GED Social Studies Practice Questions: U.S. History

By Achim K. Krull, Dale E. Shuttleworth, Murray Shukyn

American history is a colorful, exciting tapestry of people and events. Since American history makes up about 20 percent of the GED Social Studies test, you can expect to find a few of those threads woven into the exam.

To maximize your score, you should be familiar with important and pivotal events, from the American Revolution to the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. You should also be aware of important historical documents, one of which you’ll use to answer the following practice questions.

Practice questions

The practice questions refer to the following passage, which is excerpted from The Declaration of Independence, 1776.

Charges against the King

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature — a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large, for their exercise, the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers, to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

  1. The king neglected the colonies in many ways, especially by

    A. failing to provide money
    B. failing to pass laws
    C. removing their right of condemnation
    D. giving power to his governors

  2. How did the king obstruct the judicial system?

    A. He made it independent of his authority.
    B. He erected new offices.
    C. He refused to enact certain laws.
    D. He harassed the people.

Answers and explanations

  1. The correct answer is Choice (B).

    According to the first paragraph of the passage, the king neglected the colonies in a number of ways. Of the ways listed here, only failing to pass laws (ones that would alleviate grievances) is correct. Although the other choices are grievances, they can’t be alleviated until the appropriate laws are passed.

  2. The correct answer is Choice (C).

    The seventh paragraph of the passage states that the king didn’t give his approval to laws that would’ve created a local judicial system.