1. What was the primary goal of the Constitution's framers?
a. to create an effective government
b. to develop political virtue among citizens
c. to create a constitutional system that would last for centuries
d. to create a document that made state constitutions unnecessary
2. Which sector of society did not have interests that directly sparked the American Revolution?
a. New England merchants
b. small farmers
d. Royalists loyal to Britain
3. What led the British to raise taxes on the American colonists during the 1760s?
a. the French and Indian Wars
b. the cost of the war against Napoleon in Europe
c. the expenses incurred in colonizing South Africa
d. the extensive roads and canals built by the British in North America
4. Colonial protesters of the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act rallied around what famous political slogan?
a. "No taxation without representation."
b. "Give me liberty or give me death."
c. "Remember the Alamo."
d. "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
5. The Stamp Act was a
a. tax on commerce.
b. prohibition on all unofficial mail.
c. law permitting the Crown to open mail.
d. prohibition on alcohol.
6. The events that led to the Revolutionary War were triggered by which of the following?
a. The British raised revenue by increasing the tax rate of the colonies.
b. The British had established suspicious alliances with Indian tribes during the
French and Indian Wars.
c. American separatists assassinated King George II.
d. Protestant fundamentalists in New England were attempting to establish a
7. What was the most common form of taxation during the colonial era?
a. income tax
b. taxes on commercial products and activities
c. animal head tax
d. taxes for use of governmental services and lands
8. Who orchestrated the Boston Tea Party?
a. John Adams
b. Samuel Adams
c. Samuel Lipton
d. Alexander Hamilton
9. A ___________ is a system of government in which states retain sovereign authority except for powers
expressly delegated to a national government.
d. bicameral state
10. Who was not appointed to help draft the Declaration of Independence?
a. Thomas Jefferson
b. Benjamin Franklin
c. John Adams
d. George Washington
11. Under the United States' first constitution,
a. there was no president.
b. the president was more powerful than Congress.
c. the Senate was the most powerful political institution.
d. the president was directly appointed by the state legislatures.
12. How was power in Congress divided under the Articles of Confederation?
a. Each state had an equal vote.
b. Each state's votes were proportionate to its population.
c. The states were not formally represented in Congress.
d. Each state's power depended on its geographic size.
13. As a constitution, the Articles of Confederation were concerned primarily with
a. creating a national government that had significant power and authority.
b. creating a federal form of government.
c. creating a form of government in which the states were largely subservient to the
d. limiting the powers of the central government.
14. Under the Articles of Confederation, it was left to the __________ to execute the laws passed by
b. chief executive
15. Which statement about government under the Articles of Confederation is false?
a. The armed forces of the United States consisted of state militias.
b. The central government could not prevent states from economically
discriminating against one another.
c. There was no president under the Articles of Confederation.
d. Members of Congress had significant independence from their states.
16. The Articles of Confederation were adopted in
17. What was the purpose of the Annapolis Convention?
a. to discuss the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
b. to plot the revolt known as Shays' Rebellion
c. to write the Declaration of Independence
d. to draft a new Bill of Rights
18. The Virginia Plan of the Constitutional Convention proposed a system of representation in the national
legislature that was based upon
a. equal representation between the states.
b. the concept of universal suffrage.
c. the population of each state or the proportion of each state's revenue contribution,
d. the geographical size of a state.
19. According to historian Charles Beard, the framers of the Constitution were most concerned with
a. establishing principles of good government.
b. pursuing military glory and imperialism.
c. promoting their economic interests.
d. creating a religious community.
20. According to the text, the writing of the Constitution demonstrates the
a. marriage of interests and principles.
b. triumph of self-interest over the common good.
c. epitome of civic virtue.
d. rupture with the past.
21. At the Constitutional Convention, the plan to create a Congress where representation was distributed
according to population was called the
a. Virginia Plan.
b. Adams Proposal.
c. New Hampshire Suggestion.
d. Washington Doctrine.
22. What did the New Jersey Plan propose for Congress?
a. Representation would be equal for each state.
b. Representation would be apportioned according to population.
c. The powers of Congress would check those of state legislatures.
d. Representatives to Congress would be appointed by the state legislatures.
23. The issue of representation, which threatened to wreck the entire Constitutional Convention, was
resolved by the Great Compromise, also called the
a. New Jersey Plan.
b. Connecticut Compromise.
c. Pennsylvania Compromise.
d. Virginia Plan.
24. During the Philadelphia Convention, in order to win concessions from large states, representatives from
smaller states like Delaware threatened to
a. boycott goods from large states.
b. ban travel across their borders.
c. form alliances with foreign nations.
d. go to war with the large states.
25. James Madison believed that in the Constitutional Convention the greatest conflict of interests was
a. large states and small states.
b. northern states and southern states.
c. the wealthy and the poor.
d. Catholics and Protestants.
26. What is the Three-fifths Compromise?
a. It determined that three out of every five slaves would be counted for purposes of
representation and taxation.
b. It determined the ratio between free states and slave states.
c. It created a bicameral legislature.
d. It declared that the states would pay three-fifths of the Revolutionary War debt
and the federal government would pay the rest.
27. Which of the following was a ramification of the Three-fifths Compromise?
a. It temporarily mended the conflict between northern merchants and southern
b. It allowed for a political agreement between the North and the South.
c. It meant that the Constitution officially supported slavery.
d. all of the above
28. The ability of the president to veto a bill passed by Congress is a good example of what principle of
a. separation of powers
c. checks and balances
d. civil liberties
29. The framers of the Constitution attempted to create a government that could do all of the following
a. promote commerce and protect private property.
b. limit excessive democracy.
c. restrict the power of the central government.
d. lead to the eventual inclusion of nonwhites in political life.
30. The electoral college is
a. an expression of direct democracy.
b. designed to select the president.
c. established in the Bill of Rights.
d. all of the above.
31. The system of shared powers, divided between a central government and the states, is called
a. the electoral college.
d. checks and balances.
32. Which of the following was designed by the framers to be an office directly elected by the people?
a. congressional representative
d. all of the above
33. What is the term length of a member of the House of Representatives?
a. one year
b. two years
c. four years
d. six years
34. The three branches of government created by the Constitution are
a. constitutional, elected, and appointed.
b. executive, legislative, and judicial.
c. federal, state, and local.
d. military, courts, and bureaucracy.
35. Procedures outlining how to amend the Constitution are found in Article
36. Which of the following was not a way the framers tried to make the Senate a check against excessive
a. Senators have longer terms than any other federal officials.
b. The Senate has staggered terms of office.
c. Senators were elected by the state legislatures.
d. Senators are the only officials immune from impeachment.
37. Only one-third of the Senate is up for re-election during any single election year, because the framers
a. too many elections would be difficult for the states to run.
b. the voters should not have to make too many decisions during any single election.
c. this was the only way to protect the Senate against radical changes.
d. the state legislatures would conspire with each other to elect a Senate dominated
by a single party.
38. The framers of the Constitution intended to create a presidency capable of
a. completely dominating Congress.
b. withstanding excessive popular pressure by making it subject to indirect election
through the electoral college.
c. spending money with little interference from any other branch of government.
d. regulating all forms of commerce.
39. The principle of giving each branch of government its own constituency is what Montesquieu calls a
c. mixed regime.
40. To amend the Constitution requires a __________ vote by Congress, and approval by __________ of the
a. majority; a majority
b. two-thirds; three-fourths
c. three-fourths; a majority
d. majority; two-thirds
41. Whose "political gospel" inspired the framers to adopt the concept of the separation of powers?
42. Compared with the Articles of Confederation, federalism under the Constitution has led to
a. greater centralization of power.
b. increased state autonomy.
c. the establishment of unitary government.
d. more local autonomy, at the expense of the states.
43. During the ratification debates, who were the Antifederalists?
a. those who opposed the new Constitution because they wanted a weaker central
b. those who opposed the Constitution because it did not create a strong enough
c. those who supported the Constitution
d. those who believed that the United States should enter into a confederation with
Britain and Canada
44. In the national debate over ratification of the new Constitution, the Federalists
a. supported a return to the Articles of Confederation.
b. opposed the Constitution and preferred decentralized government.
c. supported the Constitution and preferred a strong national government.
d. supported a return to British rule.
45. Brutus and Federal Farmer are two pseudonyms used by the
46. Which constitutional principle of the United States has been most frequently imitated by other nations?
c. lifetime tenure for judges
d. written constitutions
47. The Antifederalists argued that the powers of government should be limited by
a. providing Congress with a larger grant of powers.
b. decreasing the powers of the Executive Branch, especially those of the vice
c. both confining the powers of the federal government to certain narrowly defined
areas, and adding a bill of rights to the Constitution.
d. creating an internal system of checks and controls within government.
48. How many proposed amendments to the Constitution have been formally offered to Congress?
a. fewer than 100
b. between 100 and 200
c. between 1,000 and 1,500
d. over 11,000
49. The most common method of passing an amendment to the Constitution is
a. passage in both houses of Congress by a two-thirds vote, followed by a majority
vote in three-fourths of the state legislatures.
b. passage in both houses of Congress by a two-thirds vote, followed by ratification
by three-fourths of the state supreme courts.
c. proposal by the president, which is supported by two-thirds of the state
d. passage by a constitutional convention, called by three-fourths of the states.
50. The most important political value for the framers of the Constitution was
c. individual liberty.
d. civic virtue.