American Government: Students and the System
Lead Author(s): Openstax Content
Student Price: FREE
Question pack on the American constitution and its origins.
This content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Supporting the actions of the Democratic Party simply because one identifies oneself as a member of that party is an example of ____________
When a person is asked a question about a political issue that he or she has little interest in and has not thought much about, that person’s answer will likely reflect ________ ____
The elite theory of government maintains that ____________
special interest groups make government policy
politicians who have held office for a long time are favored by voters
poor people and people of color should not be allowed to vote
wealthy, politically powerful people control government, and government has no interest in meeting the needs of ordinary people
According to the pluralist theory of government,____________
government does what the majority of voters want it to do
government policy is formed as a result of the competition between groups with different goals and interests
ordinary people acting on their own have a significant influence on government
wealthy people decide what government policy will be, and politicians have no interest in pleasing anyone else
Which of the following is a good example of a tradeoff?
The government pleases environmental activists by preserving public lands but also pleases ranchers by allowing them to rent public lands for grazing purposes.
The government pleases environmental activists by reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park but angers ranchers by placing their cattle in danger.
The government pleases oil companies by allowing them to drill on lands set aside for conservation but allows environmental activist groups to protest the drilling operations.
Groups that represent a variety of conflicting interests are all allowed to protest outside Congress and the White House.
What goods are available to all without direct payment?
In which form of government does a small group of elite people hold political power?
British colonists in North America in the late seventeenth century were greatly influenced by the political thought of ____________
King James II
The agreement that citizens will consent to be governed so long as government protects their natural rights is called ____________
the divine right of kings
the social contract
a bill of rights
What important power did the national government lack under the Articles of Confederation?
It could not coin money.
It could not declare war.
It could not impose taxes.
It could not conduct foreign affairs
According to the Great Compromise, how would representation in Congress be apportioned?
Each state would have equal representation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Congress would be a unicameral legislature with each state receiving equal representation.
Representation in the House of Representatives would be based on each state’s population and every state would have two senators.
Representation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate would be based on a state’s population.
How did the delegates to the Constitutional Convention resolve their disagreement regarding slavery?
It was agreed that Congress would abolish slavery in 1850.
It was agreed that a state’s slave population would be counted for purposes of representation but not for purposes of taxation.
It was agreed that a state’s slave population would be counted for purposes of taxation but not for purposes of representation.
It was agreed that 60 percent of a state’s slave population would be counted for purposes of both representation and taxation.
Why were The Federalist Papers written?
To encourage states to oppose the Constitution.
To encourage New York to ratify the Constitution.
To oppose the admission of slaveholding states to the federal union.
To encourage people to vote for George Washington as the nation’s first president.
What argument did Alexander Hamilton use to convince people that it was not dangerous to place power in the hands of one man?
That man would have to pass a religious test before he could become president; thus, citizens could be sure that he was of good character.
One man could respond to crises more quickly than a group of men like Congress.
It was easier to control the actions of one man than the actions of a group.
both B and C
How many states must ratify an amendment before it becomes law?
What is the Bill of Rights?
first ten amendments to the Constitution that protect individual freedoms
powers given to Congress in Article I of the Constitution
twenty-seven amendments added to the Constitution over the years
document authored by Thomas Jefferson that details the rights of the citizens
Which statement about federal and unitary systems is most accurate?
In a federal system, power is concentrated in the states; in a unitary system, it is concentrated in the national government.
In a federal system, the constitution allocates powers between states and federal government; in a unitary system, powers are lodged in the national government.
Today there are more countries with federal systems than with unitary systems.
The United States and Japan have federal systems, while Great Britain and Canada have unitary systems.
Which statement is most accurate about the sources of revenue for local and state governments?
Taxes generate well over one-half the total revenue of local and state governments.
Property taxes generate the most tax revenue for both local and state governments.
Between 30 and 40 percent of the revenue for local and state governments comes from grant money.
Local and state governments generate an equal amount of revenue from issuing licenses and certificates.
In McCulloch v. Maryland, the Supreme Court invoked which provisions of the constitution?
Tenth Amendment and spending clause
commerce clause and supremacy clause
necessary and proper clause and supremacy clause
taxing power and necessary and proper clause
Which statement about new federalism is not true?
New federalism was launched by President Nixon and continued by President Reagan.
New federalism is based on the idea that decentralization of responsibility enhances administrative efficiency.
United States v. Lopez is a Supreme Court ruling that advanced the logic of new federalism.
President Reagan was able to promote new federalism consistently throughout his administration.
Which is not a merit of cooperative federalism?
Federal cooperation helps mitigate the problem of collective action among states.
Federal assistance encourages state and local governments to generate positive externalities.
Cooperative federalism respects the traditional jurisdictional boundaries between states and federal government.
Federal assistance ensures some degree of uniformity of public services across states.
Which statement about federal grants in recent decades is most accurate?
The federal government allocates the most grant money to income security.
The amount of federal grant money going to states has steadily increased since the 1960s.
The majority of federal grants are block grants.
Block grants tend to gain more flexibility over time.
Which statement about unfunded mandates is false?
The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act has prevented Congress from using unfunded mandates.
The Clean Air Act is a type of federal partial preemptive regulation.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act establishes crosscutting requirements.
New federalism does not promote the use of unfunded mandates.
Which statement about immigration federalism is false?
The Arizona v. United States decision struck down all Arizona’s most restrictive provisions on illegal immigration.
Since the 1990s, states have increasingly moved into the policy domain of immigration.
Federal immigration laws trump state laws.
States’ involvement in immigration is partly due to their interest in preventing illegal immigrants from accessing public services such as education and welfare benefits.
Which statement about the evolution of same-sex marriage is false?
The federal government became involved in this issue when it passed DOMA.
In the 1990s and 2000s, the number of state restrictions on same-sex marriage increased.
United States v. Windsor legalized same-sex marriage in the United States.
More than half the states had legalized same-sex marriage by the time the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal nationwide in 2015.
Which statement about venue shopping is true?
MADD steered the drinking age issue from the federal government down to the states.
Anti-abortion advocates have steered the abortion issue from the states up to the federal government.
Both MADD and anti-abortion proponents redirected their advocacy from the states to the federal government.
None of the statements are correct.
Which of the following is not a benefit of federalism?
Federalism promotes political participation.
Federalism encourages economic equality across the country.
Federalism provides for multiple levels of government action.
Federalism accommodates a diversity of opinion.