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Subject Test U.S. History

Question 15 of 29

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SAT Subject Test

Which of the following statements is generally true of the framers of the Constitution?

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They believed in the supremacy of the executive branch of the federal government.

Correct Answer: 
No

They had great faith in the goodness and rationality of people.

Correct Answer: 
No

They were opposed to the development of political parties.

Correct Answer: 
Yes

They incorporated into the Constitution the most democratic ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Correct Answer: 
No

They believed the new American republic would be stable because of the unanimity of public opinion in the country on major policy issues.

Correct Answer: 
No

While it is difficult to generalize about the framers of the Constitution, most of the leading framers did oppose political parties. In The Federalist papers, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison — two of the most significant framers of the Constitution — wrote strongly against “factions” or political parties and explained the ways in which the structure of the Constitution was designed to prevent factions from forming. In particular, Hamilton and Madison believed that both the scale of the country, and the system of checks and balances that they had built into the government, would mitigate factionalism. The framers did not believe in the supremacy of the executive branch (A); another reason for the system of checks and balances was to restrain the power of the presidency. They did not have great faith in the goodness and rationality of the people (B); most federal offices were initially chosen by indirect election to prevent excessive democratic influence. They did not incorporate the most democratic ideals of the Declaration of Independence (D); they continued to tolerate nondemocratic elements such as slavery and restrictions on the right to vote. They also did not believe in the unanimity of public opinion (E); debates over the ratification of the Constitution highlighted already existing divisions.

Question Difficulty: 
medium