Sample of Reading Quizzes
Questions1. What aspect of Native American culture allowed white settlers to encroach on their lands in the Great Plains, the Southwest, and the Pacific Coast?
2. How did Congress maintain sectional equilibrium in the Senate in the early nineteenth century?
3. What was the "gag rule"?
4. What was the "Slave Power"?
5. Why did northerners resent the Slave Power?
Answers1. They were largely nomadic and whites, married to the Western model of agricultural production, assumed that their migratory social structure made Native Americans unfit to "properly" settle the land.
2. By admitting free and slave states in tandem.
3. A longstanding rule in the House of Representatives that helped congressmen agree to disagree about slavery by banning them from discussing it.
4. The combined power of slaveowning southerners who wielded disproportionate influence in Congress.
5. Northerners complained that the Slave Power sold out legitimate American claims to half the Oregon Territory and that it drummed up war against Mexico under phony pretenses in the hopes of seizing Mexican provinces, all to spread slavery as far and wide as it could. Northerners worried that the Slave Power threatened to undermine everything they stood for and believed in, from the free labor system to the American dream of success and prosperity through hard work, to the democratic system and the balance of power itself.