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Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

The following five multiple-choice questions are taken from a previous AP U.S. History Examination.

  1. Which of the following most accurately describes the attitude of seventeenth-century Puritans toward religious liberty?

    1. Having suffered persecution in England, they extended toleration to everyone.
    2. They tolerated no one whose expressed religious views varied from their own views.
    3. They tolerated all Protestant sects, but not Catholics.
    4. They tolerated Catholics, but not Quakers.
    5. They had no coherent views on religious liberty.

    The correct response is: B

    The Puritans were reformers who had quarreled with the Church of England, claiming that it needed to be purified of practices that went back to its Catholic origins. They were not tolerant of any person or group that disagreed with their vision of the pure church. The Puritan's banishment of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson for their differing views illustrate their lack of tolerance of dissenting views.

  2. The French and Indian War was a pivotal point in America's relationship to Great Britain because it led Great Britain to

    1. encourage colonial manufactures
    2. impose revenue taxes on the colonies
    3. restrict emigration from England
    4. ignore the colonies
    5. grant increased colonial self-government

    The correct response is: B

    At the end of the French and Indian War, Great Britain decided to tax the colonies to help pay for the war and the maintenance of the army left in North America at the end of the war. The Sugar Act and subsequent revenue bills introduced a new element in Great Britain's relationship with its colonies. Before this point, Navigation acts had been passed to govern the flow of colonial commerce. Now Acts were being passed to raise revenue. The colonists objected to taxes imposed without their consent and violently resisted enforcement. Colonial respect for British office holders, governors, military personnel, and customs collectors plummeted and antagonism developed in the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain. The seeds of the revolution were planted and flowering.

  3. By the time of the Revolution, the American colonists had generally come to believe that creation of a republic would solve the problems of monarchical rule because a republic would establish

    1. a highly centralized government led by a social elite
    2. a strong chief executive
    3. a small, limited government responsible to the people
    4. unlimited male suffrage
    5. a society in which there were no differences of rank and status

    The correct response is: C

    When Americans severed their ties with Great Britain, they repudiated monarchical rule and created a republic that vested authority in the hands of the people. In order to prevent a recurrence of the abuses they had been subjected to under monarchical rule, they enacted a constitution that carefully spelled out the powers granted to the government by the people.

  4. The Ordinances of 1785 and 1787 were notable accomplishments because they

    1. established the principle that western lands are the joint property of all the states
    2. initiated a territorial policy that provided for the orderly creation of new states
    3. made possible a policy of American Indian relations that enabled new western areas to be settled peacefully
    4. put land into the hands of the actual settler rather than the speculator
    5. were the basis for the future settlement of the dispute with Britain over the northwest posts

    The correct response is: B

    The Ordinances of 1785 and of 1787 provided for the creation of new states in the Old Northwest Territory. Their provisions encouraged the orderly settlement of the West, requiring that land be surveyed and sold in large blocks prior to settlement, thus giving the confederation government a source of income and discouraging squatters. At the same time, however, speculators were favored over settlers. By establishing a mechanism for statehood, the government hoped to discourage secessionist movements of the kind already experienced (e.g. creation of the new state of Franklin in territory not covered by the ordinances and in what is now eastern Tennessee). The mechanism also prevented the emergence of a colonial system, in which the original 13 states might have tried to hold the new territories as dependents. The Ordinances of 1785 and 1787 did not avoid conflicts with the Indians nor enable the U.S to settle the dispute with the British over the old northwest posts. Only wars would do that.

  5. Thomas Jefferson opposed some of Alexander Hamilton's programs because Jefferson believed that

    1. the common bond of a substantial national debt would serve to unify the different states
    2. the French alliance threatened to spread the violence of the French Revolution to America
    3. the federal government should encourage manufacturing and industry
    4. Hamilton's programs were weakening the military strength of the nation
    5. Hamilton's programs favored wealthy financial interests

    The correct response is: E

    As secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton proposed several programs that aroused considerable opposition. He was an advocate of a strong self sufficient nation and supported policies to encourage manufacturing and industry. He also proposed financial policies, such as the assumption of the debt, that would create a unifying bond among the different states and gain the support of financial interests for the new Government. Hamilton feared the violence of the French Revolution and wished to keep control of the government in the hands of the rich and the well-born. Jefferson disagreed with Hamilton's pro-British anti-French stance, believed in democracy and rule by legislative majorities and favored policies that benefited farmers and artisans over merchants and financiers.

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