8th Grade Social Studies STAAR 2016
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  • Question 1
    30 seconds

    Which of these occurred as a result of the 15th Amendment?

    answer choices

    African American families divided by slavery are reunited

    Newly freed men and women move west to claim free land

    African American men voted in the 1872 presidential election

    Newly free men and women were allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship

  • Question 2
    30 seconds

    I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say—I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.—1904

    Who made this statement?

    answer choices

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    Harriet Tubman

    Phyllis Wheatly

  • Question 3
    30 seconds

    During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, George Mason argued —

    answer choices

    against increased power for the national government

    for the dissolution of state governments

    against the passage of a bill of rights

    for the creation of a strong executive branch

  • Question 4
    30 seconds

    Characteristics of California and Florida:

    •Good climates for agriculture

    •Long coastlines with natural harbors and bays

    •Originally inhabited by American Indians

    Which of these characteristics also describes these two states?

    answer choices

    Founded as work colonies for debtors

    Former slave states

    Were havens for religious dissenters

    Former Spanish colonies

  • Question 5
    30 seconds

    What was one result of the Treaty of Paris of 1783?

    answer choices

    Great Britain recognized the United States as an independent country.

    Competing Seminole and Spanish claims in West Florida were resolved

    The British navy agreed to stop pressing American sailors into service.

    British territory in eastern Canada was ceded to France.

  • Question 6
    30 seconds

    Which of the following was an argument made against slavery in the Thirteen Colonies?

    answer choices

    Manufacturers argued that slavery discouraged the development of industry.

    Farmers argued that using slave labor was expensive and inefficient.

    Quakers argued that slavery violated Christian principles.

    Puritans argued that the slave trade encouraged materialism.

  • Question 7
    30 seconds

    How did the War of 1812 most affect the U.S. economy?

    answer choices

    Disruption in trade contributed to domestic industrial growth.

    Small farmers benefited from higher export prices for grain crops.

    The sale of treasury bonds to international companies was prohibited.

    New trade alliances resulted in increased foreign investment.

  • Question 8
    30 seconds

    How did this invention contribute to the expansion of the plantation system?

    answer choices

    By reducing the number of slaves needed for growing cotton

    By increasing the time needed to cultivate cotton

    By increasing the profitability of slavery

    By reducing the demand for raw cotton

  • Question 9
    30 seconds

    Which of these occurred during early U.S. industrialization?

    answer choices

    Manufacturers instituted a five-day workweek.

    Labor laws required factories to provide a safe working environment.

    Workers were required to attend schools to develop technical skills.

    Production of goods transitioned from homes to factories.

  • Question 10
    30 seconds

    What was one reason James K. Polk won the presidential election of 1844?

    answer choices

    He was against removing American Indians from their native lands.

    He favored the policy of popular sovereignty in the Kansas and Nebraska territories.

    He was committed to fulfilling the goals of Manifest Destiny.

    He opposed the extension of slavery west of the Mississippi River.

  • Question 11
    30 seconds

    •Daughters of Temperance

    •Women’s Christian Temperance Union

    How did the growth of these organizations most affect the role of women in U.S. society?

    answer choices

    By providing economic opportunities for women in urban areas

    By expanding the participation of women in social reform

    By increasing the number of women teachers in rural areas

    By securing the establishment of private universities for women

  • Question 12
    30 seconds

    Which of these correctly describes an effect of the Compromise of 1850 on escaped slaves and freedmen?

    answer choices

    Members of both groups were captured under the Fugitive Slave Law.

    Unlike freedmen, escaped slaves were welcome in the gold mines of California.

    Members of both groups could be sold in Washington, D.C., slave markets.

    Unlike escaped slaves, freedmen could vote in the territories of the Mexican Cession.

  • Question 13
    30 seconds
    answer choices

    The assembly served as a model for other colonial legislatures.

    Colonists used the assembly to overrule decisions of the royal governor.

    The assembly sent delegates to Parliament to represent Virginia.

    The king revoked Virginia’s charter because the assembly became too powerful.

  • Question 14
    30 seconds

    The Northwest Ordinance established guidelines for the orderly expansion of the United States by instituting a —

    answer choices

    method to purchase territory from foreign powers

    procedure for military takeovers of existing countries

    process through which states could be added to the Union

    compromise line that prohibited slavery in the West

  • Question 15
    30 seconds

    Massachusetts= Puritans

    ? = Catholics

    Which colony correctly completes this question?

    answer choices



    South Carolina


  • Question 16
    30 seconds

    Which event on the time line contributed most directly to the outbreak of the U.S.-Mexican War?

    1. 1830-The Indian Removal Act is signed into law.

    2. 1833-The American Anti-Slavery Society is founded.

    3. 1844-The first telegraph message is sent.

    4. 1845-Texas is admitted to the Union as a slave state.

    answer choices





  • Question 17
    30 seconds

    This information was included in a slide-show presentation to a high school history class:


    •Ability to declare war

    •Ability to make treaties

    •Authority to operate post offices

    Which document was the focus of this presentation?

    answer choices

    The Mayflower Compact

    The Articles of Confederation

    The Virginia Declaration of Rights

    The Declaration of Independence

  • Question 18
    30 seconds

    After the Civil War, southern states adopted Black Codes to —

    answer choices

    punish plantation owners for the use of slavery

    support Radical Reconstruction objectives in the South

    promote the activities of the Freedmen’s Bureau

    limit the impact of the Thirteenth Amendment

  • Question 19
    30 seconds

    How did the loss of its control of the Mississippi River contribute to the defeat of the Confederacy?

    answer choices

    The river had provided direct access to the Union’s base of military operations.

    Losing control of the river removed the physical barrier between slave and free states.

    The river had provided the Confederacy with a power source for factories and mills

    Losing control of the river divided the Confederacy in two and cut off its supplies.

  • Question 20
    30 seconds

    •Unreasonable searches and seizures are illegal.

    •Search warrants may not be issued without probable cause.

    •The place to be searched and the people or items to be seized must be described in a warrant.

    Which amendment provides for the protections described in this list?

    answer choices

    First Amendment

    Fourth Amendment

    Fifth Amendment

    Tenth Amendment

  • Question 21
    30 seconds

    Which of the following was a major reason for the flow of the transatlantic slave trade?

    answer choices

    The economic demands of the plantation system

    The construction needs of the railroad

    Increased textile manufacturing

    Increased western migration

  • Question 22
    30 seconds

    Which excerpt from the U.S. Constitution best illustrates the principle of popular sovereignty?

    answer choices

    “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members....”

    “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States....”

    “The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore....”

    “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”

  • Question 23
    30 seconds

    No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.—Magna Carta, 1215

    Which political idea was influenced by this provision of the Magna Carta?

    answer choices


    Due process

    A bicameral legislature

    The social contract

  • Question 24
    30 seconds

    Between 1846 and 1855 the population of Ireland decreased by a third, including the approximately 1.5 million Irish immigrants who left for the United States.

    What was the primary reason for this migration?

    answer choices

    Massive unemployment resulting from British occupation

    Political unrest during an economic recession

    Famine caused by a major crop failure

    Civil war between Catholics and Protestants

  • Question 25
    30 seconds

    Cause: Parliament passes the Stamp Act.


    Which of the following best completes this diagram?

    answer choices

    Colonists sought military support from France.

    Colonists organized boycotts of British goods.

    Colonists signed the Declaration of Independence.

    Colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor.

  • Question 26
    30 seconds

    Many historians argue that the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln changed the course of Reconstruction.

    Which of the following is usually cited as an aspect of that change?

    answer choices

    Radical Republicans took control of Congress.

    Congress imposed taxes on cotton imports to pay war debts.

    The Thirteenth Amendment was approved by Congress.

    Congress repealed legislation regulating railroad construction

  • Question 27
    30 seconds

    During the 1830s public servants and officials were widely perceived to be unqualified. What practice reinforced that perception?

    answer choices

    The public voting for candidates based on religious affiliations

    The president rewarding political supporters with appointments to desirable positions

    The federal government recruiting volunteers to serve abroad as ambassadors

    Legislators awarding government contracts to the lowest bidders

  • Question 28
    30 seconds

    That all Men are . . . equally free & independent, & have certain . . . Rights, of which they can not by any Compact, deprive or divest [remove] their Posterity [future generations]; among which are the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursuing and obtaining Happiness and Safety.—Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

    In this excerpt, the authors of the Virginia Declaration of Rights are describing rights they consider —

    answer choices

    granted to citizens by their government

    natural and possessed at birth

    protected under religious doctrine

    defined by the courts

  • Question 29
    30 seconds

    Primary Motives of European Exploration:

    1. To Increase Wealth

    2. Promote Christianity

    3. ?

    Which motive best completes the diagram?

    answer choices

    To promote free enterprise

    To extend democracy

    To expand empires

    To found utopian communities

  • Question 30
    30 seconds

    The Twelfth Amendment established a new process for choosing a president and a vice president. The purpose of this amendment was to —

    answer choices

    prevent the concentration of power in the executive branch

    ease the eligibility requirements for holding federal office

    keep state officials from exerting undue influence on presidential elections

    reduce the likelihood of disputed outcomes in presidential elections

  • Question 31
    30 seconds

    Industries of the New England Colonies



    •Fur trapping and trading

    •Lumber milling

    Which physical characteristics made these economic activities possible?

    answer choices

    Tall mountains, a long shoreline, and fertile soil

    A temperate climate, vast grasslands, and plentiful lakes

    Dense forests, natural harbors, and swift rivers

    Natural harbors, an arid climate, and rocky soil

  • Question 32
    30 seconds

    One effect of the Dawes Act was that it —

    answer choices

    caused many American Indian tribes to create written constitutions

    provided education to American Indians through locally run schools

    limited the voting rights of American Indians

    harmed the communal structure of American Indian society

  • Question 33
    30 seconds

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the states respectively, or to the people.

    —Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

    Conflicting interpretations of this amendment played a major role in the —

    answer choices

    Bank War

    Nullification Crisis

    Corrupt Bargain

    XYZ Affair

  • Question 34
    30 seconds

    •Worked in California goldfields

    •Helped build the western section of the Transcontinental Railroad

    •Established distinct communities in California cities

    •Faced intense nativism

    This list describes the nineteenth-century experiences of immigrants from —

    answer choices





  • Question 35
    30 seconds

    The first political parties in the United States formed mainly in response to disagreements over —

    answer choices

    taxation without representation

    the doctrine of judicial review

    territorial expansion to the west

    the extent of federal power

  • Question 36
    30 seconds

    A historian is writing an article for a history website.

    The article is divided into the following topics:

    •The division of the South into military districts

    •The impeachment of the president

    •The ratification of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments

    Which era in U.S. history is the focus of this article?

    answer choices

    The Jacksonian era

    The antebellum era

    The Federalist era

    The Reconstruction era

  • Question 37
    30 seconds

    The Northeast- Produced Manufactured Goods

    The Midwest - Supplied Food Resources

    The South- Provided raw materials

    What was one result of these regional differences?

    answer choices

    Cities in the South emerged as centers for textile mills.

    Immigrants settled in the Midwest to establish small farms.

    Slavery increased in the Northeast as industrialization expanded.

    Plantation systems in the South were replaced by large businesses

  • Question 38
    30 seconds

    The Hudson River School artists were influenced by the —

    answer choices

    success of social reform movements in the United States

    migration of settlers to the U.S. frontier

    natural landscape of the United States

    environmental effects of U.S. industrialization

  • Question 39
    30 seconds

    Speaker 1: A strong central government will provide order and stability.

    Speaker 2: We have just left the control of one tyrant; let us avoid an American tyrant.

    Speaker 3: The strength of our union lies in the independence of our states.

    Speaker 4: We were led into a war by a minority who desired independence.

    Which speaker is in favor of ratifying the Constitution?

    answer choices





  • Question 40
    30 seconds

    •Blasting tunnels through mountains

    •Building bridges across rivers

    •Leveling hills and filling in hollows

    These environmental modifications were made in order to construct —

    answer choices

    permanent housing for immigrants in urban areas

    canals that linked the Midwest to the Northeast

    a transcontinental railroad

    a harbor on the Mississippi River

  • Question 41
    30 seconds

    What was a major result of the Missouri Compromise?

    answer choices

    It increased the number of immigrants settling in northern states

    It provided financing for canal construction.

    It rapidly expanded railroad construction in southern states.

    It temporarily relieved sectional tensions.

  • Question 42
    30 seconds

    ’Tis our true policy to steer clear of ___?___ with any portion of the foreign World—So far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it....But in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them. —President George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796

    Which phrase completes this excerpt?

    answer choices

    colonial Settlements

    protective Tariffs

    permanent Alliances

    territorial Disputes

  • Question 43
    30 seconds

    Which of these is a guarantee in the First Amendment?

    answer choices

    States have the power to regulate public education

    People can choose whether and how to participate in religious services.

    Persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Citizens have the right to be judged by a jury of their peers.

  • Question 44
    30 seconds

    All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States....—U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 1

    This provision is a response to which grievance from the Declaration of Independence?

    answer choices

    “For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever...”

    “For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government...”

    “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records.”

    “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners.”

  • Question 45
    30 seconds

    In Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court established a principle that would eventually be used by all courts to —

    answer choices

    strike down any law that the court deems unconstitutional

    decide the outcome of contested election results

    overturn any impeachment that the court deems unsupported by evidence

    mediate disputes related to commerce between states

  • Question 46
    30 seconds

    Hamilton's plan for the government included:

    1. Assume States' debts

    2. The federal government would ?

    Which action completes this diagram?

    answer choices

    oversee state government agencies

    regulate the creation of new businesses

    establish a national bank

    eliminate protective tariffs

  • Question 47
    30 seconds

    Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

    •Defined and limited the powers of government

    •Created a general assembly

    •Granted government the right to levy and collect taxes

    Which statement best describes the influence of this document?

    answer choices

    It helped establish the tradition of self-government.

    It was the first attempt to combine political and religious laws.

    It established the concept of unalienable rights.

    It outlined a plan for independence from British rule.

  • Question 48
    30 seconds

    Which of these was a goal shared by many advocates of Manifest Destiny?

    answer choices

    Abolishing slavery throughout the United States

    Occupying all of North America

    Withdrawing from foreign affairs

    Returning to an agrarian economy

  • Question 49
    30 seconds

    Major Nineteenth-Century Innovations


    • Mechanical reapers

    • Interchangeable parts

    • Combine harvesters


    • Power looms • Steel plows

    • Steam engines • Grain drills

    • Bessemer process

    These innovations in agriculture and industry resulted in —

    answer choices

    higher consumer costs

    decreased profits for investors

    less consumer choice

    more efficient production of goods

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