Early American Political Thought
Early American Political Thought

Early American Political Thought

Lead Author(s): Saylor Academy

Source: Saylor

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This question pack looks at American political thought from the Mayflower Compact up until the end of the Adams Administration.

This content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Early American Political Thought 1

According to the writings of Montesquieu, in order to ensure liberty in a government, there should be “separation of powers.” What did Montesquieu mean by this?

A

That the power should be shared by the people and the government

B

That power should be separated between the sovereign and the king

C

That power should be divided into three branches: executive, legislative and judicial

D

That power should be separated from the individuals that are chosen to rule

E

That power should be distributed to society’s elite

Early American Political Thought 2

Based on the “Leviathan”, Hobbes can be seen as introducing what concept into the political discourse?

A

Civil society

B

Individuality

C

Membership

D

Social contract

E

Monarchy

Early American Political Thought 3

During the Revolutionary War period, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” was important for which of the following reasons?

A

Because it described a military plan for defeating England

B

Because it outlined a detailed plan for a new form of government

C

Because it explained the need for the Articles of Confederation

D

Because it persuaded many undecided Americans to support efforts for independence

E

Because it advocated for the addition of a bill of rights to the Constitution

Early American Political Thought 4

The concept of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” in Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, can be traced back to whose writings?

A

Aristotle

B

Montesquieu

C

Locke

D

Rousseau

E

Hobbes

Early American Political Thought 5

What concept was first born out of John Winthrop’s 1630 “Model of Christian Charity,” when he quoted the Bible and called the Mass Bay Colony “the city upon the hill?”

A

American Exceptionalism

B

Christian Fundamentalism

C

Religious Dogmatism

D

Both B and C

E

None of the above

Early American Political Thought 6

Which of the following describes the general theme found in both the Mayflower Compact and John Winthrop’s “Model of Christian Charity?”

A

The importance of rugged individualism

B

The need to conquer native tribes in New England

C

The ideal of religious tolerance

D

The importance of banning together for the good of all settlers in the community

E

To work hard for material gain

Early American Political Thought 7

Which of the following DOES NOT describe the beliefs of Roger Williams expressed in “The Bloody Tenet of Persecution?”

A

Religious freedom and tolerance is allowed in a peaceful state.

B

Church and civil state (government) should be connected.

C

A uniform Christian religion in society is ideal.

D

Religion has served as a means of persecution and unnecessary violence.

E

Both B and C

Early American Political Thought 8

Which of the following is a major argument for American independence found in many Revolutionary War era writings, including the Declaration of Independence?

A

The British stopped participating in the slave trade.

B

The British deprived Americans of their natural rights.

C

The British censored American representatives in Parliament.

D

The British refused to sell products to the colonies.

E

The British wages war with the colonies.

Early American Political Thought 9

Which philosopher is most associated with influencing American politics through the concept of the “social contract?”

A

Locke

B

Rousseau

C

Montesquieu

D

Hobbes

E

Aristotle

Early American Political Thought 10

The Mayflower Compact is important to the foundation of democracy in American political thought, because it did which of the following?

A

Was an effort by colonists to use force to resist the king

B

Established universal suffrage

C

Expressed the importance of colonial self-government

D

Created an early alliance with the Wampanoag Indians

E

Established freedom of religion

Early American Political Thought 11

Complete the following statement. All of the following principles are protected under the Bill of Rights, EXCEPT:

A

Separation of church and state.

B

Freedom of the press.

C

Trial by jury of one’s peers.

D

The right to vote for all citizens.

E

The right to bear arms.

Early American Political Thought 12

In order to strike a balance between states’ rights and federal authority, the government outlined under the Constitution established which of the following?

A

Federalism, a system of shared powers between the states and the federal government

B

Confederalism, a system where power was shared by a loose alliance between the states

C

Monarchism, a system where absolute power is given to the king

D

Socialism, a system where all the power is in the hands of individuals

E

None of the above

Early American Political Thought 13

James Madison’s “Federalist 10” articulated the belief of the founding fathers that the Constitution would do which of the following?

A

Lead to a tyranny of the majority

B

Promote the growth of political parties

C

Control the effects of factions

D

Allow the states to maintain their preeminence

E

Lead to a tyranny of the minority

Early American Political Thought 14

The Great Compromise appeased states with a large population, like Virginia, and states with a small population, like New Jersey, by doing which of the following?

A

Establishing the Articles of Confederation

B

Creating a bicameral legislature, where the number of seats in the lower house were determined by population, and seats in the upper house were equal among all states

C

Determining that the New Jersey plan was the best fit for the national government and provided all states equal number of representatives in Congress

D

Continuing the practice of states’ rights and limiting the amount of power given to the national legislature

E

Determining that 3/5 of a state’s slave population would be counted in determining representation

Early American Political Thought 15

The phrase, “We the people,” in the preamble of the Constitution illustrates the influence of Rousseau on the founding fathers in shaping their belief about which political philosophy?

A

Popular sovereignty

B

Direct election of senators

C

Democratic republicanism

D

Confederacy

E

Socialism

Early American Political Thought 16

What was Hamilton’s main criticism of the Articles of Confederation in the “Deficiencies of the Confederation?”

A

It failed to limit the powers of the president.

B

It did not provide adequate powers for the central government (Congress).

C

It gave too little power to the states.

D

It created a monarchy with too much absolute power.

E

All of the above

Early American Political Thought 17

Which of the following describes a major concern of the Anti-Federalists as expressed in the “Brutus No.2” reading?

A

A desire to strengthen the central government

B

A fear that foreign governments would try to overpower the new nation

C

A fear that the states would maintain their dominance under the new government

D

A belief that a strong chief executive was necessary

E

A desire to see a bill of rights guaranteeing the protection of individual rights added to the Constitution

Early American Political Thought 18

Which of the following states one way that the United States Constitution differed from the Articles of Confederation?

A

The C onstitution created a national government having three branches.

B

The Constitution provided for the direct election of the president by the voters.

C

The Constitution made the amendment process more difficult.

D

The Constitution increased the powers of the states.

E

The Constitution abolished the federal judiciary system.

Early American Political Thought 19

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this, you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” This passage from James Madison’s “Federalist 51” refers to the need for which of the following?

A

A strong executive

B

A system of checks and balances

C

An independent military

D

A national education system

E

States’ rights

Early American Political Thought 21

What was the underlying political philosophy of the Articles of Confederation?

A

That the king should remain in power

B

That the United States should be a monarchy

C

That the states should have more power than the central government

D

That the executive branch should hold more power than the legislative branch

E

That states with a larger population should have more of a say in national politics

Early American Political Thought 22

Fill in the blank. The procedure of judicial review was clearly established in ______________

A

Article III of the Constitution

B

Plessy v. Ferguson

C

Marbury v. Madison

D

McCulloch v. Maryland

E

The Preamble of the Constitution

Early American Political Thought 23

What key principle is supported by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Marbury v. Madison?

A

Popular sovereignty

B

Democratic republicanism

C

Checks and balances

D

Judicial inferiority

E

Stare decisis

Early American Political Thought 24

What was one of the biggest disagreements between Hamilton and Jefferson, as demonstrated in the debate over the National Bank?

A

That Hamilton supported states’ rights over federal authority

B

That Hamilton did not support the creation of the National Bank

C

That Jefferson believed it was the obligation of the federal government to take on the debt incurred by states

D

That Hamilton believed in a strong central government

E

None of the above

Early American Political Thought 25

Which of the following is one key theme expressed in Jefferson’s first inaugural address?

A

The need for political parties

B

The importance of controlling government through the presidency

C

The spirit of bi-partisanship

D

The hope of ending individual freedoms

E

The mission of limiting the power of states

Early American Political Thought 26

In his farewell address, George Washington offered which of the following as advice to the young nation?

A

To avoid permanent alliances with other foreign nations

B

To avoid the creation of national political parties

C

To protect the continuance of the Union under the Constitution

D

All of the above

E

A and C only

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