8th Grade US History May Benchmark

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8th Grade US History May Benchmark - Quiz

This is the WCSD Benchmark exam for all 8th grade US History students.  


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    What Hemisphere is the United States located in?

    • A.

      The Northern Hemisphere

    • B.

      The Southern Hemisphere

    • C.

      The Southwestern Hemisphere

    • D.

      The United States is not a hemisphere.

    Correct Answer
    A. The Northern Hemisphere
    Explanation
    The United States is located in the Northern Hemisphere because it is situated north of the equator. The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the Earth that lies north of the equator and is home to countries such as the United States, Canada, Russia, and most of Europe.

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  • 2. 

    Use this map for questions 2-4 What basic map tool is included on this map?

    • A.

      Compass Rose

    • B.

      Legend

    • C.

      Scale

    • D.

      Title

    Correct Answer
    D. Title
    Explanation
    The basic map tool included on this map is the title. The title provides a brief description or name for the map, giving the reader an idea of what the map is about. It helps to identify the subject or theme of the map and provides context for the information presented on the map.

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  • 3. 

    Type question here For which of the following reasons would you use this map?

    • A.

      To know the number of people living in Washington

    • B.

      To know how many people make a living in Nevada

    • C.

      To locate mountains

    • D.

      To locate states

    Correct Answer
    D. To locate states
    Explanation
    This map would be used to locate states because it provides information about the geographical boundaries and positions of different states. It does not provide information about the number of people living in Washington or Nevada, nor does it help in locating mountains.

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  • 4. 

    What is Idaho's location relative to California

    • A.

      Southeast

    • B.

      Northeast

    • C.

      Southwest

    • D.

      Northwest

    Correct Answer
    B. Northeast
    Explanation
    Idaho is located northeast of California.

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  • 5. 

    Which of the following best illustrates the process known as the Columbian Exchange?

    • A.

      Advances in technology allowed sailors to better navigate the open seas.

    • B.

      Asian goods moved long distances along the Silk Road to reach Europe.

    • C.

      Christopher Columbus sailed west to reach Asia and encountered the Americas.

    • D.

      Corn was introduced to Europe from the Americas; Europe introduced cattle to the Americas.

    Correct Answer
    D. Corn was introduced to Europe from the Americas; Europe introduced cattle to the Americas.
    Explanation
    The correct answer illustrates the process known as the Columbian Exchange because it describes the exchange of crops and animals between the Americas and Europe. Corn, a crop native to the Americas, was introduced to Europe, while Europe introduced cattle to the Americas. This exchange of plants and animals had a significant impact on both continents, leading to changes in diet, agriculture, and economic systems.

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  • 6. 

     Europeans sent men to explore the New World for all of the following reasons except:

    • A.

      Convert Native Americans to Christianity.

    • B.

      Discover new lands.

    • C.

      Explore new routes to the Indies.

    • D.

      Find new diseases.

    Correct Answer
    D. Find new diseases.
    Explanation
    Europeans sent men to explore the New World for various reasons such as converting Native Americans to Christianity, discovering new lands, and exploring new routes to the Indies. However, finding new diseases was not one of their motivations. The main purpose of exploration was to expand their territories, establish trade routes, and spread their religious beliefs. The discovery of new diseases was an unintended consequence of contact with indigenous populations, rather than a deliberate objective.

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  • 7. 

    Triangular trade is defined as:

    • A.

      A gathering of trade in which the three colonies bartered agricultural goods.

    • B.

      A political gathering at which people make decisions on local issues.

    • C.

      A system in which goods and slaves were traded among the Americas, Britain, and Africa.

    • D.

      A system of trade between the Americas, the Silk Road, and Australia.

    Correct Answer
    C. A system in which goods and slaves were traded among the Americas, Britain, and Africa.
    Explanation
    Triangular trade refers to a system of trade between the Americas, Britain, and Africa, where goods and slaves were exchanged. This trade network was based on the exchange of raw materials, manufactured goods, and enslaved individuals. The Americas provided raw materials such as sugar, tobacco, and cotton, which were then transported to Britain for manufacturing. The manufactured goods were then traded in Africa for enslaved individuals, who were transported to the Americas to work on plantations. This triangular trade system played a significant role in the development of the Atlantic economy during the colonial period.

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  • 8. 

    What was the major cause of death among Native Americans during the 1500 and 1600s?

    • A.

      Changing climatic conditions

    • B.

      Infections and diseases brought by Europeans

    • C.

      Warfare among tribes

    • D.

      Warfare between Native Americans and Europeans

    Correct Answer
    B. Infections and diseases brought by Europeans
    Explanation
    During the 1500 and 1600s, the major cause of death among Native Americans was infections and diseases brought by Europeans. When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they brought with them various diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza, to which Native Americans had no immunity. These diseases spread rapidly among the Native American populations, leading to devastating consequences and high mortality rates. The lack of immunity and the introduction of new diseases by Europeans greatly impacted the Native American population during this time period.

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  • 9. 

    The Southern Colonies depended on an agricultural economy of cash crops such as:

    • A.

      Oranges, apples, and grapefruit.

    • B.

      Tobacco, rice, and indigo.

    • C.

      Tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn.

    • D.

      Wheat, rye, and oats.

    Correct Answer
    B. Tobacco, rice, and indigo.
    Explanation
    The Southern Colonies relied on an agricultural economy based on the cultivation of cash crops such as tobacco, rice, and indigo. These crops were well-suited to the region's climate and soil conditions, making them profitable for plantation owners. Tobacco was a major cash crop grown primarily in Virginia and Maryland, while rice was cultivated in the low-lying coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. Indigo, a plant used to produce blue dye, was also grown in the Southern Colonies, particularly in South Carolina. These cash crops played a significant role in shaping the economy and social structure of the Southern Colonies.

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  • 10. 

    What was main the reason the Pilgrims and Puritans came to America?

    • A.

      To build a democratic government

    • B.

      To expand control of the King of England

    • C.

      To make more money

    • D.

      To practice their religion freely

    Correct Answer
    D. To practice their religion freely
    Explanation
    The main reason the Pilgrims and Puritans came to America was to practice their religion freely. They were seeking religious freedom and wanted to escape the religious persecution they faced in England. They wanted to establish communities where they could worship and live according to their own beliefs without interference or restrictions.

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  • 11. 

     What did indentured servants provide for the development of the English colonies?

    • A.

      Officials for British government

    • B.

      Leadership for religious organizations

    • C.

      Soldiers for the continental Army

    • D.

      Workers for farming and business

    Correct Answer
    D. Workers for farming and business
    Explanation
    Indentured servants provided workers for farming and business in the development of the English colonies. Indentured servants were individuals who agreed to work for a specified period of time, typically four to seven years, in exchange for passage to the colonies. They played a crucial role in providing the necessary labor force for agricultural activities, such as cultivating crops and tending to livestock, as well as supporting various businesses and industries. Their labor was vital for the economic growth and development of the English colonies.

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  • 12. 

    Which country settled the greatest number of colonies along the eastern coast of North America?

    • A.

      England

    • B.

      Portugal

    • C.

      Spain

    • D.

      Sweden

    Correct Answer
    A. England
    Explanation
    England settled the greatest number of colonies along the eastern coast of North America. This is evident from the historical records and the establishment of colonies such as Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay Colony. These colonies played a significant role in the colonization and development of the region, ultimately leading to the formation of the thirteen British colonies that later became the United States.

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  • 13. 

     The French and Indian War resulted in

    • A.

      Britain gaining French lands in North America

    • B.

      The Albany Plan of Union

    • C.

      The defeat of all Indians

    • D.

      The end of British power in North America

    Correct Answer
    A. Britain gaining French lands in North America
    Explanation
    The French and Indian War was a conflict between the British and French over control of North America. The war ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763, which resulted in Britain gaining French lands in North America. This included territories such as Canada and the Ohio River Valley. The war significantly weakened French influence in the region and solidified British power in North America.

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  • 14. 

     What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence?

    • A.

      Establish peace with Britain

    • B.

      Officially separate from Britain

    • C.

      To create a bill of rights

    • D.

      To remain loyal to Britain

    Correct Answer
    B. Officially separate from Britain
    Explanation
    The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to officially separate from Britain. This document was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and it declared the thirteen American colonies to be independent states, no longer under British rule. The Declaration of Independence outlined the reasons for this separation and asserted the natural rights of all individuals, including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It served as a formal declaration of the American colonies' intention to establish their own government and to break away from British control.

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  • 15. 

    Why did Massachusetts colonists hold the Boston Tea Party?

    • A.

      To force leaders to hold a Continental Congress

    • B.

      To protest British tax on teas

    • C.

      To protest the repeal of taxes

    • D.

      To support the Boston Massacre

    Correct Answer
    B. To protest British tax on teas
    Explanation
    The Massachusetts colonists held the Boston Tea Party to protest the British tax on teas. This event was a direct response to the Tea Act of 1773, which granted the British East India Company a monopoly on tea sales in the American colonies and imposed a tax on tea. The colonists saw this as a violation of their rights and a form of taxation without representation. By dumping the tea into the Boston Harbor, they aimed to show their opposition to British taxation policies and assert their desire for self-governance.

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  • 16. 

     One way colonist demonstrated their opposition to British actions was to

    • A.

      Boycott British goods

    • B.

      Leave the colonies and move westward

    • C.

      Pass the Proclamation of 1763

    • D.

      Vote out their representatives in Parliament

    Correct Answer
    A. Boycott British goods
    Explanation
    The colonists demonstrated their opposition to British actions by boycotting British goods. This was a form of protest where they refused to buy or use British products as a way to show their dissatisfaction with British policies and taxation. By boycotting British goods, the colonists hoped to put economic pressure on the British government and force them to reconsider their actions. This form of protest was one of the key tactics used by the colonists during the American Revolution.

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  • 17. 

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”                                                             Declaration of Independence-1776  What idea is expressed in the above quote?

    • A.

      Checks and balances

    • B.

      Common law

    • C.

      Individual rights

    • D.

      Limited government

    Correct Answer
    C. Individual rights
    Explanation
    The quote from the Declaration of Independence expresses the idea of individual rights. It states that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This emphasizes the importance of protecting and respecting the rights of individuals.

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  • 18. 

      What advantage did the Patriots have over the British in the Revolutionary War?

    • A.

      They had a well-trained army

    • B.

      They had fought several wars together already.

    • C.

      They were defending their own lands.

    • D.

      They were wealthier

    Correct Answer
    C. They were defending their own lands.
    Explanation
    The Patriots had an advantage over the British in the Revolutionary War because they were defending their own lands. This meant that they were fighting on familiar territory and had a better understanding of the local geography, which allowed them to use it to their advantage in battle. Additionally, the Patriots had the support of the local population, who were motivated to protect their homes and families. This gave them a sense of purpose and determination that the British forces lacked.

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  • 19. 

     What was a problem with the Articles of Confederation?

    • A.

      A weak national government

    • B.

      It had four branches of government

    • C.

      Had a strong court system

    • D.

      The president had too much power

    Correct Answer
    A. A weak national government
    Explanation
    The problem with the Articles of Confederation was that it established a weak national government. This meant that the central government had limited powers and was unable to effectively govern the states or address national issues. The lack of a strong central authority led to difficulties in making and enforcing laws, regulating trade, and resolving disputes between states. As a result, the Articles of Confederation were eventually replaced by the United States Constitution, which created a stronger federal government.

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  • 20. 

     Why did the framers of the Constitution insist on dividing state representation into a bicameral, or two-house, Congress?

    • A.

      To allow one side to have more power than the other side.

    • B.

      To create conflict between the majority and minority parties

    • C.

      To grant each state no less than three federal representatives.

    • D.

      To represent interests of all states and allow each side to keep the power of the other side in check.

    Correct Answer
    D. To represent interests of all states and allow each side to keep the power of the other side in check.
    Explanation
    The framers of the Constitution insisted on dividing state representation into a bicameral Congress to represent the interests of all states and to allow each side to keep the power of the other side in check. By having two separate houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate, each with different methods of representation and different powers, the framers ensured that both small and large states would have a voice in the legislative process. This system also created a system of checks and balances, where each house could act as a check on the power of the other, preventing any one side from becoming too dominant.

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  • 21. 

     What is the role of the Judicial Branch of government?

    • A.

      Declare War for the United States

    • B.

      Interprets the Constitution and other laws

    • C.

      Make the laws for the United States.

    • D.

      Veto bills for the President.

    Correct Answer
    B. Interprets the Constitution and other laws
    Explanation
    The role of the Judicial Branch of government is to interpret the Constitution and other laws. This means that they have the responsibility to review laws and determine if they are in line with the Constitution. They also have the power to settle disputes and make decisions in legal cases. The Judicial Branch acts as a check and balance on the other branches of government, ensuring that they are acting within the boundaries set by the Constitution.

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  • 22. 

    What is the role of the Legislative Branch of government?

    • A.

      Declare laws unconstitutional

    • B.

      \Interprets the Constitution and other laws

    • C.

      Make the laws for the United States

    • D.

      Veto bills for the President.

    Correct Answer
    C. Make the laws for the United States
    Explanation
    The Legislative Branch of government is responsible for making the laws for the United States. This branch consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives, collectively known as Congress. They have the power to propose, debate, and pass legislation that will become the laws of the country. This is one of the fundamental roles of the Legislative Branch, as outlined in the Constitution, to ensure that the laws are created and enacted in a democratic and representative manner.

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  • 23. 

      Who is the head of the Executive Branch of government?

    • A.

      Secretary of State

    • B.

      Secretary of Treasury

    • C.

      President

    • D.

      Vice President

    Correct Answer
    C. President
    Explanation
    The head of the Executive Branch of government is the President. The President is responsible for leading the executive branch, which includes enforcing laws, making important decisions, and representing the country both domestically and internationally. The President is the highest-ranking official in the executive branch and is elected by the people to serve as the leader of the nation.

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  • 24. 

    Many Anti-federalists refused to ratify the constitution until what occurred?

    • A.

      A national religion was established

    • B.

      A slavery clause was included

    • C.

      Protection against taxation was established

    • D.

      The promise of a bill of rights

    Correct Answer
    D. The promise of a bill of rights
    Explanation
    The Anti-federalists, who were opposed to a strong central government, were concerned about the lack of individual rights and protections in the Constitution. They refused to ratify the Constitution until they were promised a bill of rights, which would guarantee certain freedoms and limit the power of the government. This promise was necessary to gain their support and ensure the ratification of the Constitution.

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  • 25. 

     The Great Compromise was an agreement on which of the following?

    • A.

      How states would determine representation in Congress

    • B.

      The order of the amendments in the Bill of Rights

    • C.

      The powers of citizens of the United States

    • D.

      The way in which slaves in southern states would be counted

    Correct Answer
    A. How states would determine representation in Congress
    Explanation
    The Great Compromise was an agreement that resolved the issue of representation in Congress. It established a bicameral legislature, with the House of Representatives being based on population and the Senate having equal representation for each state. This compromise was necessary to balance the interests of both large and small states and ensure fair representation in the federal government.

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  • 26. 

     The Lewis and Clark expedition resulted in:

    • A.

      Discovery of the Northwest Passage

    • B.

      Hundreds of deaths in the Corps of Discovery

    • C.

      New routes and understanding of the West

    • D.

      Plans for environmental protection

    Correct Answer
    C. New routes and understanding of the West
    Explanation
    The Lewis and Clark expedition resulted in new routes and understanding of the West. Lewis and Clark were tasked with exploring the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase territory and finding a direct water route to the Pacific Ocean. While they did not discover the Northwest Passage, their expedition did lead to the mapping of new routes and a better understanding of the geography, resources, and native peoples of the western region of the United States.

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  • 27. 

     All of the following were causes of the War of 1812 except:

    • A.

      British military aid to Native Americans.

    • B.

      French control of the Atlantic ports.

    • C.

      Impressment of American sailors.

    • D.

      Interference with American shipping.

    Correct Answer
    B. French control of the Atlantic ports.
    Explanation
    The War of 1812 was primarily caused by British military aid to Native Americans, impressment of American sailors, and interference with American shipping. These actions by the British government were seen as violations of American sovereignty and contributed to the decision to go to war. However, French control of the Atlantic ports was not a cause of the War of 1812. The conflict between the United States and Britain was largely driven by disagreements and tensions between the two countries, rather than French involvement.

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  • 28. 

     Manifest Destiny was the idea that:

    • A.

      It was destiny that the U.S. buy Cuba.

    • B.

      It was the fate of the U.S. to expand to the Atlantic Ocean.

    • C.

      It was the fate of the U.S. to expand to the Pacific Ocean.

    • D.

      It was the responsibility of the U.S. to acquire Alaska.

    Correct Answer
    C. It was the fate of the U.S. to expand to the Pacific Ocean.
    Explanation
    Manifest Destiny was the belief that it was the destiny or fate of the United States to expand its territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This idea emerged in the 19th century and drove westward expansion, colonization, and acquisition of new territories such as Oregon, Texas, California, and the Mexican Cession. The concept of Manifest Destiny was rooted in the belief in American exceptionalism and the desire to spread democracy and civilization across the continent.

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  • 29. 

    Before the American Civil War what did Northern and Southern States disagree about?

    • A.

      Whether new states created out of the western territories should have slavery.

    • B.

      Whether or not Americans should be allowed to settle in Western territories.

    • C.

      Whether or not slaves should be allowed to lead revolts.

    • D.

      Whether people should be able to come to the U.S. from Europe.

    Correct Answer
    A. Whether new states created out of the western territories should have slavery.
    Explanation
    The Northern and Southern states disagreed about whether new states created out of the western territories should have slavery. The Northern states were against the expansion of slavery into the western territories, while the Southern states wanted to preserve and expand slavery. This disagreement over the expansion of slavery was one of the main causes of the American Civil War.

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  • 30. 

      In the American Civil War, what was one advantage of the North?

    • A.

      Fewer railroads and more slaves

    • B.

      Inexperienced military leaders

    • C.

      Lack of agricultural land

    • D.

      More resources and a larger population

    Correct Answer
    D. More resources and a larger population
    Explanation
    During the American Civil War, the North had an advantage over the South due to their possession of more resources and a larger population. This allowed the North to have a stronger economy, more industrial power, and a larger pool of manpower for their military. With more resources at their disposal, the North was able to sustain their war effort for a longer period of time and effectively support their troops with supplies, weapons, and equipment. Additionally, the larger population meant that the North had a larger pool of potential soldiers to draw from, giving them a numerical advantage in terms of military strength.

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  • 31. 

    Slavery and ______________ led to the Civil War.

    • A.

      Immigration

    • B.

      Nationalism

    • C.

      Mexican Reform Movements

    • D.

      Sectionalism

    Correct Answer
    D. Sectionalism
    Explanation
    Sectionalism is the correct answer because it refers to the loyalty and support for a particular region or section of a country rather than the nation as a whole. In the context of the Civil War, sectionalism refers to the growing divide between the Northern and Southern states over issues such as slavery, economics, and political power. This divide eventually escalated into armed conflict, with the Southern states seceding from the Union and forming the Confederacy, leading to the Civil War.

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  • 32. 

     What was the declaration given by President Lincoln during the Civil War which freed all slaves in the rebellious Confederate states?

    • A.

      Emancipation Proclamation

    • B.

      Gettysburg Address

    • C.

      State of the Union

    • D.

      The 13th Amendment

    Correct Answer
    A. Emancipation Proclamation
    Explanation
    The Emancipation Proclamation was a declaration made by President Lincoln during the Civil War that freed all slaves in the rebellious Confederate states. This proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, and it declared that all slaves in Confederate territory were to be set free. However, it did not immediately free all slaves in the United States, as it only applied to the Confederate states that were in rebellion. The Emancipation Proclamation was a significant step towards the eventual abolition of slavery in the United States.

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  • 33. 

    Many people who fought for abolition also fought for women’s rights.  Which of the following was a concern of both groups?

    • A.

      Equal treatment for all people

    • B.

      Protecting religious freedom

    • C.

      Reducing alcohol consumption

    • D.

      Unsafe working condition for workers

    Correct Answer
    A. Equal treatment for all people
    Explanation
    Both the abolitionist movement and the women's rights movement were concerned with achieving equal treatment for all people. Both groups recognized the importance of equality and fought against discrimination based on race or gender. They believed that all individuals should be treated fairly and have the same rights and opportunities, regardless of their race or gender. This shared concern for equal treatment united the two movements and led to collaboration and support between them.

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  • 34. 

     The process of readmitting the former Confederate states to the Union was called:

    • A.

      Carpet Bagging

    • B.

      Civil Unity

    • C.

      Rebuilding

    • D.

      Reconstruction

    Correct Answer
    D. Reconstruction
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Reconstruction. Reconstruction refers to the period following the American Civil War when the former Confederate states were readmitted to the Union. During this time, efforts were made to rebuild the Southern economy and society, implement civil rights for freed slaves, and address the aftermath of the war. The term "reconstruction" accurately describes the process of rebuilding and reuniting the divided nation.

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  • 35. 

    What did the 13th Amendment do?

    • A.

      Charged a poll tax for women to vote.

    • B.

      Changed the way states were admitted to the union.

    • C.

      Granted freedom to all slaves.

    • D.

      Prohibited the drinking of alcohol.

    Correct Answer
    C. Granted freedom to all slaves.
    Explanation
    The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution granted freedom to all slaves. This amendment, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was a significant step towards ending the institution of slavery in the United States and ensuring the freedom of all individuals.

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  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
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  • Apr 24, 2014
    Quiz Created by
    Catherine Halcomb
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