Quiz questions for presentation 3 – Formation of the American Idea

Quiz questions for presentation 3 – Formation of the American Idea
Multiple choice
1. Rights derived from a higher power are called
a. natural
b. social
c. Hobbesian
d. constitutional
Answer A – The lecture discusses Locke’s theory of Natural Rights
2. What right was established in the Magna Carta?
a. Self Representation
b. Habeas Corpus
c. Suffrage
d. Ex Post Facto
Answer B – The document said that the King was not allowed to imprison nobility in jail
without cause.
3. Why did Americans enjoy more rights that their British Counterparts?
a. They had more elections
b. They had greater suffrage
c. They enjoyed greater equality between classes
d. all of the above
Answer D – Because land was cheap and labor was scarce, commoners were treated
much better in America than in England during the colonial period.
4. Why did Americans use written constitutions when setting up state and local
a. They were following the British tradition of written constitutions.
b. They had to negotiate each point of governance with the indigenous peoples.
c. They were ordered to by the King as part of their territorial charters.
d. They could not rely on centuries of common law understandings in a new land.
Answer D – With immigrants from all parts of England, as well as other parts of Europe,
the settlers could not rely on tradition and wanted to set forth a clear statement of the
rules for their new societies.
5. Why is civic virtue necessary for a free republic?
a. Because only a homogeneous society can have order and safety.
b. Because people who will not restrain their own behavior must be restrained by
c. Because the social contract is only possible when natural law is followed.
d. None of the above, the state should not legislate morality.
Answer B – Societies that lack virtue are marked by a multitude of laws restricting
behavior and a police force capable of forcing obedience to those laws.
Essay Question
In regards to the Constitution, compare and contrast the ideals of original intent with the
concept of the constitution as a living document.
Discussion Questions
-- The founders argued that the citizenry of a Republic had to practice civic virtue to
maintain its freedom. How are we doing? Is there enough civic virtue in our society to
uphold our freedom? Are there things we can do to enhance or uphold public virtue?
-- The US founding took place in a unique colonial setting that drew on the British
heritage of a limited state. Is the US system nevertheless universal in its application? Or
is US-style democracy something that does not transfer well to other societies with
different histories?
Text of the Magna Carta
Text of the Mayflower Compact