Tests Your Knowledge On The American Political Scene History

60 Questions | Total Attempts: 330

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Tests Your Knowledge On The American Political Scene History

Politics is part of the human setting that has been in existence for years. However, the history is broad and hard to grasp. This quiz tests your knowledge on the American Political scene history. Take up the challenge and see how much you know.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Political action committees were created by campaign reform laws to
    • A. 

      Involve the public more directly in presidential campaigns

    • B. 

      Regulate how groups such as business and labor contribute to campaigns

    • C. 

      Finance challengers' campaigns to eliminate the advantages of incumbency

    • D. 

      Pay for for candidates' air time because it has become the most expensive feature in a campaign

    • E. 

      Limit the influence of political parties over election outcomes

  • 2. 
    All of the following are examples of the system of checks and balances EXCEPT
    • A. 

      The president's power to veto

    • B. 

      Congress' confirmation of presidential appointments

    • C. 

      The Supreme Court's power of judicial review

    • D. 

      Congress' authority to impeach the president

    • E. 

      The president's control over the budget

  • 3. 
    Most of the cases that reach the Supreme Court do so through
    • A. 

      Congressional approval

    • B. 

      Certiorari appeals from lower federal courts

    • C. 

      Review and selection by the solicitor general

    • D. 

      Original jurisdiction

    • E. 

      Assignments by the president

  • 4. 
    Which of the following generalizations is supported by the information in the chart above?
    • A. 

      Nonconnected PACs grew in number more sharply between 1980 and 2001 than any other kind of PAC

    • B. 

      The most dramatic change in the number if PACs occurred between 1985 and 1990

    • C. 

      There are only a few cooperative PACs because these are the most difficult type to meet the approval of the Federal Election Commission

    • D. 

      Business PACs spend the most money on congressional elections

    • E. 

      All types of PACs have increased in number dramatically since 1980

  • 5. 
    The government began to pursue civil rights in the 1950s when
    • A. 

      Congress passed the Voting Rights Act

    • B. 

      Civil rights activists marched on Washington to demand government action

    • C. 

      The Supreme Court declared public school segregation unconstitutional

    • D. 

      States agreed to discontinue their use of poll taxes as a means of preventing people from voting

    • E. 

      The president issued an executive order to desegregate all public transportation

  • 6. 
    A president is most likely to advance his proposal in Congress in which of the following ways?
    • A. 

      Denounce on national television members of Congress who oppose the proposal

    • B. 

      Promise a key committee seat to supporters

    • C. 

      Withdraw PAC funding from members of congress who oppose the proposal

    • D. 

      Solicit support from party members to build a coalition

    • E. 

      Run advertisements to win public opinion of the proposal

  • 7. 
    Compared to Democrats, Republicans are more likely to
    • A. 

      Favor social spending

    • B. 

      Pursue union votes

    • C. 

      Attract the votes of women

    • D. 

      Hold conservative views

    • E. 

      Raise taxes

  • 8. 
    Presidents exercise their influence over the ideology of federal courts by
    • A. 

      Trying to appoint only judges who agree with their ideology and political views

    • B. 

      Ordering congress to impeach judges who are too liberal or too conservative

    • C. 

      Demoting judges to lower courts

    • D. 

      Allowing them to hear only those cases on which judges are likely to agree with the president's point of view

    • E. 

      Meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee when they are performing oversight

  • 9. 
    Which of the following statements accurately descirde voting tendencies among groups of the electorate?I. Women are more likely to vote for RepublicansII. Jewish voters overwhelmingly vote for Democratic candidatesIII. Minority groups tend to vote for DemocratsIV. rural voters usually endorse liberal Drmocrats
    • A. 

      I only

    • B. 

      III only

    • C. 

      II and III only

    • D. 

      I and IV only

    • E. 

      I, II, and III only

  • 10. 
    Which of the following groups is most likely to vote in elections?
    • A. 

      People under the age of 21

    • B. 

      Senior citizens

    • C. 

      People without a college degree

    • D. 

      People with no party affiliation

    • E. 

      Men with low-income jobs

  • 11. 
    The Supreme Court asserted which of the following principles in Marybury v. Madison?
    • A. 

      The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees all individual freedoms under state laws

    • B. 

      Freedom of religion is guaranteed, but some religious practices may violate the establishment clause

    • C. 

      Under the Tenth Amendment, the federal goverment can regulate commerce among states

    • D. 

      The exclusionary rule must be upheld in all state court trials

    • E. 

      The Supreme Court has the power to declare laws passed by Congress unconstitutional

  • 12. 
    In the process of political socialization, individuals
    • A. 

      Form their political beliefs

    • B. 

      Participate in a direct democracy

    • C. 

      Attend functions organized by political parties

    • D. 

      Evaluate and select their representatives

    • E. 

      Engage in political protest against a law

  • 13. 
    The failure of the Articles of Confederation and necessity for a new Constitution were made evident by the
    • A. 

      Success of the American Revolution

    • B. 

      Legislature's inability to select a president

    • C. 

      Need for a bicameral legislature

    • D. 

      Governement's inability to subdue Shay's Rebellion

    • E. 

      Excess of centralized power in the national government

  • 14. 
    Voter turnout in the United States is low in part because
    • A. 

      Minority groups still struggle for the right to vote in southern states

    • B. 

      Registering to vote has become more difficult

    • C. 

      Voters see little difference between the platforms of the two parties' candidates

    • D. 

      Man ylow-income people are not able to pass the literacy test required to vote

    • E. 

      Candidates do little to try to attract voters

  • 15. 
    Which of the following statements about the national debt is true?
    • A. 

      The national debt has decreased by 50 percent over the past decade

    • B. 

      The national debt grew significantly as a result of tax cuts and defense spending in the 1980s

    • C. 

      The national debt is a direct result of the Social Security program

    • D. 

      The federal government earns enough in revenues to pay off it's debt each year

    • E. 

      When revenues exceed expenditures, the national debt increases

  • 16. 
    Congress performs legislative oversight over executive departments by
    • A. 

      Hiring and firing department heads

    • B. 

      Determining departments' budget

    • C. 

      Vetoing department proposals

    • D. 

      Issuing impoundment bills

    • E. 

      Coordinating department activities with the president

  • 17. 
    Members of Congress most often vote according to
    • A. 

      Their own policy preferences

    • B. 

      The needs of their consituents

    • C. 

      Their relationship with the president

    • D. 

      Their party affiliation

    • E. 

      The ideology of their geographic region

  • 18. 
    Which of the following is NOT specifically prohibited by the Consitution?
    • A. 

      Gender bias in the workplace

    • B. 

      Self-incrimination

    • C. 

      Slavery

    • D. 

      National religion

    • E. 

      Cruel and unusual punishment

  • 19. 
    Regulatory agencies are most likely to turn to the industries they oversee when they
    • A. 

      Have leaders who need campaign contributions

    • B. 

      Want to deregulate

    • C. 

      Have an unambiguous policy to implement

    • D. 

      Are making budget proposals to Congress

    • E. 

      Are trying to win general public approval

  • 20. 
    The largest federal expenditure is
    • A. 

      National defense

    • B. 

      Public education

    • C. 

      Social Security

    • D. 

      Grants to the states

    • E. 

      Political campaigns

  • 21. 
    Which of the following are true of the data in the table above?I. Entitlements and mandatory spending are the fastest-growing federal expendituresII. Since 1975 it would require congressional action not to spend a majority of federal outlaysIII. The federal governements spends about one-third of its revenues on entitlements and mandatory spendingIV. Payments made toward interest on the national debt typically double every five years
    • A. 

      III only

    • B. 

      I and II only

    • C. 

      II and III only

    • D. 

      III and IV only

    • E. 

      I and IV only

  • 22. 
    The two main responsibilites of congressional committees are
    • A. 

      Making and implementing policies

    • B. 

      Determining the budget and confirming the appointment of federal judges

    • C. 

      Writing guidelines for federal programs and educating the public

    • D. 

      Reviewing proposed legislation and performing legislative oversight

    • E. 

      Suggesting candidates for cabinet positions and writing tax codes

  • 23. 
    All of the following are recent trends in presidential nominations and campaigns EXCEPT
    • A. 

      Declining party identification among voters

    • B. 

      Increasing costs of campaigning

    • C. 

      Decreasing importance of national conventions

    • D. 

      Increasing reliance on PACs to sustain campaigns

    • E. 

      Infrequency of presidential primaries among states

  • 24. 
    Single-issue groups, as opposed to other types of groups, represent people in the electorate who
    • A. 

      Have little political access and influence

    • B. 

      Donate money to political campaigns

    • C. 

      Pressure candidates to be less ambigous about their ideology

    • D. 

      Feel strongly about a certain cause

    • E. 

      Advocate campaign finance reform

  • 25. 
    Presidents have sought to expand their power by
    • A. 

      Joining more interest groups to establish more connections with constituencies

    • B. 

      Appointing party leaders to committee chairs in Congress

    • C. 

      Requesting the use of the line-item veto

    • D. 

      Appealing to Supreme Court justices

    • E. 

      Relying more on the cabinet for advice

  • 26. 
    When a president vetoes a bill,
    • A. 

      Congress rarely overrides it

    • B. 

      It cannot become a law

    • C. 

      The Supreme Court must approve the veto

    • D. 

      Congress usually overrides it

    • E. 

      His public opinion rating usually drops

  • 27. 
    During the budgetary process, congress does not normally revise, upward or downward, spending for
    • A. 

      National security

    • B. 

      Aid for public schools

    • C. 

      Highways and roads

    • D. 

      Agricultural subsidies

    • E. 

      Social Security

  • 28. 
    The Supreme Court has upheld which of the following in its interpretation of the freedom of speech?
    • A. 

      All forms of speech, including obscenity, are protected under the First Amendment

    • B. 

      The government cannot under any circumstances censor information

    • C. 

      Protests against the government are not protected under the First Amendment

    • D. 

      Forms of symbolic speech are protected under the First Amendment

    • E. 

      The freedom of speech is guaranteed by federal law, but it does not have to be upheld by the states

  • 29. 
    The rise of the primary election system has led to
    • A. 

      The increasing rold of political parties in presidential elections

    • B. 

      The public's more direct involvement in the election of the president

    • C. 

      A decline in media coverage of presidential campaigns

    • D. 

      A shift in power from national to state party organizations

    • E. 

      Fewer candidates seeking each party's nomination

  • 30. 
    Congress did the most to check the military power of presidents by
    • A. 

      Refusing to confirm their appointments for defense secretary

    • B. 

      Amending Article II of the Constitution

    • C. 

      Taking away their control over the defense budget

    • D. 

      Agreeing always to vote not to delcare war

    • E. 

      Passing the War Powers Resolution

  • 31. 
    Unlike members of the House of Representatives, senators can influence policy debates by
    • A. 

      Relying on partisan support

    • B. 

      Calling for a vote

    • C. 

      Using a filibuster

    • D. 

      Forming a presidential coalition

    • E. 

      Running television ads

  • 32. 
    It can be argues that the federal bureaucracy is the most democratic government institution in that it is the institution
    • A. 

      Whose members most closely reflect the composition of the general population

    • B. 

      Whose leaders are appointed by the president

    • C. 

      Most closely overseen by Congress and the president

    • D. 

      That is obligated to make annual reports on its activities to the public

    • E. 

      That acts only after specific pieces of legislation are passed

  • 33. 
    The Constituion specifies which of the following about the appointment of federal judges?
    • A. 

      A balance of liberal and ocnservative judges must be maintained

    • B. 

      Congress is solely responsible for filling judgeships

    • C. 

      There may be only nine Supreme Court justices

    • D. 

      They may serve terms for life if they maintain good conduct

    • E. 

      The appointments of lower federal judges do not need to be confirmed by the Senate

  • 34. 
    A president can be removed from office in which of the following ways?
    • A. 

      The Supreme Court rules that he is incompetent or has violated the law

    • B. 

      In a recall, citizens can vote to remove the president from office

    • C. 

      The House votes to impeach him, and the Senate tries and convicts him

    • D. 

      The Senate votes to impeach him, and the Supreme Court tries the president

    • E. 

      Both housed of Congress vote to remove the president by a simple majority

  • 35. 
    All of the following statements accurately describe the data in the graph EXCEPT
    • A. 

      Most presidents experience a drop in public approval ratings over their terms

    • B. 

      Presidents Bush and Johnson lost the most public approval during their presidencies

    • C. 

      Ronald Reagan was our most popular president ever

    • D. 

      On average, most presidents have approval ratings of over 50 percent

    • E. 

      Democratic presidents usually have higher public approval than Republicans

  • 36. 
    Which of the following allowed southern states to sidestep allowing all citizens to exercise the right to vote guaranteed under the Fifteenth Amendment?
    • A. 

      Supremacy Clause

    • B. 

      Grandfather Clause

    • C. 

      Necessary and Proper Clause

    • D. 

      Establishment Clause

    • E. 

      Equal Protection Clause

  • 37. 
    The government insitution respoinsible for the drawin gof congressional district lines is the
    • A. 

      States's governor

    • B. 

      Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs

    • C. 

      State's legislature

    • D. 

      House Rules Committee

    • E. 

      Department of the Interior

  • 38. 
    Political parties help promote democracy in which of the following ways?
    • A. 

      They allow a wide variety of political views to be represented in government

    • B. 

      They select presidentail nominees through the use of closed primaries

    • C. 

      The help concentrate the government's authority over the electorate

    • D. 

      They serve as a link through which citizens have access to the government

    • E. 

      Both parties represent a good variety of groups in the electorate

  • 39. 
    The media has the most influence over which of the following aspects of the presidential selection process?
    • A. 

      The way electoral votes are distributed

    • B. 

      The outcome of the popular election

    • C. 

      Who decides to run for office

    • D. 

      The outcome of primary elections

    • E. 

      The party's national convention

  • 40. 
    The Framers; distrust of the public when writing the Constitution is best illustrated by the
    • A. 

      Electoral College

    • B. 

      Bill of Rights

    • C. 

      Process of electing members of the House of Representatives

    • D. 

      Creation of a bicameral legislature

    • E. 

      Ability to amend the Consitution

  • 41. 
    Congress increased the power of the federal government to enforce regulations in employment by passing the
    • A. 

      Fourteenth Amendment

    • B. 

      Civil Rights Act

    • C. 

      Fifteenth Amendment

    • D. 

      Equal Rights Amendment

    • E. 

      Voting Rights Act

  • 42. 
    Which of the following best explains the expansion of the bureaucracy?
    • A. 

      The growth of the military-industrial complex

    • B. 

      Concentration of power in the executive brach

    • C. 

      The failure of Congress to effectively oversee policy implementation

    • D. 

      Budget surpluses allowing for more government spending

    • E. 

      The public's desire for more government programs and services

  • 43. 
    In Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court ruled that persons accused of a crime
    • A. 

      Cannot be denied bail

    • B. 

      Have the right to a fair trial

    • C. 

      Have rights during police questioning

    • D. 

      Have equal protection under the law

    • E. 

      Cannot be searched illegally

  • 44. 
    The principle that the Constitution gives states all powers neither granted to the federal government nor denied the states refers to
    • A. 

      States' rights

    • B. 

      Reserved powers

    • C. 

      Federal supremacy

    • D. 

      Concurrent powers

    • E. 

      Federalism

  • 45. 
    Critical election tend to occur under which of the following circumstances?
    • A. 

      When a third-party candidate wins some electoral votes

    • B. 

      After a presidential scandal bas been exposed in the media

    • C. 

      When the United States engages in a military operation

    • D. 

      After a serious domestic crisis alters the political agenda

    • E. 

      When one of the parties suffers a major defeat in a congressional election

  • 46. 
    Voters learn little about presidential candidates' platforms by watching the news because
    • A. 

      The news media pay more attention to congressional campaigns

    • B. 

      Campaign reform laws prevent the news form discussing presidential platforms

    • C. 

      News coverage of presidential campaigns is often biased and misleading

    • D. 

      The news focuses mostly on the candidates' daily campaigning activities

    • E. 

      The news media report mostly about the candidate's political experience and personal history

  • 47. 
    Which of the following statements are true of political parties?I. The United States has a multiparty systemII. The electorate is becoming increasingly independent of political partiesIII. The use of television advertising allows candidates more independence from their political partiesIV. Political party organizations are exercising greater control over the choice of candidates
    • A. 

      II only

    • B. 

      III only

    • C. 

      II and III only

    • D. 

      I, II, and IV only

    • E. 

      II, III, and IV only

  • 48. 
    Each of the following helps explain the incumbency advantage of members of Congress EXCEPT
    • A. 

      The franking privilege

    • B. 

      The pattern of campaign contributions

    • C. 

      Casework

    • D. 

      The low standing of Congress in public opinion

    • E. 

      Name recognition

  • 49. 
    Which of the following is an example of how an agency might regulate an industry?
    • A. 

      Consumers must send in all of their receipts to an agency

    • B. 

      An agency approves all applicants for employment in power plants

    • C. 

      An energy company files paperwork providing compliance with pollution standards

    • D. 

      State welfare programs register their guidelines with an agency

    • E. 

      An agency reports on the effects of a decline in the cattle market to a legislative committee

  • 50. 
    The Rehnquist Court has been charcterized by its
    • A. 

      Longevity without change in membership

    • B. 

      Unprecedented racial diversity among the justices

    • C. 

      Advocacy of abortion

    • D. 

      Pro-civil rights decisions

    • E. 

      Independence from the president

  • 51. 
    Which of the following is true of relationships between the president and Congress?
    • A. 

      Presidents usually have little success in forming presidential coalitions in Congress

    • B. 

      Presidents work most with minority party leaders to win minority support

    • C. 

      Policy gridlock results when the president's party is not the majority party in Congress

    • D. 

      Members of Congress almost always vote in favor of presidential initiatives

    • E. 

      Presidents usually have closer relationships with members of the House than they do with senators

  • 52. 
    One reason the speaker of the House is an important political figure is because he or she
    • A. 

      Is unanimously chosen to lead the House

    • B. 

      Acts as the key liaison between the houses of Congress

    • C. 

      Serves as Congress's spokesperson to the public

    • D. 

      Is second in line to assume the presidency

    • E. 

      Is the only member of Congress with diplomatic responsibilities

  • 53. 
    Which of the following statements accurately describes iron triangles?
    • A. 

      Iron triangles are composed of members of the military-industrial complex, Congress and the Defense Department

    • B. 

      Iron triangles are formed in specific policy areas to advance policies among groups that benefit each other mutually

    • C. 

      Iron triangles are formed to generate support for presidential proposals in Congress

    • D. 

      Iron triangles help coordinate policy among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches

    • E. 

      Iron triangles help perform policy implementation among the local, state, and federal levels of government

  • 54. 
    The federal bureaucracy exercises its authority over official public policy by
    • A. 

      Requesting department budgets from Congress

    • B. 

      Performing legislative oversight

    • C. 

      Influencing the president's policy agenda

    • D. 

      Establishing guidelines and administering federal programs

    • E. 

      Making policy recommendations to committees through iron triangles

  • 55. 
    The Establishment Clause, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, prevents
    • A. 

      States from passing laws that conflict with federal laws

    • B. 

      The government from violating the rights of individuals

    • C. 

      Congress from exercising any powers beyond those necessary to execute the law

    • D. 

      Gender discrimination in the workplace

    • E. 

      The incorporation of religion into policy

  • 56. 
    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke is a Supreme court case that addressed
    • A. 

      Affirmative action

    • B. 

      Prayer in school

    • C. 

      The rights of the accused

    • D. 

      The right of privacy

    • E. 

      Desegregation through busing

  • 57. 
    One of a president's most powerful tools for gaining support of his proposals is
    • A. 

      His financial resources

    • B. 

      Executive privilege

    • C. 

      "going public" to sway public opinion

    • D. 

      Senatorial courtesy

    • E. 

      His cabinet

  • 58. 
    Republican presidents tend to favor
    • A. 

      Very progressive taxes

    • B. 

      Tax increases

    • C. 

      Tax reductions

    • D. 

      Taxing Social Security

    • E. 

      Taxing businesses

  • 59. 
    Members of Congress are more likely to vote according to their personal ideology when
    • A. 

      The issue is not well known by their constituents

    • B. 

      They are up for reelection

    • C. 

      The piece of legislation was introduced by the president

    • D. 

      They are on the committee responsible for the piece of legislation

    • E. 

      Interest groups have been activaly involved with the piece of legislation

  • 60. 
    In the era of globalization, which of the following presidential powers is becoming important?
    • A. 

      Vetoing legislation

    • B. 

      Negotiating economic agreements

    • C. 

      Declaring war

    • D. 

      Authorizing the use of weapons of mass destruction

    • E. 

      Appointment of Supreme Court justices