Social Studies Practice Lessons

Applying Central Ideas and Conclusions of Historical Documents to World War Two: Lesson Two

Part One: How to Read Historical Documents

Take a moment to read over the following information about the GED® Social Studies Exam:

During the GED Social Studies Exam,

Part Two: Practice Questions

Read the excerpt from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech after the bombing of Pearl Harbor:

Clarity and focus doesn't always come

1. Which of the statements best summarizes the central idea of the speech?

A. The Japanese government should be ashamed of their actions and apologize to America.
B. America will not sit idly and allow Japan to strategically attack its’ country without retaliation.
C. The President feels terribly guilty that he allowed this attack to happen to his people.

Answer:B. America will not sit idly and allow Japan to strategically attack its’ country without retaliation.

2. Which of these details supports the speech’s central idea?

A. The United States is ready to make an alliance with Japan in order to avoid future terrorist attacks.
B. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was strategically planned and carried out to intentionally harm the U.S.
C. America is aware of Germany’s treatment of their people and is ready to join the war.

Answer:B. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was strategically planned and carried out to intentionally harm the U.S.

3. Which of these conclusions can be supported by the President’s speech?

A.The American citizens are still unaware of what entering into a war will actually entail.
B. The President will make whatever decisions he feels necessary despite the criticism from American citizens.
C. The American government will do whatever necessary to protect their country and its citizens from another attack.

Answer:C. The American government will do whatever necessary to protect their country and its citizens from another attack.

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Exploring the Constitutional Government: Lesson Three

Part One: Informational Reading

Take some time to read of the passage below.

After years of English rule, American colonists were tired of a monarchical rule. They wanted more decisions to be made by the people. The United States was aiming to be a pure republic, in which citizens were responsible for electing the President. They also began drafting their rights and ideas for a government in the form of a Constitution. On November 15, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states were independent of one another. The acting Congress of the time served only to appeal disputes as a last result.

The Articles of Confederation were the first acting Constitution of the United States. For ten years, the 13 states abided by these loose rules and regulations. But in 1787, the Constitutional Convention met again and replaced the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution of the United States of America. The foundation of the American government and legal system became this Constitution of the United States.

The Constitution is organized into different parts. The introduction of the Constitution is known as the preamble. The drafters of the Constitution wrote their goals and ideals for their new country into the preamble.

After the preamble, are the original seven articles of the Constitution. These articles create three distinct branches in the government, as well as establish specific rights for the states. And finally, they set into motion the process for altering the Constitution.

An article of the Constitution can be changed through an amendment. An amendment may be proposed by Congress, as long as it is backed by two-thirds of the majorities in the House and Senate. This proposed amendment can then be “ratified” by three-fourths of the states.

Initially, the Constitution did not go into detail about the rights of citizens. As a result, the first ten amendments were passed in 1791. These amendments outlined the rights of American citizens. Because of the amendment process, when we look at Constitutional Amendments, we notice the path our country has taken. From outlawing slavery, to allowing women to vote, we look at the Constitution and all of its’ amendments, and we see the great history of the United States of America.

Part Two: Practice Questions

Answer the questions below.

1. In 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified, giving women the opportunity to vote.

The word ratified in this sentence means:

A. eliminated
B. altered
C. maintained

Answer: B. altered

2. The preamble acts as the introduction of the Constitution. What does the preamble accomplish?

A. It explained the goals and ideals that citizens intended for the construction of America.
B. They boldly stated the settler’s differences with England
C. They outlined the rights and responsibility of American citizens.

Answer: A. It explained the goals and ideals that citizens intended for the construction of America.

3. Which of the following best summarizes the purpose of the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

A. The original drafters of the Constitution had unrealistic expectations of the American citizens.
B. While the Constitution outlined many ideals and standards, it failed to delve into the rights of the citizens.
C. The original Constitution was a statement of separation from England, and didn’t actually set up a working system.

Answer:B. While the Constitution outlined many ideals and standards, it failed to delve into the rights of the citizens.

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Understanding the Economic Marketplace: Lesson Four

Part One: Informational Reading

Read the following passage below about an economic marketplace.

A market place is a physical or virtual place where goods and services are sold. The people who make the goods and services are known as producers. To remember this, just remind yourself that producers “produce”, and that “to produce” means “to make.” Therefore, producers are the people who make the products that will be sold in the market.

The people who buy the products are called consumers. To remember this, just remind yourself that consumers “consume” and to “to consume” means to “to use up”. Therefore, consumers are the people who use up the products or services that are bought.  Remember, consumers are buying.

In a market place, buyers and sellers are able to negotiate their prices. It’s important that sellers are earning money on the goods that have been produced. But, buyers also want to spend as little as they possibly can. As a result, the price of goods and services are related to supply and demand. When there is a lot of one item (the supply is high) buyers have more options. Therefore, buyers are able to look for the cheapest price they can find. However, if there are few items (the supply is low), then buyers are forced to adhere to whatever price the seller has set. The goal of sellers is to keep their inventory moving. Inventory is how much of one thing the sellers have to offer their buyers.

Part Two: Practice Questions

 Answer the questions below.

1. Florida suffered an unusual winter, with temperature dropping to frigid temperatures for five days in a row. As a result, the production of oranges suffered, leaving farmers with the smallest crop they have had in ten years.

Which of the following would be true about the economic repercussions of this frigid weather?

A. Buyers will pay lower prices for the oranges because the supply is low.
B. The supply of the oranges will not satisfy the demand, and buyers will pay more.
C. The demand of the oranges will be lower than normal, and buyers will pay less.

Answer: B. The supply of the oranges will not satisfy the demand, and buyers will pay more.

2. Jean is a farmer in Idaho. He has a small vegetable stand at the end of his driveway that attracts several customers a day. During the summer, he employs five people to help him keep up with his vegetable production.

Which of the following would be a consumer good at his farm?

A. a tractor
B. his vegetable production
C. a passerby customer

Answer:A. a tractor

3. Which of the following is a main purpose of the marketplace?

A. To create an open exchange between producers and consumers.
B. To give consumers a better opportunity for selling their products.
C. To encourage locals to volunteer in their own communities.

Answer:A. To create an open exchange between producers and consumers.

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American Civil War: Lesson Seven

Part One: Video Lesson

Part Two: Practice Questions

1. Why might the Union’s control of the railway system have been a major benefit for the North during wartimes?

A. Because it helped them undergo Reconstruction during the war instead of after like the Confederacy.
B. The Union was able to use the railway as a means of transporting personal and war supplies more readily.
C. Railways did not require laborers and therefor more Northern men could fight for the Union’s cause.

Answer: B. The Union was able to use the railway as a means of transporting personal and war supplies more readily.

2. Which of the following was not a cause of the American Civil War?

A. Brothers were angry with brothers about how land was distributed across state borders.
B. Many Northern States did not believe in using slavery on plantations.
C. There were conflicts about what regulations the states should make and which the federal government should enforce.

Answer: B. Many Northern States did not believe in using slavery on plantations.

3. Which of the following was not a result of Reconstruction?

A. slavery
B. land distribution
C. roads

Answer:A. slavery

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Understanding the American Government: Lesson Six

Part One: Video Lesson

Part Two: Practice Questions

1. Which of the following would have affected the Founding Fathers’ decisions?

A. Founding Fathers were still upset about wrongfully imposed taxes, and the religious and social injustices imposed by the King.
B. The Founding Fathers wanted religion to have a greater impact on the government.
C. The Founding Fathers were not educated men and wanted education to be paid for by the citizens.

Answer: A. Founding Fathers were still upset about wrongfully imposed taxes, and the religious and social injustices imposed by the King.

2. Why can you assume that the colonists wanted the President to run for only two terms?

A. The Founding Fathers recognized that the stresses of Presidency would not be healthy for more than eight years.
B. Americas were still healing after the effects of the monarchy.
C. They wanted the House of Congress to have more power than one single person.

Answer: B. Americas were still healing after the effects of the monarchy.

3. Federalism:

A. was set in place to ensure that the President is protected by the people.
B. helps to maintain a balance in the government.
C. is a term to describe the people who elect a politician.

Answer: B. helps to maintain a balance in the government.

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Applying Author’s Reasonings and Evidence to Women’s Rights: Lesson One

Part One: Understanding Author’s Reasoning

Before we begin, let’s discuss the author’s reasoning for creating a document and the evidence that can be found in these documents.

Historical documents are written for many reasons. Authors are influenced by varying factors to create these documents: social standards, trends, current events, wars, mechanization, etc. These different factors allow readers to gain a greater insight into the time period and the mindsets of people.

It’s important that we understand the author’s reasoning for creating a text, data, comic, poster, etc. Knowing the author’s reasoning will allow readers to find any bias in the information. It will also help readers to logically and thoughtfully answer questions. Readers must be in tune with the author’s reasoning.

To understand how authors have different reasonings, let’s examine two pieces of information from the Women’s Suffrage movement. In the late 1800’s a battle for women equality arose in America, creating high tensions and varying opinions. Two definite sides had formed in America: those who wanted the 19th Amendment to pass and guarantee women equality, and those who were adamantly opposed. In response, speeches were made declaring opinions, comics were printed in newspapers, and propaganda was hung in an attempt to sway people’s vote.

Below are two pieces from the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Both were created for a particular reason, but as you will see, their reasonings are completely different.

Sample A:

First, let’s read a speech by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, from the Seneca Falls Convention.

Delivered July 19, 1848, Seneca Falls, New York.

“But we are assembled to protest against a form of government existing without the consent of the governed – to declare our right to be free as man is free, to be represented in the government which we are taxed to support, to have such graceful laws as give man the power to chastise and imprison his wife, to take the wages which she earns, the property which she inherits, and, in case of separation, the children of her love; laws which make her the mere dependent on his bounty. It is to protest against such unjust laws as these that we are assembled today, and to have them, if possible, forever erased from our statute books, deeming them a shame and a disgrace to a Christian republic in the nineteenth century. We have met to uplift woman’s fallen divinity upon an even pedestal with man’s. And, strange as it may seem to many, we now demand our right to vote according to the declaration of the government under which we live.

The right is ours. The question now is: how shall we get possession of what rightfully belongs to us? We should not feel so sorely grieved if no man who had not attained the full stature of a Webster, Clay, Van Buren, or Gerrit Smith could claim the right of the elective franchise. But to have drunkards, idiots, horse-racing, rum-selling rowdies, ignorant foreigners, and silly boys fully recognized, while we ourselves are thrust out from all the rights that belong to citizens, it is too grossly insulting to the dignity of the woman to be longer quietly submitted to.

The right is ours. Have it, we must. Use it, we will. The pens, the tongues, the fortunes, the indomitable wills of many women are already pledged to secure this right. The great truth that no just government can be formed without the consent of the governed we shall echo and re-echo in the ears of the unjust judge until by continual coming we shall weary him.”
“http://www.greatamericandocuments.com/speeches/stanton-seneca-falls.html”

Sample B

And now, examine this piece of propaganda from the time period of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

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Part Two: Practice Questions

After examining the samples above, answer the following questions.

1. Which of the following represents the viewpoint of the speaker at the Seneca Falls Convention?

A. Women should not be treated as subordinates to men.
B. Women should appreciate their role as wife and mother.
C. Women should abide by current standards of the Constitution.

Answer: A. Women should not be treated as subordinates to men.

2. Which of the following is a supporting detail found in Sample A?

A. Only a woman is physically capable of giving birth, so naturally, it is her responsibility to stay home and tend to her family.
B. Women are physically smaller than men and therefore should be subordinate to them.
C. The government taxes women, and so women should have the right to vote in a country they are helping to fund.

Answer:C. The government taxes women, and so women should have the right to vote in a country they are helping to fund.

3. From what you can assume, Sample B was created was to:

A. sway people to against the Women’s Suffrage Movement
B. sway people to vote for Women’s Suffrage
C. persuade people to come to a come to an informational meeting

Answer: A. sway people to against the Women’s Suffrage Movement

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Exploration and Colonialism: Lesson Five

Part One: Video Lesson

Part Two: Practice Questions

1. Which of the following is the primary reason Puritans came to America?

A. They believed that coming to America, while dangerous, would be a financially sound investment for their children.
B. They were no longer able to handle the religious persecution they suffered under English rule and wanted to worship as they pleased.
C. They longed to pay fewer taxes on their church and believed the colonists would be less forgiving of their debt.

Answer:B. They were no longer able to handle the religious persecution they suffered under English rule and wanted to worship as they pleased.

2. Which of the following statements about colonialism might Native American’s most likely agree?

A. Colonialism had an overall positive effect on their way of life because it allowed them the opportunity to have homes with stronger foundations.
B. Settlers were always very kind to the Native Americans, which made losing their land an easier transition.
C. Colonialism forced Native Americans to sacrifice the land, homes and food they had to rely upon for survival.

Answer: C. Colonialism forced Native Americans to sacrifice the land, homes and food they had to rely upon for survival.

3. Why might Europeans not have taken the Bering Strait to cross into America?

A. By the time Europeans began their explorations, the process of plate tectonics had separated the Bering Strait from the mainland.
B. They were not interested in going through such a frigid route.
C. Their xenophobic beliefs prohibited them from traveling with foreigners.

Answer: A. The process of plate tectonics had actually separated the Bering Strait from the mainland by the time Europeans began their explorations.

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The Fertile Crescent and Bodies of Water in Ancient World History: Lesson Ten

Part One: Informational Readings

Read the excerpts below.

Egypt

(1)Rivers became the heart of many ancient civilizations. It was discovered that along rivers, populations were not only able to maintain their communities, but they were able to prosper. Creating a life along rivers allowed civilizations to evolve out of their nomadic lifestyles, that previously caused them to move frequently from place to place based on season and food supply. But, once settled among the rivers, people were able to take on a new, stable habits that allowed them to remain in one place for a long period of time.

(2)Particularly, the Egyptians took to life among the Nile River as an easy means of survival. By 5000 B.C.E, people along the Nile were taking advantage of the now fertile soils created as a result of previous flooding. Along the Nile, they were capable of creating irrigation systems to help sustain their large community’s food supply. And, because they were able to sustain themselves, their community’s government became more stable and advanced.

(3)By 3000 B.C.E, the Egyptian civilization prospered under a pharaoh, who was an Egyptian king. Egyptians believed that pharaoh’s were part god-part human. In homage to the pharaohs, Egyptians built pyramids, which they believed would house their gods in the after death. Building the pyramids was an intensive and laborious project. It required more people than the city was able to offer. In time, many of the builders were actually slaves. These people, who were being punished for their debts or other offenses, gave the country an inexpensive solution for completely their massive project.

Greece and Rome

(4)Ancient Greece prospered around the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. In fact, they not only prospered, but they were able to build an entire empire! Greek communities were able to establish large communities along the sea, which allowed them to import food and supplies from colonies. Athens, a Greek city-state, established the first political democracy. The rest of Greece, however, was not as politically sound and agreeable. There were often battles of power and land that led to wars among city-states.

(5)Eventually, the Greek Empire fell to its Roman conquerors. Rome was an incredibly strong and advanced empire. They used the seas to their full advantage, pursuing city-states along waterways and then pushing on inland. The leaders of Rome, further used the land to the best of their power by creating roadways, bridges, schools, hospitals and then putting these advancements onto surrounding city-states with the strength of their growing army.The Roman Empire remained in power until 476 BCE.

Part Two:A Practice Questions

1. What can you infer from the passage about the use of slaves to build the pyramids in Egyptian society?

A. The society needed more help than they could afford to tackle such an endeavor and so requiring slaves to build the pyramids offered a cheap solution for finishing the project.
B. There was an overflow in the jails that would not allow all of the slaves to stay there full time. Forcing slave labor created a place for them to go during the day.
C. Because of their nomadic lifestyles, slaves were too difficult to transport from town to town, so needed a place to stay in the city. The government was able to house the slaves cheaply after working all day.

Answer:A. A. The society needed more help than they could afford to tackle such an endeavor and so requiring slaves to build the pyramids offered a cheap solution for finishing the project.

2. Based on the information provided in the passage, which of the following statements can you determine about the Egyptian and Greek civilizations?

A. They enjoyed traveling and meeting other cultures.
B. Overflow from rivers caused the land to become fertile, and allowed the perfect conditions for a prosperous community.
C. They were stronger than the Roman empire because they both successful democratic systems in place.

Answer:B. Overflow from rivers caused the land to become fertile, and allowed the perfect conditions for a prosperous community.

3. Which of the following best summarizes the main idea of the reading?

A. The use of slaves devalues and dehumanizes a cultural, despite the advancements they are able to make with a larger population.
B. Despite success in the early years, contaminated water would eventually lead to the demise of cultures along rivers.
C. Life along bodies of water allowed cultures to prosper and advance in ways earlier nomadic cultures could not.

Answer:C. Life along bodies of water allowed cultures to prosper and advance in ways earlier nomadic cultures could not.

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World War Two: Lesson Nine

Part One: Video Lesson

Part Two: Practice Questions

1. Why might industry have slowed during the 1930’s in America?

A. The majority of the population was angered by the economic state and too stubborn to work for less.
B. Companies could not afford basic supplies and/or the cost of employees.
C. People were buying more stocks than ever and didn’t need to work anymore.

Answer: B. Companies could not afford basic supplies and/or the cost of employees.

2. War may have been a positive economic decision for America because:

A. It allowed men, who were out of a work, an opportunity to fight. It also allowed factories to open again in order to make war supplies.
B. It encouraged people to work as an excuse to get out of joining the war cause.
C. People lacked patriotism and wanted fascism to make its way to America.

Answer: A. It allowed men, who were out of a work, an opportunity to fight. It also allowed factories to open again in order to make war supplies.

3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to December 7, 1941, as “a day that will live in infamy”. What can we infer about the meaning of the word “infamy”?

A. It means revenge– it seems like the President is at last ready to retaliate against Japan.
B. It means betrayal– it seems like that the President is sad that Japan has broken their treaty of friendship.
C. It means remembering something for being bad– it seems like the President is mourning over the actions in an attempt to seek justice.

Answer: C. It means remembering something for being bad– it seems like the President is mourning over the actions and will attempt to seek justice from the loss.

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Understanding Different Forms of Government: Lesson EIght

Part One: Governmental Terms

Look over this short list of governmental terms.

Anarchy: “the rule of the mob”
Aristocracy: The country is ruled by one elite class.
Example: The elite class are lords and barons, and they make the decisions
Democracy: “the rule of the people.” In this type of government, all citizens have input about governmental decisions through their right to vote and their nomination of governmental leaders.
Direct democracy: The laws are voted upon by the council and all the citizens. Every citizen has a direct vote on every single political issue.
Monarchy: “the rule of one person”
Examples of a monarchial ruler includes a king. In a monarchy, the king makes all the laws and rules the entire land.
Theocracy: “The rule of the church”
Many countries use religious rules and beliefs to determine their rules and regulations. These countries hold the religious books sacred and take direct counsel and advice from religious teachers.

Part Two: Informational Readings

Read this passage about different forms of government.

Throughout the world and history, there have been and still are many different types of governmental systems. In America, we have a democracy. We understand a democracy to be a government that is run by the people. But did you know that our form of government is technically referred to as a representative democracy? A representative democracy means that citizens (hey, that’s us!) vote for someone to represent them in the government (like the President, senators and the congress). The people that we elect are responsible for voting on rules and regulations, and then enforcing these rules and regulations.

But, Americans did not create the democratic system. No, democracy has been around a lot longer than we have been! The word “democracy” is actually a Greek word meaning “rule of the people”. It can be traced back to about 500 BCE to the Greek city-state of Athens. Long before we were even alive, this ancient city put democracy into use. Years later, we simply replicated their system. Their system, however, was slightly different from ours. From what we can gather, in ancient Athens, all male citizens met and gathered to vote on political matters. This system became know as a direct democracy because every citizen was directly involved in decision making.

But, not everyone country has a democratic system. England, for example, used to be a monarchy. This means they were led by a King, and that King had absolute power and say in the rules and regulations of the country. The English people, however, were not pleased with his authority. To end the monarchial reign, the people signed the Magna Carta in 1215. This document limited the King of England’s authority under his monarchical rule. Under the Magna Carta the king’s power was limited and his decisions were subjected to a review.

As another result of the Magna Carta, a group emerged, known as the parliament, that became responsible for reviewing the King’s decisions. Parliament members were either appointed by their status, or elected by citizens. As their influence grew, England became a “parliamentary democracy”. This type of government is formed by one party taking control of the majority of seats in the parliament. The majority then appoints a president.

Part Three: Practice Questions

1. Match the correct term in the word bank with the examples below.

Word Bank: Aristocracy, Monarchy, Theocracy, democracy

A. From 1500 to 1050 BCE, the Chang Dynasty ruled China. The rulers during this period were all from the family, and the power was passed through their lineage. During this dynasty, members of an elite class were allowed to have slaves and were granted many other privileges.

Answer:Aristocracy

B. In France, from 1643-1715, King Louis XIV ruled as king.

Answer: Monarchy

C. In Rome, the Vatican is ruled by the Pope.

Answer: Theocracy

D. Every four years Americans nominate a new President.

Answer: Democracy

2. A _______________ democracy is a form of government in which every citizen votes specifically for the country’s laws.

A. Direct
B. Representative

Answer: Direct </strong?>

3. A small militia has recently taken over a country and is imposing rules and regulations through force. What type of government might this be considered?

A. Theocracy
B. Aristocracy
C. Anarchy

Answer: C. Anarchy

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