American Political Ideas
Lead Author(s): Saylor Academy
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This question pack provides a wide survey of the various political ideas in the USA and their presence in policy, the media, and judicial decisions.
This content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
All of the following have been social movements in the United States EXCEPT:
Choose the best answer to fill in the blank. Political scientists refer to the “process by which individuals acquire their political beliefs, values, and attitudes” as political ______________.
Choose the best answer to fill in the blank. Political ______________ refers to individuals’ perceptions about whether or not they can influence the political process.
Choose the best answer to fill in the blank. ______________ refers to America’s acceptance and celebration of its cultural diversity and heritage.
Fill in the blank. In a “scientific” poll, the portion of the population selected to participate in a survey is called a ______________.
Which of the following accurately describes what most scholars agree on as the greatest impact that the mass media has on American politics?
The ability to set the national agenda
The ability to reveal political scandals to the public
The ability to shape public opinion and political attitudes of the public
The ability to influence electoral outcomes
The ability to serve as an agent of political socialization
Which of the following best defines public opinion?
The distribution of opinions and attitudes held by the public
The political ideology of the mass public
The strongly held political beliefs of individuals within government
The perception that pollsters and politicians have about the general public
All of the above
Which of the following is a true statement about the history of political parties in the United States?
The existence of political parties is mandatory as outlined in the Constitution.
The existence of two parties has always been a part of the American political system.
U.S. election rules support the creation and maintenance of a two-party system.
Democrats and Republicans were the first major political parties in the United States.
The two-party system was in place by 1800.
Which of the following is considered to be an important agent of political socialization?
The mass media
All of the above
Which of the following is NOT a major change that has occurred to the party system since FDR’s New Deal era?
Party loyalty has declined.
Elections have become more candidate-centered rather than party-centered.
National political parties have become more successful and effective in mobilizing voters.
The influence of political parties has diminished.
Party reforms have allowed more average voters to serve as delegates to the national party nominating conventions.
Which of the following would NOT be considered a core value of American political culture?
Equality of opportunity
Rule of law
Which statement best describes how the media generally impacts public opinion in the United States?
The media has no measurable impact on public opinion.
The media can greatly alter public opinion about an issue.
The media often shapes political attitudes and voting behaviors.
The media is most likely to influence public opinion among those with the lowest education levels.
Media coverage impacts the issues that the public thinks are most important.
Fill in the blank. The defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982 had a devastating impact on the civil rights efforts of ______________.
The Brown v. Board of Education decision (1954) did which of the following?
Established the doctrine of “separate but equal.”
Determined that de jure segregation was legal.
Determined that the doctrine of “separate but equal” was unconstitutional.
Ended the practice of de facto segregation.
Was supported by the majority of the South.
Which of the following best explains the underlying goal of Affirmative Action?
To give opportunity to previously oppressed minority groups and women to overcome the effects of past discrimination
To overcome the effects of ongoing discrimination within society
To ensure not only equal opportunity but also equal outcome for all
To punish white society for ills of the past
All of the above
Which of the following represents a true statement about the difference between de facto and de jure segregation?
De facto segregation has been made illegal, where as de jure has not.
De facto segregation is voluntary, and de jure is government enforced.
De jure segregation has been ruled illegal based on several Supreme Court decisions.
De facto segregation has a political impact, where as de jure primarily impacts society economically.
De facto segregation is government enforced, and de jure is voluntary.
Which of the following Supreme Court cases established the doctrine of “clear and present danger” when limiting freedom of expression?
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
Schenck v. United States (1919)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Which of the following Supreme Court cases established the right to privacy?
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Loving v. Virginia (1967)
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Dept. of Health (1989)
Tinker v. Des Moines (1990)
Which of the following was a major impact of the Bakke (1978) decision?
Affirmation Action was no longer considered Constitutional.
Affirmative Action was considered “reverse discrimination” and therefore unconstitutional.
State institutions could no longer use Affirmative Action to equalize opportunity.
Using race as a criteria for admission was illegal.
Reverse discrimination based on racial quotas violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Which of the following would NOT be considered an example of legislation that has promoted an increase in civil rights?
1991 Disabled Americans Act
1996 Defense of Marriage Act
Voting Rights Act of 1965
1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Choose the best answer to fill in the blank. The type of economic system utilized in the United States is ______________.
Fill in the blank. The most radical reforms to the welfare system in the United States occurred during the presidency of ______________.
George W. Bush
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Lyndon B. Johnson
Fill in the blank. The United States’ policy to stop the spread of communism was known as
The Cold War
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is an example of what type of public policy?
Social welfare policy
Entitlement spending policy
What is the largest entitlement program in the United States?
Temporary Unemployment Insurance
State Children’s Health Insurance Program
Which of the following economic theories would advocate for a minimal role of government in economic affairs?
Which of the following is a significant presidential foreign policy shift taken after September 11, 2001?
Congress declaring war on Iraq
George W. Bush’s Global War on Terror and “preemptive” doctrine
Using NATO peacekeeping troops to help mend anti-American sentiments
United States participation in NAFTA
Which of the following is a social insurance program that provides economic assistance to individuals who are unemployed, disabled, or elderly?
Medicare Part B
Which of the following statements is true of the origins of the modern American welfare state?
It can be traced back to colonial times.
It is mostly rooted in a Biblical obligation for helping the less fortunate.
It can be traced back to the Great Depression and the New Deal.
It can be traced back to the 1970s Great Society.
It is smaller today than it has ever been in the past.
Which of the following would NOT be considered a social welfare program?
Old-Age Survivors Disability Insurance
None of the above
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