US History Lesson: Articles of Confederation Quiz

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Articles of Confederation Quiz

This is a 20-question quiz that could be used at the start of a unit on the Articles of Confederation to gauge previous knowledge and understanding or as an end of the unit review before test or quiz.

Have the students take the quiz. For any question in which they guess or do not know the answer, have them write down the correct information. The great thing about this website is that if a student chooses the wrong answer, a detailed explanation of the correct answer.

Below are the questions from the website with the detailed answers.

1. THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION WERE:

A. THE TREATY THAT ENDED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

B. THE FIRST CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

C. THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE U.S. AND FRANCE TO PAY OFF WAR DEBTS

D. THE FIRST AMERICAN BILL OF RIGHTS

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “B” – The first constitution of the United States. Under the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. took its first steps as a nation. The government established by the Articles conducted the affairs of the country during the last two years of the Revolutionary War, helped to negotiate the Treaty of Paris in 1783, and produced important pieces of legislation.

2. THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION DID NOT ESTABLISH:

A. COURTS

B. CONGRESS

C. LAWS

D. AUTHORITY TO MAKE TREATIES

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “A” – Courts. There wasn’t a national judicial system under the Articles of Confederation. Those favoring a weak central government were afraid of the “judicial tyranny” the colonies experienced under British rule.

3. THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION WERE RATIFIED:

A. BEFORE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

B. AFTER THE DECLARATION BUT BEFORE THE START OF THE REVOLUTION

C. DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

D. AFTER THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION WAS OVER

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “C” – During the American Revolution. The Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781, during the American Revolution. The American Revolution started in 1775. The Declaration of Independence was issued in 1776. The Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolution was signed in 1783, two years after the Articles of Confederation were ratified by the states.

4. HOW MANY PRESIDENTS SERVED UNDER THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?:

A. EIGHT

B. FOUR

C. ONE

D. THE ARTICLES DID NOT CALL FOR A PRESIDENT

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “A” – Eight. The Articles of Confederation was in effect for eight years (1781-1789) and there was one president during each of those years.

5. WHY WERE THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION REPLACED BY THE CONSTITUTION?

A. SO THE STATES COULD END THE WAR WITH BRITAIN

B. SO THE STATES COULD RAISE TAXES

C. SO THE U.S. COULD FORM A STRONGER GOVERNMENT

D. SO THE U.S. COULD FORM A CONGRESS

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “C” – So the U.S. could form a stronger government. The Articles were based on a confederation, a concept of a weak central government where the states had more power than the federal government. By the end of the 1780s, it was evident that the country needed a stronger central government to address many political and economic issues.

6. WHICH POWER WAS NOT GRANTED TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. THE POWER TO DETERMINE PEACE AND WAR

B. THE POWER TO DECIDE DISPUTES BETWEEN STATES

C. THE POWER TO ESTABLISH AND REGULATE INTERSTATE POST OFFICES

D. THE POWER TO COLLECT TAXES

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “D” – The power to collect taxes. The Articles of Confederation was the first U.S. Constitution. Under it, the federal government did not have the power to collect taxes directly. Revenue was only given to the federal government by the states’ governments.

7. WHO WAS MOST LIKELY TO HAVE SUPPORTED THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. FORMER OFFICERS IN THE CONTINENTAL ARMY

B. THOSE WHO FEARED STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

C. THOSE OWED MONEY BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

D. BANKERS AND MERCHANTS

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “B” – Those who feared strong central government. Under the Articles, states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the central government.

8. IN WHICH TWO CITIES DID DELEGATES MEET TO DISCUSS PROBLEMS WITH THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON, D.C.

B. BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA

C. ANNAPOLIS AND PHILADELPHIA

D. BOSTON AND WASHINGTON, D.C.

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “C” – Annapolis and Philadelphia. In September 1786, representatives from five of the 13 states met in Annapolis, Md., to discuss the economic instability of the country under the Articles of Confederation. In 1787, delegates met in Philadelphia to discuss revisions to the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they decided that an entirely new Constitution was needed. We now refer to this meeting as the Constitutional Convention.

9. WHO WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. GEORGE WASHINGTON

B. JOHN HANCOCK

C. THOMAS JEFFERSON

D. JOHN HANSON

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “D” – John Hanson. Eight men were appointed to serve one-year terms as president under the Articles of Confederation. Hanson, the first, began his term in 1781. His exact title was “President of the United States in Congress Assembled.”

10. WHICH WAS AN IMPORTANT STRENGTH OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. IT GAVE THE GOVERNMENT POWER TO SETTLE DISPUTES BETWEEN STATES

B. IT ESTABLISHED A GOVERNMENT WHOSE POWER CAME DIRECTLY FROM THE PEOPLE

C. IT GAVE CONGRESS THE POWER TO TAX

D. IT GAVE CONGRESS THE POWER TO DECLARE PEACE AND WAR

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “D” – It gave Congress the power to declare peace and war. The Articles of Confederation had many important weaknesses, but it did give the federal government the power to declare peace and war and therefore to conduct the foreign affairs of the United States when it was a new nation.

11. UNDER THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, WHO HAD FINAL AUTHORITY ON ALL MATTERS?

A. THE PRESIDENT

B. CONGRESS

C. THE SUPREME COURT

D. THE STATES

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “D” – The states. Final authority belonged to each state government, which left the federal government without enough power to govern effectively.

12. WHY DID IT TAKE MORE THAN FOUR YEARS TO RATIFY THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. BECAUSE VIRGINIA WOULD NOT VOTE FOR APPROVAL

B. BECAUSE MARYLAND REFUSED TO RATIFY THEM

C. BECAUSE THE SOUTHERN STATES BLOCKED THEIR PASSAGE

D. BECAUSE THE LARGE STATES OPPOSED THEM

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “B” – Maryland refused to ratify them. Maryland refused until Virginia and New York agreed to cede their claims in the Ohio River Valley. Maryland finally ratified the Articles of Confederation on March 1, 1781.

13. WHICH CONFLICT DEMONSTRATED THE NEED TO CHANGE THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR

B. THE WAR OF 1812

C. THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

D. SHAYS’ REBELLION

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “D” – Shays’ Rebellion. In September 1786, Daniel Shays, a former captain during the Revolutionary War, led a rebellion in Massachusetts about the unstable economic conditions faced by the farmers in the western part of the state. The rebellion was eventually unsuccessful, partly due to a militia raised by the state of Massachusetts, but the rebellion alarmed conservative patriots and inspired calls for a stronger federal constitution.

14. WHICH IS TRUE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. THEY FEARED CONCENTRATION OF POWER IN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT

B. THEY DISTRUSTED REPRESENTATIVE SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT

C. THEY DISREGARDED THE RIGHTS OF THE STATE GOVERNMENTS

D. THEY BELIEVED THAT REGIONAL DIFFERENCES WERE IMPORTANT

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “A” – They feared concentration of power in national government. The Articles of Confederation established a representational system of government in which the rights of states rights were protected. It established a weak national government because the authors feared that if the national government had too much power the rights of states and individuals would be too limited.

15. WHICH WAS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CONSTITUTION AND THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION?

A. THE CONSTITUTION GAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE POWER TO COLLECT TAXES

B. THE CONSTITUTION PROVIDED FOR THE DIRECT ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT BY VOTERS

C. THE CONSTITUTION MADE THE AMENDMENT PROCESS MORE DIFFICULT

D. THE CONSTITUTION INCREASED THE POWER OF THE STATES

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “A” – The Constitution gave the federal government the power to collect taxes. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gave Congress the power to “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises,” a power which the Articles of Confederation did not give to the federal government.

16. WHY WAS THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION WRITTEN?

A. TO PROVIDE MONEY TO THE 13 STATES

B. TO PROVIDE UNITY AND STABILITY TO THE 13 STATES

C. TO KEEP RHODE ISLAND

D. TO KEEP BRITAIN OFF AMERICA’S BACK

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “B” – To provide unity and stability to the 13 states. The Articles set the rules for operations of the confederation of “United States.” The confederation was capable of making war, negotiating diplomatic agreements, and resolving issues regarding the western territories, even during the Revolutionary War.

17. WHICH IMPORTANT LEGISLATION WAS PASSED WHILE THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION WERE IN EFFECT?

A. THE BILL OF RIGHTS

B. THE FIRST AMENDMENT

C. THE NORTHWEST ORDINANCE

D. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “C” – The Northwest Ordinance. On July 13, 1787, the Congress established by the Articles of Confederation passed the Northwest Ordinance. This important piece of legislation established the process by which a territory could become a state.

18. WHICH WAS AN EFFECT OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION ON THE U.S. ECONOMY?

A. THE ECONOMY GREW AND THRIVED

B. INTERSTATE COMMERCE WAS ALMOST PARALYZED BY TARIFFS BETWEEN THE STATES

C. THE COUNTRY WAS CRIPPLED BY HIGH FEDERAL TAXES

D. COSTS TO MAINTAIN THE FEDERAL COURTS WERE TOO HIGH

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “B” – Interstate commerce was almost paralyzed by tariffs between the states. The Articles of Confederation did not give the federal government the power to regulate commerce between the states. So, states began levying tariffs on imports from other states to boost their own economies, which almost ended interstate trade completely.

19. HOW WERE THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION RATIFIED?

A. THE PEOPLE VOTED FOR RATIFICATION IN A GENERAL ELECTION

B. A 3/4 MAJORITY OF THE STATE GOVERNMENTS APPROVED THEM

C. THE STATE GOVERNMENTS OF ALL 13 STATES RATIFIED THEM

D. THE PEOPLE OF EACH STATE VOTED TO RATIFY THEM

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “C” – The state governments of all 13 states ratified them. Congress approved the Articles of Confederation in 1777, and a copy was sent to each of the thirteen states for ratification. In 1781, Maryland became the last of the 13 states to ratify the Articles of Confederation and they went into effect.

20. THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION LASTED FROM 1781 TO:

A. 1788

B. 1812

C. 1800

D. 1795

Detailed Explanation: The correct answer is “A” – 1788. The Articles were replaced when the U.S. Constitution was officially ratified on June 21, 1788.

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