Extra Social Studies Questions
The following 43 practice questions in Social Studies are provided by HowtoPasstheGED.com.
Although these extra questions are not official, HowtoPasstheGED.com aims to give realistic reinforcement for the material on the official GED test in Social Studies.
Please tackle these questions before checking the answers, along with links to the corresponding Social Studies concepts, at Extra Social Studies Answers.
As always, HowtoPasstheGED.com is meant to be a companion, not a substitute, for the official preparatory support provided by GED.com.
Two-Generation Approach to Citizenship
1 A K-12 school is exploring new ways to engage parents. The school serves a large number of immigrants. The parent engagement coordinator surveys the parents and sees that there is a strong interest in the citizenship process and learning the civics content needed to pass the naturalization test. They invite their local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Community Relations Officer to do a presentation on the naturalization process during their next parent-teacher association (PTA) meeting. After the PTA presentation, teachers and the parent engagement coordinator realize that they have enough parents interested to hold an adult citizenship class. The school reaches out to education specialists at the Office of Citizenship to help set up a new adult citizenship class.
2 Subsequently, a nonprofit that provides adult citizenship education in the evening is struggling with attendance and retention. They know that many of their students have young children at home and daycare costs in their city are steep. To help improve retention, the teachers offer onsite childcare staffed with volunteers. The teachers also reach out to education specialists at the Office of Citizenship to help align their curriculum for adults and children, so both parents and children are exposed to the same civics content. Once a week they plan an interactive civics activity, such as visiting a local history museum, with the entire family.
1. Which of the following can you infer from this passage?
A. Naturalization is the process by which house pets return to nature.
B. Naturalization is the process by which artificial ingredients are removed from food.
C. Naturalization is the process by which fertilizer is added to lawns.
D. Naturalization is the process by which immigrants voluntarily become U.S. citizens.
2. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. A two-generation approach is a pipe dream.
B. A two-generation approach leaves out other generations.
C. A two-generation approach can help immigrant parents and children learn about U.S. citizenship.
D. A two-generation approach is unworkable.
3. According to the passage, USCIS stands for:
A. United States Crime and Investigation Services
B. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
C. United States Career and Inspiration Services
D. United States Cancer and Inflammation Services
4. According to the passage, PTA stands for:
A. Parent Teacher Association
B. Parent Test Association
C. Parent Tax Association
D. Parent Trial Association
5. Which of the following does this passage imply?
A. Childcare is not a consideration.
B. Childcare does not cost much.
C. Childcare is of concern only to parents.
D. Reliable childcare services are vital for facilitating adult citizenship attainment.
The Second Treatise of Civil Government
– John Locke
1 To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.
2 A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty.
3 But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of license: though man in that state has an uncontrollable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another’s pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another’s uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for our’s. Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself, and not to quit his station willfully, so by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another.
6. The above passage was written by a British philosopher. Which of the following can you infer from this passage?
A. His words were irrelevant then.
B. His words are irrelevant now.
C. His words were not given much thought.
D. His words, in part, inspired the American Declaration of Independence.
7. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. There is no such thing as equality.
B. There is no such thing as nature.
C. All men are created equal.
D. There is no such thing as law.
8. According to the passage, we must consider:
A. what state all women are naturally in
B. what state all men are naturally in
C. what state Massachusetts is in
D. what state water is in
9. According to the passage, the state of liberty is not the same as the state of:
10. Which of the following does this passage imply?
A. There is a concept that should be known as naturally added.
B. There is a concept that should be known as natural selection.
C. There is a concept that should be known as natural law.
D. There is a concept that should be known as naturally flavored.
The Federalist Papers (No. 2)
– John Jay
1 When the people of America reflect that they are now called upon to decide a question, which, in its consequences, must prove one of the most important that ever engaged their attention, the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive, as well as a very serious, view of it, will be evident.
2 Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers. It is well worthy of consideration therefore, whether it would accrue more to the interest of the people of America that they should, to all general purposes, be one nation, under one federal government, or that they should divide themselves into separate confederacies, and give to the head of each the same kind of powers which they are advised to place in one national government.
3 It has until lately been a received and undisputed opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united, and the wishes, prayers, and efforts of our best and wisest citizens have been constantly directed to that object. But politicians now appear, who insist that this opinion is erroneous, and that instead of looking for safety and happiness in union, we ought to seek it in a division of the states into distinct confederacies or sovereignties. However extraordinary this new doctrine may appear, it nevertheless has its advocates; and certain characters who were much opposed to it formerly, are at present of the number. Whatever may be the arguments or inducements which have wrought this change in the sentiments and declarations of these gentlemen, it certainly would not be wise in the people at large to adopt these new political tenets without being fully convinced that they are founded in truth and sound policy.
11. Which of the following can you infer from this passage from the Federalist Papers?
A. Half of the states initially agreed the states should form the United States of America.
B. Only the author initially agreed the states should form the United States of America.
C. No one initially agreed the states should form the United States of America.
D. Almost everyone initially agreed the states should form the United States of America.
12. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. In 1787, there was no difference between federal and state government.
B. In 1787, people didn’t care.
C. In 1787, controversy emerged regarding the role of federal vs. state government.
D. In 1787, unanimity emerged regarding the role of federal vs. state government.
13. According to the passage, nothing is more certain than the:
A. indispensable necessity of money
B. indispensable necessity of government
C. indispensable necessity of states
D. indispensable necessity of the feds
14. According to the passage, the people must cede:
A. all of their natural rights
B. none of their natural rights
C. some of their natural rights
D. all of their frequent flyer miles
15. What does this passage imply?
A. America has long had a conflict between federalism and nationalism.
B. America has long had a conflict between federalism and states’ rights.
C. America has long had a conflict between federalism and communism.
D. America has long had a conflict between federalism and socialism.
Arriving at the Bill of Rights
1 The call for a bill of rights had been the anti-Federalists’ most powerful weapon. Attacking the proposed Constitution for its vagueness and lack of specific protection against tyranny, Patrick Henry asked, “What can avail your specious, imaginary balances, your rope-dancing, chain-rattling, ridiculous ideal checks and contrivances.” The anti-Federalists, demanding a more concise, unequivocal Constitution, one that laid out for all to see the right of the people and limitations of the power of government, claimed that the brevity of the document only revealed its inferior nature. Richard Henry Lee despaired at the lack of provisions to protect “those essential rights of mankind without which liberty cannot exist.”
2 A bill of rights had been barely mentioned in the Philadelphia constitutional convention, most delegates holding that the fundamental rights of individuals had been secured in the state constitutions. James Wilson maintained that a bill of rights was superfluous because all power not expressly delegated to the new government was reserved to the people. It was clear, however, that in this argument the anti-Federalists held the upper hand. Even Thomas Jefferson, generally in favor of the new government, wrote to James Madison that a bill of rights was “what the people are entitled to against every government on earth.”
3 By the fall of 1788 Madison had been convinced that not only was a bill of rights necessary to ensure acceptance of the Constitution but that it would have positive effects. He wrote, on October 17, that such “fundamental maxims of free Government” would be “a good ground for an appeal to the sense of community” against potential oppression and would “counteract the impulses of interest and passion.”
4 Madison’s support of the bill of rights was of critical significance. One of the new representatives from Virginia to the First Federal Congress, as established by the new Constitution, he worked tirelessly to persuade the House of Representatives to enact amendments. Defusing the anti-Federalists’ objections to the Constitution, Madison was able to shepherd through 17 amendments in the early months of the Congress, a list that was later trimmed to 12 in the Senate. On October 2, 1789, President Washington sent to each of the states a copy of the 12 amendments adopted by the Congress in September. By December 15, 1791, three-fourths of the states had ratified the 10 amendments now so familiar to Americans as the “Bill of Rights.”
16. Which of the following can you infer from this passage?
A. The anti-Federalists were satisfied with the first draft of the U.S. Constitution.
B. The anti-Federalists wore big hats without cattle.
C. The anti-Federalists couldn’t care less.
D. The anti-Federalists wanted more individual rights spelled out.
17. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. The Bill of Rights preceded the Constitutional Convention.
B. The Bill of Rights had no advocates.
C. The Bill of Rights was a necessary addition to the U.S. Constitution.
D. The Bill of Rights came first at the Constitutional Convention.
18. According to the passage, the main author of the Bill of Rights was:
A. Patrick Henry
B. James Madison
C. James Wilson
D. George Washington
19. According to the passage, an opponent of the Bill of Rights was:
A. Patrick Henry
B. James Madison
C. James Wilson
D. George Washington
20. What does this passage imply?
A. The Bill of Rights was a done deal.
B. The Bill of Rights was unnecessary.
C. The Bill of Rights was a labor of love.
D. The Bill of Rights was hardly a done deal.
Ain’t I a Woman?
– Sojourner Truth
– 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio
1 Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?
2 That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?
3 Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or Negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
4 Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
5 If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it. The men better let them.
6 Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.
21. Which of the following can you infer from this passage?
A. Sojourner Truth is afraid of speaking her mind.
B. Sojourner Truth is a shrinking violet.
C. Sojouner Truth is a Native American.
D. Sojourner Truth is not afraid of speaking her mind.
22. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. Sojourner Truth cares about only black rights.
B. Sojourner Truth cares about only female rights.
C. Sojourner Truth cares about both black and female rights.
D. Sojourner Truth is neutral.
23. According to the passage, a member of the audience doubts Sojourner Truth’s:
24. According to the passage, Sojourner Truth is the mother of:
A. three children
B. thirteen children
C. one child
D. two children
25. Which of the following does this passage imply?
A. Sojourner Truth is conceited.
B. Sojourner Truth never suffered.
C. All men are compassionate.
D. Sojourner Truth is strong of body and mind.
The Great Migration
1 The Great Migration was the mass movement of about five million southern blacks to the north and west between 1915 and 1960. During the initial wave, the majority of migrants moved to major northern cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and New York. By World War II, the migrants continued to move north but many of them headed west to Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.
2 The first large movement of blacks occurred during World War I, when 454,000 black southerners moved north. In the 1920s, another 800,000 blacks left the South, followed by 398,000 blacks in the 1930s. Between 1940 and 1960 over 3,348,000 blacks left the South for northern and western cities.
3 The economic motivations for migration were a combination of the desire to escape oppressive economic conditions in the South and the promise of greater prosperity in the North. Since their emancipation from slavery, southern rural blacks had suffered in a plantation economy that offered little chance of advancement. While a few blacks were lucky enough to purchase land, most were sharecroppers, tenant farmers, or farm laborers, barely subsisting from year to year. When World War I created a huge demand for workers in northern factories, many southern blacks took this opportunity to leave the oppressive economic conditions in the South.
4 The northern demand for workers was a result of the loss of 5 million men who left to serve in the armed forces, as well as the restriction of foreign immigration. Some sectors of the economy were so desperate for workers at this time that they would pay for blacks to migrate north. The Pennsylvania Railroad needed workers so badly that it paid the travel expenses of 12,000 blacks. The Illinois Central Railroad, along with many steel mills, factories, and tanneries, similarly provided free railroad passes for blacks. World War I was the first time since emancipation that black labor was in demand outside of the agricultural south, and the economic promise was enough for many blacks to overcome substantial challenges to migrate.
5 In additional to migrating for job opportunities, blacks also moved north in order to escape the oppressive conditions of the South. Some of the main social factors for migration included lynching, an unfair legal system, inequality in education, and denial of suffrage.
6 The great migration, one of the largest internal migrations in the history of the United States, changed forever the urban North, the rural South, African America, and, in many respects, the entire United States of America.
26. Which of the following can you infer from this passage?
A. Blacks weren’t in demand for agricultural work in the South during World War I.
B. Blacks weren’t in demand for anything during World War I.
C. Blacks were in demand for military service during World War I.
D. Blacks weren’t in demand for military service during World War I.
27. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. The Great Migration was driven by legislative forces.
B. The Great Migration was driven by presidential forces.
C. The Great Migration was driven by economic forces.
D. The Great Migration was driven by judicial forces.
28. According to the passage, the first large movement of blacks occurred during:
A. World War II
B. World War I
C. World War III
D. World War IV
29. According to the passage, the Great Migration was the mass movement of about:
A. five million northern blacks
B. five million northern whites
C. five million southern blacks
D. five million southern whites
30. Which of the following is implied by the passage?
A. Justice prevails.
B. Crime doesn’t pay.
C. Laughter is the best medicine.
D. Money talks.
Trail of Tears
1 Migration from the original Cherokee Nation began in the early 1800s. Some Cherokees, wary of white encroachment, moved west on their own and settled in other areas of the country. A group known as the Old Settlers previously had voluntarily moved in 1817 to lands given them in Arkansas where they established a government and a peaceful way of life. Later, however, they were forced to migrate to Indian Territory.
2 White resentment of the Cherokee had been building and reached a pinnacle following the discovery of gold in northern Georgia. This discovery was made just after the the creation and passage of the original Cherokee Nation constitution and establishment of a Cherokee Supreme Court. Possessed by “gold fever” and a thirst for expansion, many white communities turned on their Cherokee neighbors. The U.S. government ultimately decided it was time for the Cherokees to be “removed,” leaving behind their farms, their land, and their homes.
3 President Andrew Jackson’s military command and almost certainly his life were saved thanks to the aid of 500 Cherokee allies at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Unbelievably, it was Jackson who authorized the Indian Removal Act of 1830 following the recommendation of President James Monroe in his final address to Congress in 1825. Jackson, as president, sanctioned an attitude that had persisted for many years among many white immigrants. Even Thomas Jefferson, who often cited the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois Confederacy as the model for the U.S. Constitution, supported Indian Removal as early as 1802.
4 The U.S. government used the Treaty of New Echota in 1835 to justify the removal. The treaty, signed by about 100 Cherokees known as the Treaty Party, relinquished all lands east of the Mississippi River in exchange for land in Indian Territory (mainly in Oklahoma) and the promise of money, livestock, various provisions, tools, and other benefits.
5 When these pro-removal Cherokee leaders signed the Treaty of New Echota, they also signed their own death warrants, since the Cherokee Nation Council had earlier passed a law calling for the death of anyone agreeing to give up tribal land. The signing and the removal led to bitter factionalism and ultimately to the deaths of most of the Treaty Party leaders once the Cherokee arrived in Indian Territory.
6 Opposition to the removal was led by Chief John Ross, a mixed-blood of Scottish and one-eighth Cherokee descent. The Ross party and most Cherokees opposed the New Echota Treaty, but Georgia and the U.S. government prevailed and used it as justification to force almost all of the 17,000 Cherokees from their southeastern homeland.
7 Under orders from President Jackson, the U.S. Army began enforcement of the Removal Act. The Cherokee were rounded up in the summer of 1838 and loaded onto boats that traveled the Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, and Arkansas Rivers into Indian Territory. Many were held in prison camps awaiting their fate.
8 An estimated 4000 died from hunger, exposure, and disease. The journey became a cultural memory as the “trail where they cried” for the Cherokees and other removed tribes. Today it is widely remembered by the general public as the “Trail of Tears.” The Oklahoma chapter of the Trail of Tears Association has begun the task of marking the graves of Trail survivors with bronze memorials.
31. Which of the following can you infer from this passage?
A. Andrew Jackson was a priest.
B. Andrew Jackson was merciful.
C. Andrew Jackson was consistent.
D. Andrew Jackson was a hypocrite.
32. What is the main idea of this passage?
A. The Trail of Tears was the original name of Tears for Fears.
B. The Trail of Tears is another name for the Appalachian Trail.
C. The Trail of Tears was an unjust, forced relocation of Native Americans.
D. The Trail of Tears was a just, voluntary relocation of Native Americans.
33. According to the passage, white resentment of the Cherokee reached a pinnacle:
A. following the Battle of the Little Bighorn
B. following the discovery of gold in northern California
C. following the discovery of gold in northern Georgia
D. following the discovery of gold in southern California
34. According to the passage, Chief John Ross was:
A. a mixed-blood of Cherokee and one-eighth Scottish descent
B. a mixed-blood of Scottish and one-eighth Cherokee descent
C. a mixed-blood of African and one-eighth Cherokee descent
D. a mixture of Scotch and water
35. Which of the following is implied by the passage?
A. The founders of American democracy did not really believe all men are created equal.
B. The founders of American democracy really believed all men are created equal.
C. The founders of American democracy had no faults.
D. The founders of American democracy should never be faulted.
Capitalism vs. Communism
36. Which of the following characterizes capitalism?
A. communal property
B. income redistribution
C. state ownership
D. personal income
37. Which of the following characterizes capitalism?
A. government intervention
B. controlled market
38. Which of the following characterizes communism?
B. free market
C. communal property
D. profit motive
39. Which of the following characterizes communism?
A. state ownership
B. social classes
C. unequal social status
D. invisible hand
40. The above infographic defines “water footprint” as the volume of water needed for the production of goods and services consumbe by a country’s inhabitants. Which country has the highest water footprint per capita?
D. United States
41. Which country has the second highest water footprint per capita?
D. United States
42. Which country has the highest dependence on water imports?
D. United States
43. Which country has the highest renewable water resources?
D. United States