Study Guide

Field 117: U S History/Oklahoma History/Government/Economics 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

Recommendation for individuals using a screenreader: please set your punctuation settings to "most."

Expand All | Collapse All

General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section that includes one writing assignment.

Each question in the first section of this test is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer.

Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You will be asked to provide a written response to the assignment. Directions for completing your written response to the constructed-response assignment will appear immediately before the assignment.

You may  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  use any type of calculator or reference materials during the test session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Read the passage below from an 1821 Supreme Court decision by John Marshall; then answer the two questions that follow.

The American states, as well as the American people, have believed that a close and firm union is essential to their liberty and to their happiness. They have been taught by experience that this union cannot exist without a government for the entire nation. They have been taught by the same experience that this government would be useless, that it would disappoint all their hopes, unless it had the sovereignty that belongs to independent nations.

To this supreme government ample powers are given. The people of the United States have declared that they are given "in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty" to themselves and their posterity. With ample powers given to this supreme government for these purposes are connected many specific limitations on the sovereignty of the states.

The powers of the Union on the subjects of war, peace, and commerce, and on many others, are in them-selves limitations of the sovereignty of the states. In addition to these, the sovereignty of the states is given up in many instances where it benefits the people. In such cases, no other power may be conferred on Congress than a power to maintain the principles established in the Constitution.

Competency 0003 
Understand and analyze the principal causes and key events of the Revolutionary War and the major political, economic, and social developments related to the formation and evolution of government and politics during the early years of the Republic.

1. Marshall's assertion that the American people have learned from experience that a national government would be useless without the "sovereignty that belongs to independent nations" was most likely a reference to which of the following?

  1. the weaknesses of Congress under the Articles of Confederation
  2. the difficulties experienced by early presidents in establishing U S foreign policy
  3. the presidential actions that resulted in the War of 18 12
  4. the restrictions placed on George Washington by the Continental Congress

Correct Response: A. The Articles of Confederation was a governing document that preceded the Constitution. The national government under Articles of Confederation was successful in achieving independence; however, it suffered from many structural weaknesses. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress could not regulate trade, collect taxes, enforce treaties, nor pass legislation without approval from nine of the thirteen States. The Constitution was drafted in 17 87 to address these and other issues caused by a weak government without clear sovereignty.

Competency 0011 
Understand important political science concepts and apply that knowledge to analyze contemporary political issues.

2. The views expressed in the passage can best be characterized as a:

  1. liberal interpretation of the Bill of Rights.
  2. strict constructionist interpretation of the U S Constitution.
  3. nationalist interpretation of federalism.
  4. conservative interpretation of the principle of separation of powers.

Correct Response: C. Nationalism prioritizes one nation's interests over that of other nations or groups. John Marshall was a strong voice for nationalism on the court. He consistently ruled in favor of a strong central government at the expense of the States. In this excerpt he writes that "the sovereignty of the states is given up in many instances where it benefits the people," highlighting his interpretation of the Constitution which subordinates state sovereignty to the federal government.

Competency 0004 
Understand and analyze Jacksonian Democracy, westward expansion, and the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in the United States from 18 15 to 18 50.

3. Which of the following was the primary way that enslaved men and women in the South resisted the system in which they found themselves?

  1. mass uprisings and armed rebellions
  2. work slowdowns, false illnesses, and local sabotage
  3. negotiations with their owners over free time and monetary rewards
  4. running away, hiding temporarily, and appealing to other slaveholders

Correct Response: B. Though armed uprisings captured the imaginations of many White Americans, they were extremely rare. The punishment for enslaved people participating in rebellions and fleeing captivity was so severe that many enslaved people did not attempt either action. Instead, most resistance came in the form of intentional slowdowns and sabotage. These forms of resistance were less dangerous yet still helped enslaved people retain a sense of agency in the face of slavery.

Competency 0005 
Understand and analyze the origins, key events, and major social, economic, and political consequences of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

4. Which of the following responses best explains why, at the outset of the Civil War, most Southern leaders believed they would have little trouble securing British and French recognition of the Confederacy?

  1. the troubled history of U S relations with major European states
  2. the aristocratic ethos of Southern social and political elites
  3. the increased sale of Northern manufactures in European markets
  4. the important role of cotton in European industrialization

Correct Response: D. Just as northern industrialized economies benefited from the inexpensive cotton provided by enslaved labor, European industrialized economies relied on cotton imports to make textiles. Confederate leaders believed this tight economic relationship would likely lead to diplomatic recognition by and military support from major European nations.

Competency 0007 
Understand and analyze major political, cultural, and economic developments in the United States between 19 20 and 19 45 and the causes, key events, and significant effects of U S involvement in World War 2.

5. The forced relocation of people of Japanese ancestry during World War 2 and their incarceration in so-called relocation centers was primarily based on the federal government's baseless assertion that:

  1. the majority of people of Japanese descent living in the United States were not citizens.
  2. because of their hostility to the United States, Japanese Americans had committed acts of sabotage against U S military forces.
  3. because of their family and cultural ties to Japan, the loyalty of Americans of Japanese descent was suspect.
  4. the majority of internees welcomed the protection from Americans hostile toward the Japanese that internment provided.

Correct Response: C. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the U S entered World War 2, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which called for the creation of "military areas" and allowed for the exclusion of Japanese Americans as "alien enemies." No such order was issued for Americans of German ancestry who participated in earlier waves of immigration to the U S The federal government has since rescinded the order, issued an apology, and paid reparations to victims of the policy.

Competency 0008 
Understand and analyze U S foreign policy and the role it has played in domestic and global developments since World War 2.

6. U S covert and military interventions in Guatemala (19 54), Cuba (19 61), Chile (19 70 to 1973), and Nicaragua (19 81 to 19 90) were primarily designed to:

  1. overthrow left-wing governments considered hostile to U S interests.
  2. restore the rule of law in countries governed by authoritarian regimes.
  3. end human rights abuses carried out by right-wing paramilitary groups.
  4. protect religious freedoms under threat from totalitarian ruling elites.

Correct Response: A. During the Cold War the United States pursued a policy of containment, with the goal of stopping the spread of socialism and communism throughout the world. This policy led to a pattern of intervention in countries with socialist and left-wing governments, some of whom were democratically elected.

Competency 0010 
Understand and analyze major political, social, and economic developments and institutions and the key eras and events in the history of the state of Oklahoma.

7. A key factor in the development of the Oklahoma coal mining industry was the:

  1. end of the Civil War in 18 65.
  2. construction of railroads in the 18 seventies and 18 eighties.
  3. establishment of the Oklahoma Territory in 18 90.
  4. outbreak of World War 1 in 19 14.

Correct Response: B. Extractive industries depend on infrastructure to move their goods to market. The railroad companies of the 1870s and 1880s provided Oklahoma coal both clients to sell to locally and the infrastructure to export large amounts of extracted coal to other regions for sale.

Competency 0013 
Understand and analyze the structure, organization, and operation of different levels of government in the United States.

8. Which of the following descriptions best summarizes an important relationship between the federal government and sovereign American Indian nations?

  1. Tribal governments are responsible for passing laws, while the federal government is responsible for enforcing those laws.
  2. The federal government establishes regulations for the periodic national census, while tribal governments collect and report census data from their members.
  3. Tribal governments collect taxes from their people, while the federal government establishes tribal budgets.
  4. The federal government is responsible for protecting American Indian nations, while tribal governments are responsible for overseeing their people and lands.

Correct Response: D. The U S has a longstanding special relationship with American Indian nations due to hundreds of treaties and established case law. Indeed the federal government considers American Indian nations to be "domestic dependent nations" which are afforded the protections of the Constitution and financial assistance while maintaining their sovereignty to manage their own people and lands.

Competency 0014 
Understand and analyze the U S election process, political participation, and the rights and responsibilities of individuals in a democratic society.

9. Which of the following was the most important reason why women gained the right to vote in the West before they achieved suffrage in the rest of the United States?

  1. the establishment of voting rights for African American men through the Fifteenth Amendment
  2. the influence of the Latter-day Saints and the history of female participation in the Mormon Church
  3. the desire to attract women as migrants to frontier areas with an imbalance of more men than women
  4. the lack of institutional tradition and organized opposition to female suffrage in the new western states

Correct Response: C. As western territories such as Wyoming organized, many incorporated affirmative voting rights for both men and women into their constitutions. This expansion of the franchise to women in the West, who were generally White women, happened prior to the enfranchisement of women in other parts of the country. The reason for this geographic pattern is that voting rights offered one incentive for women to move to the lightly populated West. Having more women in the territories led to increased permanent settlement of White families, which displaced American Indian populations.

Competency 0016 
Understand and analyze the components, structure, organization, and operation of the U S economy and the roles of labor, business, consumers, and government in the U S economic system.

10. In a perfectly competitive market, featuring many buyers and sellers, homogeneous products, complete information, and no barriers to entry, the most important decision an individual firm has to make is:

  1. how to produce its product.
  2. what quantity of the product to produce.
  3. what price to charge for the product it produces.
  4. how to distinguish its product from its competitors' products.

Correct Response: B. Because the price of the product in a perfectly competitive market naturally aligns with the price of competing homogeneous products, any one firm has no control over the price it charges. Under those conditions, the most effective way for a firm to minimize costs and maximize profits is to adjust the quantity of production.