Sample of Reading Quizzes
The Big Picture
Questions1. After the Revolution, which European powers continued to occupy portions of the American republic key to commerce?
2. In the first years after the American Revolution, why did most Americans identify themselves with their states rather than with the new nation as a whole?
3. How did the notion of nation related to the American Revolution differ from other revolutionary movements?
4. What did "republicanism" mean in the post-Revolution era?
5. How did the political environment change by the end of George Washington's presidential administration?
Answers1. The British, who occupied forts on American territory in the northwest and whose trade policies crippled American commerce, and the Spanish, who continued to control the Mississippi River threatening the economic ambitions of western migrants.
2. This tendency was partly due to old habits, but it was also tied to persisting fears of what a nation represented. Many feared the centralization of power that the concept implied.
3. Usually, the birth of national identity precedes the revolutionary movement, but in America, the opposite occurred. Americans—or rather, New Yorkers, Georgians, and Rhode Islanders—declared independence from British rule before they had forged a solid sense of national identity.
4. This influential concept was much more than a political philosophy. It was a set of specific policies that rested on the premise that the role of government was to identify and advance the common good. Under this ideology, citizens and statesmen were charged with sacrificing their personal interests to those of the community: to act virtuously rather than selfishly, reasonably rather than out of passion.
5. By his presidency's end, there was more political division than ever. Disagreements over specific policies and broader governing philosophies had crystallized into formal parties, and the tone and character of the political arena was viciously partisan.