Roots of American Democracy Quiz

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Question 1
The American system of government most closely resembles that of which ancient culture?

A
Athenians
B
Romans
C
Egyptians
D
Inca
Question 1 Explanation: 
The ancient Romans adapted Athenian direct democracy to create a representative democracy, a republic. Roman citizens elected representatives rather personally voting on every issue themselves. The United States of America is both a democracy and a presidential republic.
Question 2
What document first established limited government in 1215?

A
Mayflower Compact
B
Hammurabi’s Code
C
Declaration of Independence
D
Magna Carta
Question 2 Explanation: 
The Magna Carta is a charter that established the rights of subjects after English nobles and church officials revolted against King John’s abuses. The document signed in 1215 only applied these rights to the nobility, but today its principles extend to all British citizens.
Question 3
The Magna Carta guaranteed:

A
Protection from illegal imprisonment
B
Equal treatment under the law
C
Limits on taxation
D
All of the above
Question 3 Explanation: 
The Magna Carta was not successful initially, but it eventually became the foundation for the English system of common law. The Founding Fathers of the United States saw it as a historical precedent for asserting their liberty from the English crown. The rights that guaranteed by the Magna Carta influenced the US Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights, particularly the 5th and 6th Amendments.
Question 4
Which document transferred a large portion of British monarchical authority to Parliament?

A
The Constitution
B
The Petition of Right
C
The English Bill of Rights
D
The Mayflower Compact
Question 4 Explanation: 
During the Glorious Revolution of 1688, British Parliament removed King James II from the throne and bestowed the crown upon James’s daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange. The conditions of their coronation are called the English Bill of Rights, which includes such protections the right to a fair trial and to practice Protestantism.
Question 5
What right is guaranteed by the English Bill of Rights?

A
The right to a fair bail
B
The right to due process of law
C
The right to petition the king
D
All of the above
Question 5 Explanation: 
The English Bill of Rights established substantial protections against tyranny. Many of these same rights were included in the United States Bill of Rights a century later.
Question 6
What is the term for the European cultural movement that attempted to apply logic and reason to critically analyze and improve social, political, and cultural ideas?

A
Industrial Revolution
B
Enlightenment
C
Dark Ages
D
Glorious Revolution
Question 6 Explanation: 
The Enlightenment stemmed from the discoveries of the scientific revolution. Using logic and reason, thinkers broadened the scope of their study of nature to affect change — what we now call the social and applied sciences.
Question 7
What is the term for the hypothetical agreement between a citizenry and its government whereby the individual exchanges freedoms for protection?

A
Liberty agreement
B
Social contract
C
Ipso facto laws
D
Freedom compact
Question 7 Explanation: 
The Enlightenment thinker Thomas Hobbes first presented the concept of a “social contract” in Leviathan. He argued that because life in nature is “nasty, brutish, and short” people exchange their rights for the protection of a governments’ rule.
Question 8
Which Enlightenment thinker is credited with having first posited the “natural” rights of life, liberty, and property?

A
Voltaire
B
Thomas Hobbes
C
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
D
John Locke
Question 8 Explanation: 
John Locke’s Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government was a foundational text for American revolutionaries, and Thomas Jefferson amended only slightly his list of natural rights in the Declaration of Independence
Question 9
Which Enlightenment thinker famously advocated the separation of a government’s powers?

A
Thomas Hobbes
B
Baron de Montesquieu
C
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
D
Francois-Marie Arouet
Question 9 Explanation: 
Montesquieu argued that a separation of the powers of government would help ensure no one branch could ever become powerful enough to threaten the rights of the citizens. The United States of America’s tripartite federal government structure adheres to this principle.
Question 10
Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, advocated for which freedom?

A
Speech
B
Religion
C
Trade
D
All of the above
Question 10 Explanation: 
Voltaire’s writings promote liberty, including free speech, freedom of religion, free trade, freedom from censorship, and other civil liberties. Many of his ideas are echoed in the American Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
Question 11
Which is considered the first representative government in the Thirteen Colonies?

A
Habeas corpus
B
Mayflower Compact
C
House of Burgesses
D
American federal system
Question 11 Explanation: 
The House of Burgesses was established as the ruling assembly of the Jamestown colony in 1619. Colonists elected representatives to both make and enforce laws.
Question 12
The Mayflower Compact established what form of government?

A
Representative democracy
B
Direct democracy
C
Dictatorship
D
Oligarchy
Question 12 Explanation: 
The Mayflower Compact was drafted and signed to establish a government for the Plymouth colony. The Pilgrims settled upon a form of direct democracy whereby decisions were discussed and decided upon at open town meetings. Although there were restrictions on who could vote, those with this right did so directly and not via elected representative.
Question 13
Which of the Thirteen Colonies was first to establish a written constitution?

A
Massachusetts
B
Pennsylvania
C
Connecticut
D
Virginia
Question 13 Explanation: 
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was written in 1639. The colony of Connecticut was formed by European colonists forced out of Puritan-controlled Massachusetts. The Fundamental Orders established a representative democracy whereby colonists elected government officials to pass and enforce laws.
Question 14
How did the British government rule in its North American colonies?

A
Parliament passed laws to control trade.
B
Parliament appointed governors.
C
British military personnel were quartered in the Thirteen Colonies.
D
All of the above
Question 14 Explanation: 
Many colonies had their own local governments, but British government kept many powers. This authority was enforced through laws, regulations, and official oversight.
Question 15
What was the main complaint from the Thirteen Colonies about British rule?

A
Although many colonies had democratic institutions, they seldom served the interests of the citizens.
B
Colonists were not represented in British Parliament.
C
The king was a tyrant.
D
Colonists were not kept informed of events in England.
Question 15 Explanation: 
“No taxation without representation!” may be the most famous phrase from the American Revolutionary era, but more than taxes were at stake. Without representation in Parliament, colonists were unable to participate in the legislative processes in London. Laws and regulations (not just taxes) were passed for the colonies without their consent.
Question 16
The British government raised taxes in the Thirteen Colonies during the 1760s and 1770s in order to:

A
Pay off debt accumulated during the Seven Years’ War.
B
Suppress a colonial revolt.
C
Exert pressure on the colonies to disband.
D
Abolish taxation on English citizens.
Question 16 Explanation: 
The Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) spanned five continents and drained the British Empire of precious resources. Following the 1763 victory, the British government was left with little choice but to tax its subjects to refill the Empire’s coffers. In actuality, the residents of the English mainland faced far steeper taxes than anyone in North America.
Question 17
How did the Thirteen Colonies respond to the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains?

A
Colonists were appreciative for the extra protection them from the Native Americans to the west.
B
Colonists were uninterested.
C
Colonists were upset by restriction on new settlements.
D
None of the above
Question 17 Explanation: 
By 1763, much of the coastal land in North America had been claimed by early settlers, companies, land speculators, and wealthy colonial families. As a result, newcomers to the colonies set out westward to stake their own claims. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 hampered their ability to realize the dream of setting up a new life on one’s own property.
Question 18
How did colonists resist British (mis)rule?

A
Boycotts of British goods
B
Written protests
C
Willful disobedience of British laws
D
All of the above
Question 18 Explanation: 
Particularly in the northern colonies, American colonists actively rebelled against what they felt were tyrannical acts by the British government. New taxes, unfair regulations, and heightened military activity were all met with acts of protest.
Question 19
What name was given to colonists who remained loyal to the British government despite rising discontentment?

A
Rebels
B
Union Jacks
C
Loyalists
D
Kingsmen
Question 19 Explanation: 
About 20% of the American colonists probably identified as loyalists. In some places, they were targeted with acts of aggression and terror. In other places, like New York City, loyalists were in the majority and faced little persecution. Many loyalists remained British subjects after the American Revolutionary War by emigrating to Upper and Lower Canada or returning to Great Britain.
Question 20
What was the goal of the First Continental Congress?

A
Establish laws for the united Thirteen Colonies
B
Coordinate a colonial response to the British government’s unfair policies
C
Draft the Declaration of Independence
D
Discuss separation from Great Britain
Question 20 Explanation: 
The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in September of 1774 to discuss how to respond to the Coercive (or Intolerable) Acts passed by Parliament earlier that year. The focus of the colonial delegates remained on finding ways to repair the strained relationship between the colonies and Great Britain.
Question 21
What was an accomplishment of the Second Continental Congress?

A
Established the Continental Army as a defense against British aggression
B
Drafted and adopted the Declaration of Independence
C
Debated and adopted the Articles of Confederation
D
All of the above
Question 21 Explanation: 
The Second Continental Congress began in May of 1775 and remained the de facto government of the Thirteen American colonies until 1781. The Congress was instrumental in creating the Continental Army, severing ties with Great Britain, and establishing the basis for the new United States government under the Articles of Confederation.
Question 22
The Articles of Confederation placed the majority of governing power:

A
In the hands of the federal government
B
In the hands of the state governments
C
In the hands of the people through a direct democracy
D
Balanced equally between the state governments and the confederation government
Question 22 Explanation: 
The Articles of Confederation established a weak central government. Each of the thirteen states were given a large degree of autonomy to govern, tax, and establish laws as they saw fit.
Question 23
What political group favored a strong, national government over a collection of strong, individual state governments?

A
Democrats
B
Republicans
C
Federalists
D
Anti-Federalists
Question 23 Explanation: 
The Federalists advocated for a strong federal system to govern the United States.
Question 24
Which document replaced the Articles of Confederation as the law of the land in America in March of 1789?

A
The United States Bill of Rights
B
The United States Declaration of Independence
C
The United States Congress
D
None of the above
Question 24 Explanation: 
The United States Constitution was drafted and ratified in 1789 and replaced the Articles of Confederation. It established a stronger federal government with the power to tax, make and enforce laws, govern trade, and sign treaties.
Question 25
Which part of the Constitution was added largely as a concession to the Anti-Federalists, who were wary of a strong national government?

A
The Preamble
B
Articles I-IV
C
The Bill of Rights
D
All of the above
Question 25 Explanation: 
The Anti-Federalists were worried about a strong national government. They wanted assurances that the rights of the people would be protected from all government tyranny, not just from the British monarch. The Bill of Rights was added as the first ten amendments to the Constitution to address their concerns.
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