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Document Type
Test Prep
Book Title
American Government: Institutions and Policies-- 14th Edition 14th Edition
Authors
James Q. Wilson, John J. DiIulio Jr., Meena Bose
CHAPTER 2
The Constitution
MULTIPLE CHOICE
1. This famous Revolutionary leader was not at the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia
in 1787.
a.
James Madison
b.
Alexander Hamilton
c.
George Washington
d.
Patrick Henry
e.
Benjamin Franklin
2. The principal goal of the American Revolution was
a.
equality.
b.
financial betterment.
c.
political efficacy.
d.
fraternity.
e.
liberty.
3. Equality was a goal of
a.
the French Revolution.
b.
the American Revolution.
c.
both the French and the American revolutions.
d.
neither the French Revolution nor the American Revolution.
e.
the French, American, and Russian revolutions.
4. One of the basic liberties sought by the colonists through independence from Great Britain was
a.
freedom from taxation without representation.
b.
the right to bear arms and to defend life and property.
c.
freedom to assemble in public and to engage in public debate.
d.
the right to own and trade slaves.
e.
the right to travel.
5. In 1776, one important reason that colonists regarded independence as a desirable alternative
was that they
a.
no longer had confidence that the British government would protect their liberties.
b.
could no longer afford the price of British exports.
c.
had come to reject the philosophy of John Locke.
d.
had come to reject British ideas of individual rights.
e.
were struggling economically.
6. Under the Articles of Confederation, amendments had to
a.
be written in secret.
b.
be submitted to the national judiciary for approval.
c.
have the approval of half of the state governors.
d.
be supported by all thirteen states.
e.
All of the above are true.
7. The author of the Declaration of Independence was
a.
Thomas Jefferson.
b.
Thomas Paine.
c.
George Washington.
d.
Alexander Hamilton.
e.
James Madison.
8. The Declaration of Independence explicitly stated that governments were instituted among men to
a.
improve human nature.
b.
create equality.
c.
protect borders.
d.
secure rights.
e.
punish criminals.
9. Which of the following statements about the Declaration of Independence is correct?
a.
It was written primarily by George Washington and James Madison.
b.
It primarily focused on concerns over economic inequality.
c.
It was a rejection of the philosophy of John Locke.
d.
It drew on the works of Thomas Hobbes.
e.
It was essentially a lawyer’s brief justifying a revolution.
10. The list of the essential rights demanded by the colonists included life, liberty, and
a.
trading rights.
b.
property rights.
c.
the right to own slaves.
d.
the pursuit of truth.
e.
fraternity.
11. The American Revolution is described by the text as a war of
a.
attrition.
b.
ideology.
c.
economic viewpoints.
d.
political elites.
e.
contending social systems.
12. An unalienable right is one that is based on
a.
nature and Providence.
b.
the Constitution and primary documents.
c.
custom and tradition.
d.
legal precedent.
e.
executive proclamations.
13. By 1776, eight states
a.
had strong executive leaders.
b.
had written constitutions.
c.
had expanded voting rights considerably.
d.
continued to rely on colonial charters.
e.
had abolished elective offices.
14. One primary feature of most early state constitutions was
a.
a detailed bill of rights.
b.
a planning for land use.
c.
a strong executive branch.
d.
disregard for individual rights.
e.
economic regulation.
15. Which statement most accurately summarizes the aftermath of the American Revolution?
a.
Many cities were in ruins, many farmers owned large debts, and the British were still a
powerful presence.
b.
The economy was gaining in strength and the British military had left North America.
c.
Cities had strong economies, and the currency was strong.
d.
Taxes were low, and the currency was sound.
e.
Spain and Britain were no longer relevant on the North American continent.
16. The Articles of Confederation created a
a.
strong central government.
b.
strong military.
c.
unitary system.
d.
league of friendship.
e.
federal system.
17. All of the following were true of the government under the Articles of Confederation EXCEPT
a.
larger states had more votes in the national legislature.
b.
there was no national judicial branch.
c.
the national government could not levy taxes.
d.
the national government could not regulate commerce.
e.
amendment required the support of all thirteen states.
18. Under the Articles of Confederation, delegates to the national legislature were
a.
elected by the people.
b.
selected by state governors.
c.
appointed by state committees.
d.
chosen by the state legislatures.
e.
None of the above is true.
19. The purpose of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was to
a.
prepare a new constitution.
b.
consider revisions to the Articles of Confederation.
c.
draft a declaration of independence.
d.
adopt a common state constitution.
e.
prepare for a second revolution.
20. Under the Articles of Confederation, the national government could
a.
run the post office.
b.
levy taxes.
c.
regulate interstate commerce.
d.
establish a national judicial system.
e.
establish a national bank.
21. Pennsylvania’s government was considered “radically democratic” because it featured no
a.
constitution.
b.
written laws.
c.
elected officials.
d.
legislature.
e.
governor.
22. The state of affairs in Pennsylvania seemed to suggest that
a.
state constitutions were generally successful.
b.
the rights and liberties of citizens were secure in a confederation.
c.
unitary systems were more liberal than confederations.
d.
democracy and tyranny might not be all that far apart from one another.
e.
it is not a good thing to create a separate, independent executive.
23. This rebellion occurred in January 1787 when a group of ex-Revolutionary War soldiers, fearful of
losing their property to creditors and tax collectors, forcibly prevented the courses in western
Massachusetts from sitting.
a.
Shays’s Rebellion
b.
Bacon’s Rebellion
c.
Whiskey Rebellion
d.
Clarke’s Rebellion
e.
None of the above is true.
24. To put down Shays’s Rebellion, the governor of Massachusetts
a.
personally lead Continental Army soldiers.
b.
turned to the state militia.
c.
hired a volunteer army with private funds.
d.
lobbied the Continental Congress to forgive the debts owned by the rebels.
e.
asked Great Britain to help.
25. The effect of Shays’s Rebellion on attendance by delegates at the planned Constitutional Convention
of 1787 was to
a.
encourage attendance by delegates fearing the collapse of state governments.
b.
encourage attendance by delegates fearing intervention by the British.
c.
discourage attendance by delegates fearing a public outcry against any strengthening of
the Articles of Confederation.
d.
discourage attendance by delegates fearing intervention by the British.
e.
discourage attendance by delegates who fought in the Revolutionary War.
26. The Constitutional Convention attracted __________ delegates.
a.
74
b.
55
c.
39
d.
30
e.
12
27. Which state refused to send a delegate to the Constitutional Convention?
a.
New York
b.
Pennsylvania
c.
Massachusetts
d.
Virginia
e.
Rhode Island
28. The “state of nature” refers to
a.
society without government.
b.
government without society.
c.
formation of government along the lines of natural law.
d.
the clash between government and society.
e.
the very highest form of government.
29. Who was the youngest delegate at the Constitutional Convention at the age of thirty?
a.
Washington
b.
Franklin
c.
Madison
d.
Hamilton
e.
Adams
30. The Constitutional Convention delegates’ defense of liberty as a natural right was derived from the
writings of the philosopher
a.
John Locke.
b.
Montesquieu.
c.
Rousseau.
d.
Thomas Hobbes.
e.
Kant.
31. Madison dramatized his perspective in a Federalist paper by observing that “if men were _________,
no government would be necessary.”
a.
Federalists
b.
Anti-Federalists
c.
angels
d.
aristocrats
e.
Puritans
32. The central issue in the framing of the U.S. Constitution was that of
a.
how strong to make the national government.
b.
how best to divide powers among the branches of government.
c.
how best to break with Great Britain.
d.
how to adopt liberty but still allow slaveholding.
e.
how to create a truly independent judiciary.
33. This plan presented at the Constitutional Convention called for a bicameral legislative body with
states’ representation in each house based on population.
a.
Connecticut Plan
b.
New Jersey Plan
c.
Maryland Plan
d.
Virginia Plan
e.
Great Compromise
34. The New Jersey Plan was a reaction by some states primarily to the fear that
a.
the legislative veto power called for by the Virginia Plan would seriously undermine
individual states’ rights.
b.
the weak central government devised by the Virginia Plan would grant too much power to
rural states.
c.
the strong central government devised by the Virginia Plan would grant too much power
to small states.
d.
the Virginia Plan gave too much power to populous states.
e.
Hamilton’s suggestions about the executive branch would be accepted by the convention.
35. Each state would have had an equal number of votes in the legislature under the
a.
Connecticut Plan.
b.
New Jersey Plan.
c.
Maryland Plan.
d.
Virginia Plan.
e.
Georgia Plan.
36. The Great Compromise finally allocated representation on the basis of
a.
population, in both houses.
b.
equality, in both houses.
c.
population in the House and statehood equality in the Senate.
d.
equality in the House and population in the Senate.
e.
None of the above is true.
37. The importance of the Great Compromise was that it
a.
created a legislature similar in structure to that under the Articles of Confederation.
b.
established a single, one-state, one-vote formula under which all states would benefit.
c.
strengthened the power of larger states at the expense of smaller states.
d.
granted equal power to the three branches of the new central government.
e.
ensured support for a strong national government from small as well as large states.
38. This delegate at the Constitutional Convention suggested that the president be elected directly by
the people.
a.
James Madison
b.
Alexander Hamilton
c.
George Washington
d.
Aaron Burr
e.
James Wilson
39. The final report of the Constitutional Convention was approved on September 17, 1787 by
a.
all twelve states in attendance.
b.
eleven of the twelve states attending.
c.
every state and delegate attending.
d.
every state in the Confederation.
e.
None of the above is true.
40. This delegate to the Constitutional Convention presented the Virginia Plan but refused to sign the final
document approved on September 17, 1787.
a.
James Madison
b.
Alexander Hamilton
c.
Roger Sherman
d.
Edmund Randolph
e.
William Patterson
41. The goal of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution was to create a(n)
a.
political system in which majority rule was supreme.
b.
pure democracy modeled after the New England town meeting.
c.
pluralist democracy ruled by political elite.
d.
autonomous collective.
e.
republic based on a system of representation.
42. Relative to the notion of democratic government, the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review
a.
places limits on majority rule.
b.
is limited to state issues.
c.
generally favors the executive.
d.
is sometimes democratic, sometimes not.
e.
is applied frequently.
43. The nature of the amendment process has probably kept the amendments added to the
U.S. Constitution
a.
relatively simple in nature.
b.
legally complex in nature.
c.
relatively few in number.
d.
extremely controversial.
e.
somewhat redundant.
44. The American version of representative democracy is based on two major principles: __________and
__________.
a.
separation of powers; federalism
b.
unicameralism; federalism
c.
judicial review; federalism
d.
party government; federalism
e.
None of the above is true.
45. Madison’s confidence in the usefulness of separation of powers rested on the assumption that
a.
the strongest would survive.
b.
human nature was basically good.
c.
no one would purposely seek power.
d.
ambitions would counteract each other.
e.
government would create virtuous citizens.
46. The text suggests the Federalists might more accurately have been called the
a.
nationalists.
b.
states’ righters.
c.
monarchists.
d.
loyalists.
e.
anarchists.
47. The text suggests that the Antifederalists might have been more accurately called the
a.
nationalists.
b.
states’ rights advocates.
c.
monarchists.
d.
loyalists.
e.
anarchists.
48. The U.S. Constitution was ratified by
a.
the Congress elected under the Articles of Confederation.
b.
state legislatures.
c.
special state conventions elected by the people.
d.
unanimous acclaim by all thirteen states.
e.
popular vote in state elections.
49. Dividing power between the states and the national government is referred to as
a.
sovereignty.
b.
dual legitimacy.
c.
egalitarianism.
d.
plutocracy.
e.
federalism.
50. Ancient political philosophers, such as Aristotle, held that the first task of any government was to
a.
cultivate virtue among the governed.
b.
represent the will of the people.
c.
exalt those who were wise above all others.
d.
protect and enlarge the aristocracy.
e.
build and maintain a conquering army.
51. Generally, the Antifederalists felt that the government created by the U.S. Constitution was
a.
an insufficient check on the power of the states.
b.
too strong and too centralized.
c.
too liberal.
d.
barely strong enough to be effective.
e.
overprotective of individual rights.
52. The Federalist papers were
a.
written at the Constitutional Convention as a way to explain the work that was done there.
b.
composed by Hamilton and Washington just before the meeting at Annapolis.
c.
articles written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay to gain support for the Constitution.
d.
adopted by the Constitutional Convention as a substitute for the Bill of Rights.
e.
rejected by the Federalists as Antifederalist propaganda.
53. James Madison’s main argument in favor of a federalist position, stated in Federalist No. 10 and No.
51, was in defense of
a.
large republics.
b.
small democracies governed by direct democracy.
c.
a bill of rights.
d.
large legislatures with small districts and frequent turnover.
e.
centralized judiciaries.
54. In Federalist No. 10 and No. 51, Madison argued in favor of a large republic, which went against the
ideas of this political philosopher.
a.
John Locke
b.
Thomas Hobbes
c.
Plato
d.
Montesquieu
e.
None of the above is correct.
55. It quickly became clear that the Constitution would not be ratified without at least the promise of
a.
the abolition of slavery.
b.
female suffrage.
c.
an elaborate federal court system.
d.
a bill of rights.
e.
a two-party system.
56. The First Amendment addressed the issue of
a.
double jeopardy.
b.
trial by jury.
c.
cruel and unusual punishment.
d.
unreasonable searches and seizure.
e.
freedom of speech.
57. Who introduced a set of twelve proposals to the First Congress from which the eventual Bill of Rights
would be ratified?
a.
Hamilton
b.
Jefferson
c.
Washington
d.
Adams
e.
Madison
58. Three-fifths of the slaves were counted for purposes of
a.
electing state legislatures.
b.
apportioning delegates to presidential conventions.
c.
allotting seats in the House of Representatives.
d.
assigning delegates to state conventions.
e.
allotting seats in the Senate.
59. Which of the following statements most accurately characterizes the motives behind the support that
different Framers gave to the U.S. Constitution?
a.
Most Framers acted out of a mixture of motives, with economic interests playing only a
modest role.
b.
Those Framers who did not hold government debt but who did own slaves tended to
support the U.S. Constitution.
c.
Those Framers who held debt but who did not own slaves tended to oppose the
U.S. Constitution.
d.
The support that different Framers gave to the U.S. Constitution tended to divide along
class lines.
e.
The Framers acted in a manner that reflected the religious convictions of their
respective states.
60. A major argument in favor of reducing the separation of powers called for in the U.S. Constitution is
that it would
a.
allow prompt, decisive leadership in times of crisis.
b.
weaken the presidency and give greater protection against executive dictatorship.
c.
disperse credit or blame equally among the three branches of government.
d.
apportion responsibility for implementing government programs among members of
Congress.
e.
create a truly independent judiciary.
30 Chapter 2: The Constitution
TRUE/FALSE
1. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention were popularly elected.
2. The British constitution was a single written document that was a model for the colonists.
3. The colonists saw “higher law” as something that was discoverable in nature.
4. There was general agreement that the essential rights included life, liberty, and property long before
Thomas Jefferson wrote them into the Declaration of Independence.
5. Ironically, the slave trade was mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence.
6. In 1776, most state constitutions had detailed bills of rights.
7. Alexander Hamilton was a strong supporter of the government set up by the Articles of Confederation.
8. The Articles of Confederation created a strong central government.
9. Under the Articles of Confederation, each state had one vote in a national legislative body with only
one house.
10. George Washington believed the country could survive only with a strong national government.
11. The Articles of Confederation empowered the national government with the ability to regulate
interstate commerce leading to an era of prosperity.
12. Shays’s Rebellion was put down by privately hired army.
13. Rhode Island refused to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
14. James Madison was convinced that ancient Greece provided the perfect model for
American government.
15. The Framers’ view of natural rights was heavily influenced by the writings of John Locke.
16. The Virginia Plan called for a strong national government.
17. The Great Compromise reconciled the interests of the small and large states over representation.
18. A republic is a government in which a system of representation operates.
19. During the ratification debate, the supporters of the U.S. Constitution called themselves Federalists.
20. The Federalist Papers were written in order to mobilize support for the Constitution.
ESSAY
1. Describe some of the principles that caused the colonists to fight the Revolutionary War.
2. Describe the 11 years that elapsed between the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the
Constitution in 1787.
3. Discuss at least five specific features about the government under the Articles of Confederation.
4. Explain Shays’s Rebellion and its significance.
5. Discuss John Locke’s view of liberty and compare it to the views of Thomas Jefferson in the
Declaration of Independence.
6. Discuss the differences of opinion between Thomas Hobbes and John Locke regarding the nature of
democracy.
7. Identify the primary features of the Virginia Plan, discuss the stalemate between the small states and
the large states, and how the Great Compromise helped give us the Congress that we have today.
8. Explain the Framer’s view of democracy and the role of the “will of the people” in a government with
“representative democracy.”
9. Discuss James Madison’s view of liberty and the size of a republic.
10. Identify the three parts of the original Constitution that deal with slavery.

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