords of 2000
A) succeeded in establishing peace between Libya and Egypt.
B) failed to bring about a plan for peace in the Middle East.
C) were protested by the United States for its political overtones.
D) allowed the U.S. to gain valuable allies in the War on Terrorism.

9. The primary cause of the first Gulf War (1990-1991) was

A) the Iraqi army's sudden invasion of Kuwait.
B) Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction.
C) repeated attacks by the Iraqi navy on civilian targets within Israel.
D) Iraq’s testing of a nuclear device as part of a test of its weapons program.
10. Why did the policies of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union change the way Ronald Reagan interacted with that nation?
A) The policies demonstrated to the United States that communism would stand firm.
B) The policies allowed for the United States and Soviet Union to lift trade sanctions off of China.
C) The policies showed Reagan that the socialist state was being reformed to a more democratic nation.
D) The policies provided an opportunity for the United States to engage in free trade with nations in Eastern Europe.
11. Osama bin Laden was BEST known for
A) invading oil-rich Kuwait in the 1990s.
B) founding an Islamic extremist terrorist group.
C) organizing the Taliban to resist Soviet occupation.
D) running the largest dictatorship in the Middle East.

In 1988, Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev introduced a series of reforms designed to give new freedoms to the people, including greater freedom of speech. The press also became far less controlled, and thousands of political prisoners and many dissidents were released.

What was the name of Gorbachev's reform movement?
A) Demokratizatsiya
B) Demorossiya
C) Glasnost
D) Perestroika

13. Which of the following did not result from 9/11?

A. George H.W. Bush’s decision to liberate Kuwait

B. establishment of the Department of Homeland Security

C. passage of the PATRIOT Act

D. the War on Terror


14. What is Al-Qaeda and what is its goal?

A. a band of freedom fighters determined to resist communism in Nicaragua

B. radical Muslims who became the government of Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew and who wish to establish radical Islam in other nations as well

C. a terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden that is determined to destroy western nations like the US

D. an international peace keeping force meant to establish peace in Iraq


15. Which of the following events occurred on September 11, 2001?

  1. Terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC

  2. The United States began bombing targets in Afghanistan

  3. Terrorists destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City

  4. The United States invaded Iraq

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